Realizing how much I <3 Florence!

16 Mar

So I had a great week slash weekend exploring Florence. I decided that because I wasn’t going anywhere this weekend that I wanted to learn more about Florence, and that I did. I realized how much I really am in love with Florence, and I could be perfectly happy if I was here the rest of the time and never left. Of course I want to travel everywhere in Europe, but sometimes I forget that there is SO much to see in Florence, that I could stay here every weekend, and find something to do.

I went out on Tuesday night for one of our friends, Jordan’s birthday, which was so much fun. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the other girl’s in the different apartments which has been a lot of fun, because I had been wanting to meet a lot more of the different people in my program. I went out with them to celebrate his birthday on Tuesday. On Thursday night, I went out with Brooke and her roommates, which was also really fun, and then on Friday night we went to Red Garter and to a Discoteca called 21. The nightlife here is really fun. It’s a mix of a lot of different things. They have your traditional Italian bars which are cute little cafes in the morning, Panini places in the afternoon that sell assorted Panini’s and pastas, sometimes in the evening they become Apertivi (which I will explain later), and then at night they become bars! That is very different from America, I know!  And then they have your typical American bars where they sell shots really cheap, and drink cards. Then there are your discotechas, which are really fun, but can be a little creepy sometimes. The young men often go there to meet particularly, American girls. Unfortunately, the more upscale clubs tend to have less of the creepy men.

On Friday evening I went with a couple of girls to Apertivo, which is a typical Italian tradition. You go into café/restaurant from 6-8 and pay for a drink, ours was 5 euro, and they have a ton of amazing food out on the bar and you can eat as much as you want. Imagine, the Americans they see it as an all you can eat buffet (haha) whereas the Italians see it as a way to socialize over a glass of wine and appetizers. The one we went to was amazing. It had about 10 different types of pasta and different types of traditional meat, and vegetable dishes.

On Saturday afternoon Renee, and some other girls went on a Chianti wine tour, which I really want to do. They take you on a 2-hour hike through the Chianti region, and then allow you to wine taste 5-6 different types of wine, then serve you a really nice meal. I plan on doing it possibly when it gets warmer out. My other two roommates, Gina and Jessica went to a small town on the coast for the day. I had decided to stay back and see a lot of Florence that I had not seen yet.

I have read a lot lately about all the different famous museums and churches that I still wanted to see. I felt that I needed to get a really good grasp on the city that I live in before I venture out to other cities, plus Florence is probably my favorite city in Europe, so why not take advantage of seeing all of it!

On Saturday I went into the city center and went to the Uffizi Gallery, which is home to the most famous art Gallery in all of Italy. I spent about an hour and 45 minutes in there, and only got through certain portions of the museum. It starts in the early Florentine days when there was the Famous Florentine Art school. Then it goes into the Renaissance period, which is beautiful of course. A lot of the paintings are all very similar however, which the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. After about two hours, I decided I wanted to wonder to the leather market and buy a leather wallet because I hadn’t bought anything in the leather market yet. I love the leather market, but I cant stand when they come up and ask 1,000 times what I am looking for, and what it is that I want, and they try and sell me an ugly bag. I particularly only buy from the stands where the sellers are less annoying. I may like a wallet, but the minute that the merchant is annoying, I walk away. I ended up purchasing a leather wallet that has the fleur-de-lis on and says “Firenze” on it. I bargained and only paid 14 euro for it, which is a pretty good deal!  When I got back our friend Pati came over to make a really good dinner for us. She made this avocado, red pepper and tequila pasta. It was amazing!

On Sunday, I woke up and it was a gorgeous day. I wanted to go to the Boboli Gardens, which is the biggest botanical garden. I needed to do some sketches for my watercolor class. It’s inside the Pilazzo Pitti, and was made for a Botanical Garden’s for the Medici Family (a very wealthy family throughout Florence’s history). I walked all the way over there, about a 45-minute walk and realized I had forgotten my card that gets me in for free. So I decided to walk over to Santa Croce, which is the church by my apartment. I still hadn’t even been inside and it is a very famous Franciscan church and is even where Michelangelo, and Galileo are buried. I sat on steps for awhile and sketched a few things for my class then decided to head up to the Piazza Michelangelo, which is about a 20 minute walk from where the church was.

The piazza Michelangelo, is a hike up to the top of great view of the city, and lays a huge statue of the fake “David”. I took a lot of pictures, and realized how much I was really in love with Florence! I headed back to my apartment and on the walk back, took a couple pictures of the sunset when I was walking across the bridge. They were so beautiful. After my weekend in Florence, I knew I had picked the right city!

I will be heading out late tonight for a night train to Vienna. I will be visiting a friend that was a foreign exchange student that went to my high school. She was a good friend of mine when she lived in Zionsville, and I still haven’t seen her since then. She is from Austria, so I will be staying with her in Vienna for 5 days and we are going to take a one-night trip, possibly to Budapest. I am so excited because it is St. Patty’s day, and she said there is so much going on! I will write back when I return to Firenze!

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