5 things you (probably) didn’t know about Firenze

June 22nd, 2012

Hi guys! Sorry I haven’t been posting – to put it lightly exams kicked my butt! 3 exams back to back to back was not fun but I feel confident in all of my classes.  In my cooking class part of our exam was to cook a dish without the recipe, and we were awarded top dish! It was the scariest feeling when he was about to try it because although he’s one of the nicest professors, when the subject is food he’s all business. Luckily, he loved ours so I think I’m ready to become an Iron Chef – Food Network Channel here I come!  ;)

All of us girls have been out and about, enjoying our last days here in Florence. Today, were packing and cleaning since we’re leaving to the airport tomorrow. Tonight we’re going out for Gusta pizza since that place has become our official date night routine! After, we’ll probably hangout in the piazza and take some finale pictures.

I won’t be on here until next Tuesday or so. After flying to Florida for a couple of days, I’m off to DC on Friday and then next Monday I will be in Madrid! But in the meantime, here are 5 things that you (probably) didn’t know about Florence:

  1. Crepes started in Firenze – not France.  The daughter of the Medici family here in Firenze married the King of France and brought them with her to France.
  2. Gelato was first created here and you can find a Gelateria on every block.
  3. Florence use to be the capital of Italy before Rome.
  4. 89% of the businesses in Florence are family businesses
  5. If you have blonde or any sort of curl to your hair the vendors will call you “Shakira” as you walk by.

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!

Family Dinner

May 27th, 2012

Megan and I spent the day getting the apartment cleaned and preparing for dinner tonight.  We went out to the garden and picked flowers for the table and then we found some figs and other fruit growing in our garden so we made a fruit salad for lunch.  After that, we went to this market that only happens on the last Sunday of every month and it was full of antiques.  Most of it was flea market stuff but the two things that Megan and I really liked turned out to cost over 1000 euros. Hahaha we couldn’t believe it because everything else was around 5-10 euros.

Our family dinner was of course eventful as always. There were about 12 people who came over to the apartment and our menu consisted of salad, bruschetta, risotto, veggies, pasta, and stuffed chicken – it was very tasty! We had flowers and candles set up on the table and all the food looked great but the company was even better.   After taking tons of pictures and cooking all night we finally sat down to eat where Crystal nonchalantly said, “Hey guys, I think something’s on fire.” At that point we turn around to see this massive flame and one of the tea lights managed to ignite the entire bowl of salad on fire! We quickly ran over and threw a pitcher of water on it to find a massive hole burned through our salad bowl.  We burst out laughing when the chaos was over and blew out all the other tea lights before we had any more accidents!

The dinner party somehow ended with Nate, Jessica and I standing on the table and doing a full out karaoke performance to Lady Marmalade, while Nate was wearing a sombrero we randomly found in our kitchen cabinets today. These people crack me up.  Everyone went home for now, but tonight we are going to the secret bakery to end this perfect day.