First full week..did so much!!

25 Jan

Whew where do I start? This week was so awesome, and we got so much in!!! Well I had my first full week of classes and I actually really enjoy ALL of my classes so far. They are all really interesting things where I actually get to apply my knowledge to my everyday life. My Italian class is helping a lot with getting by with the very little Italian that I know. I have it 3 times a week for an hour and 40 minutes. It kind of stinks though because this is the first time they have ever had the Italian classes on Fridays, so kids could leave for the weekend to travel, but because we have Friday classes now, it makes it a lot harder, which is super annoying. But anyways I really like my Italian life and Culture class as well. Its 3 hours long on Tuesdays and we basically just talk about the different aspects of the culture and our teacher asks about our own personal experiences and compares it to the American way of life. She lived in America for 5 years so she is pretty knowledgeable about the culture as well. My watercolour class is going to be interesting too. I have zero art experience other than middle school art. But it is cool because there are some art majors and there are people like me, and we are all here for the same reason, to grow, and art just happens to be a part of the culture. I’m excited to just start painting! My Italian cross cultural psychology class is really cool as well. I really liked it; it’s a 3-hour class as well. We all sit in a circle (like group therapy) and just talk about different aspects of the culture and differences between American psychology and Italian psychology. So you can see how these classes are going to be pretty useful when getting a grasp of the culture especially while I’m living here.

On Wednesday night the CAPA staff had a “welcome dinner” for us. I thought, ok they’ll just get a few pizzas and it will be pretty chill. NO! They had a “traditional Tuscan dinner for us”. We had EIGHT appetizers alone, and then 3 courses of entrees, dessert and 2 bottles of wine. It was really fun. We ate different types of bread with tomatoes toppings, ham, cheese, it was all delicious. Then our entrees were amazing. We got 4 cheese gnocchi which are these potato-pasta round things and then 2 other great types of pasta. It was probably the most amazing food I’ve had here yet! It was neat to sit around and meet people too. The CAPA staff here is also amazing. They are so cool and interactive with us. They would come around to each of the tables and talk and make jokes. Oh and I got to be the one to open the bottle of champagne for our table up at the front, and it was already a little loose, and of course it went off way before it was supposed to!! Afterwards we went to a bar called Rex, which was Lorenzo’s recommendation. Lorenzo is one of the directors here at CAPA and he is so nice and charming!

On Friday evening we decided it would be a good day to check out the few “must sees of Florence” since we had a big hike ahead of us on Saturday morning. We went to climb the Duomo first. When we first walked in it was breathtaking. The murals on the wall were gorgeous and it was huge! We walked a little further towards the alter. Everyone just kind of walked around and took pictures and then we bought a ticket to climb towards the top. There were 463 steps total. It was pretty tiring especially on the parts of the staircase where they were really narrow and spiral. Once we got to the platform where you could see the “dome mural” which was amazing. It really showed how talented these artists here are. I could have looked at it for hours. Then we walked farther up to get to the top of the dome to see out over Firenze. We finally got to the top and it was AMAZING. We could see all over Florence. It is probably the highlight of my trip so far. After we climbed the Duomo we decided to go to the Accedemia, which is where the statue of David is. We walked and got gelato and then went to the museum. It was all incredible. Just seeing artwork from the 1300s was so neat. And then the remarkable statue of David, made by Michelangelo, had the most impressive details I had ever seen. Every muscle and body movement was so accurate! I actually got a couple pictures, which I was surprised because they are usually pretty strict!

On Saturday morning my roommates and then the boys who we have been hanging out with (the 2 Kyle’s from Purdue, Will from IU, and then Gina’s boyfriend Kevin) got up and took the bus towards where we were meeting Lorenzo and the other kids from our school. Here we were meeting to go on a hike to Fiesole, which is a small little town up in the mountains of Florence. We started the hike and he showed us a huge cave where we learned that it was many of the caves where the Florentines would get stone in order to build all the gorgeous buildings in town. We hiked and were able to see some gorgeous views of the city of Florence. Once we got to the top we walked around the downtown area. We went into an old monastery where we got to see the little cells of where the monks would live. Once we were done with that we went to a pizza place that was so delicious. I got a pizza with my favorite cheese I’ve had so far, sheep cheese (that we found at the market) and then 3 other kinds of cheese. It also had walnuts and these purple things that might have been a leafy type of radish, I wasn’t quite sure. Then after lunch a couple of us went out into this field and were able to all split a bottle of wine from a little shop. We just sat in the field and drank wine for awhile, it was so pretty. Then we hopped back on the bus and went to our friend’s apartment. It was a great day!

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