Piazza Michelangelo

June 15th, 2012

Piazza Michelangelo is one of the few places where you can go and get a glimpse of the entire Florence skyline.  It’s beautiful and that is where we are spending tonight!  We’re going to head up there for sunset and to take plenty of pictures, (I’ll try to upload them but the uploader still isn’t working).

The last days have been spent doing homework and enjoying our last weekend in Florence.  Last night we went out to Meso which is a turkish place that has the best kabobs in all of Florence. They are a must have! Then we went walking around Florence and just spent the rest of the time hanging out with friends.  I’m definitely going to miss it here but I am ready for exam week to be over and to see all of my friends and family.. eight days!


June 10th, 2012

This weekend in Rome was one of the best weekends I have had so far in Italy.  It started by visiting the Vatican and several other landmarks and ended with a four course dinner and a late night trip to the Trevi Fountain.  The Trevi Fountain was surreal.  It was beautiful and at night it was extremely relaxing with tons of fun people.

Rome definitely made me miss my Poppi though.  Before I left for Italy, I watched the videotapes from when my grandparents visited Italy and saw all the places where they went.  One scene my poppi was videotaping across the street from the Coliseum and I am pretty sure I was standing in the same exact spot 6 years later.  He would’ve loved this trip for me.  I think about how excited he would’ve been to help me practice Italian before my trip; he probably would’ve ended up booking a flight over too! I feel Pop here with me every day and I hope to never lose that feeling.

The next day we woke up and went on several tours of the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Imperial Forum, and the City Hall. It was rainy so it was probably the best day to get all the private tours done.  After the tours we went out on the town as a massive group. It was so many people to keep track of but we were able to stay together for most of the night.  Eventually we split off and met Alfredo, a photographer for Vogue, Brian, an actor doing a movie in Rome, and Luca, who is a designer for Asics shoes. They were tons of fun and showed us a couple different places that were filled with locals and had great food. The club scene is definitely a lot more relaxed than in Florence.  At the club we actually ran into some people we met in Florence the week before which was fun to add some more people to our group.  After a long night we ended it with pastries and headed back to our hotel room.

Today we ditched the tour to go see the Pope say his blessing to the crowd and that was an experience that I will never forget.  People from all over the world showed off their flags with pride as they listened to the Pope bless us in about ten different languages (it was really impressive!).  Next we went to hang out at the Spanish Steps and while we were there we ran into VOGUE doing a photoshoot for their next cover! Today we visited a total of 4 countries: Italy, Spain, France, and the Vatican.  In honor of the thirty year war, the Pope gave ownership of the Spanish Steps to Spain, but at the top it is technically France’s territory which is really cool.  After taking pictures we then went to a park where we rode a four person bicycle – in dresses. It was a mess but we had so much fun and it was a nice break from walking.  Rome was better than I expected and a lot of the people are really kind and funny, it’s definitely going to be hard to leave here so soon! But every good thing eventually comes to an end so now it’s time to head back to Florence to finish writing our papers.

*Pictures coming soon! They won’t upload right now.

Opera & Ballet / Pisa & Lucca

June 7th, 2012

Sorry for not posting these past couple of days, I’ve been extremely busy with midterms!

Two days ago I went to the opera and ballet and saw my first performance in one of the oldest opera houses in Florence. It was beautiful and was about being careful for what you ask for.  I could understand what was going on by the actions, while catching some Italian words here and there. I can’t wait to go to my next one! I also went to hear the Mayor of Florence speak about some issues going on in the city.  He held the conference right in front of the Duomo which was really neat to see.

Yesterday, everyone from USF took the train into Pisa and Lucca.  Lucca is what I imagined when I thought of an Italian town.  It was rich in history with tons of quaint shops.  They have a wall which completely encloses it and is one of only three towns left in Italy that way.  The wall is probably a good 12 feet high and almost 5 feet wide to protect them from cannonball damage back in the day.  Next, Pisa was extremely empty! I can’t believe it houses such a great and distinct Italian landmark when the place looks like a small town you would find on the side of I-75. After taking some pictures we left and were very excited to get back to Florence and go to Ganzo to meet the newbies.  This past week about 100 students arrived to start taking classes and will be here until the end of June too.  The food was great and we met a bunch of new people who are going out to dinner with us tonight.

Random side note, but I’ve been obsessed with the work of Dante Alighieri.  There is a massive statue in Santa Croce and I noticed we have a book full of his poems in our apartment so I started to read them. They are amazing. I love is work and now everyday before I get ready for school, I read one of his poems. It definitely should be something you guys look into!

For tonight, it’s all about packing and Gusta Pizza. Tomorrow we leave for Rome and won’t return until late Sunday. Fingers crossed on seeing the Pope!

girls night out

June 1st, 2012

Best night so far in Italy! About 8 of us ladies made dinner plans to go out to Gusta Pizza, where the kitchen guys made us all heart shaped pizzas and they were so delicious. We sat out by the local church to eat the pizzas and ordered a couple of bottles of wine while we talked with all the locals. Our next stop was to our favorite gelateria which topped off the night.

After that we went out to a local pub called the Lion’s Den which is a college spot out here in Florence and it was packed.  Shortly after, we left to go to a club called Twice where we were able to skip the line and pay no charge to get in.  We were dancing having a great time, then we met professional rugby players who brought us to their table in VIP and paid for everything for the rest of the night.  The club manager brought us out sparklers to dance with and we even got to go by the dj booth and onto the stage. It was amazing and since we were in VIP if anyone was bothering us, the bodyguards would kick them out immediately. It was definitely a night to remember!