i have officially survived a week in Florence and after getting past the culture shock, I really love it here. At times it can be difficult and frustrating when you are trying to order something or ask for directions and people can’t understand you, but it’s part of the experience of studying abroad. We are getting past the point finally of constantly being lost and not knowing where anything is and we can now walk home at night without google maps open to direct us to our apartment, which is much more comforting.
We took the first week as a vacation, eating endless amounts of gelato and pizza and going out to dinner every night and shopping our hearts out but now we are starting to get into a routine that is much needed for our body and bank accounts sake. The past two nights we have cooked in our apartment and it came out surprisingly well. Last night we cooked chicken with breadcrumbs,basil and cheese sprinkled on and then broccoli and baked potatoes for veggies. We felt much better after eating that and didn’t go into a food coma like we usually do when we eat absurd amount of carbs so we are going to try to cook during the week and eat out on the weekends.
Saturday my friends and I did a tuscany bike tour through the vineyards which was my favorite thing I’ve done so far. It was absolutely beautiful and I definitely recommend it for anyone that comes to Italy. We took a van from Florence to Tuscany which was only 40 minutes away and first did a tour of a castle where the wine and olive oil was made and our amazing and hot tour guide explained how it was all made. They had wine kept in there from 100 years ago letting it age which was soo cool. After that we got on our bikes and biked to lunch which was about 7 miles. The ride was so beautiful and scenic and we would stop at good sceneries to take pictures. The meal was included and it was salad and three different kinds of pasta that were to die for. The meal ended with this amazing dessert that I forget the name of but it was like marshmallow and hot fudge. After getting so full we could barely move we had to bike the 7 miles back which was mostly uphill. It was definitely a struggle. All in all, it was an amazing day and I plan to take my parents here when they visit!
Sunday we had another free day and wanted to do a day trip somewhere that was easy to get to and not too time consuming. We decided on Pisa which was only an hour bus ride and 6 euro. The bus was so convenient and we are definitely going to use it as much as possible and it didn’t make me carsick so that was a plus. We all fell asleep on the way there and back. The leaning tower of Pisa was such a crowded area but it was soo cool to see in person. We of course had to take the typical picture and then got lunch but other than that there wasn’t much to do in Pisa. The line was so long to climb the tower and kind of expensive so we decided against it and the picture was good enough for us. We got home around 3:30, got gelato of course and cooked dinner and finally had an early night in.
We had a great weekend and next weekend will be even better because we leave for the Almalfi Coast on Thursday! Classes start today, which i am actually really excited for because I need to get out vacation mode or I will become broke and fat.