|My first glimpse of Firenze|
Despite all of my fears leading up to this trip, the morning of my flight to Florence dawned along with my acceptance that yes, I was actually going to spend an entire semester away from home, and yes, everything would be ok. The flights and arrival were pretty uneventful. I took a cab to the hotel where we stayed for the first few days and lucked into meeting the director of the London part of the program. She was just as excited to be visiting Florence for a few days as I was to be visiting for two months, and we hit it off immediately. I also happen to be in her London theatre class for the second half of the semester, which I am super excited about.
Right now, my first week feels like a blur of introductions, orientation meetings, and lots and lots of walking. Breathtaking is the only word I can think of to describe seeing the Duomo for the first time, and even that doesn't seem to do it justice. If you've seen photos of the Eiffel tower, you can kind of get a sense of what it's like in real life, but the Duomo is a different beast entirely. It is altogether more colorful, intricate, and imposing than any photo of it I've ever seen. In photos the facade looks flat and smooth, but in reality each section is carved with stone lattice work or statues of important figures. As you walk away from it down one of the narrow cobblestone streets, be sure to turn and look over your shoulder. It looks as though you've entered some alternate dimension, and all that's left where you were standing is a towering wall of marble.
|My first glimpse of the Duomo|
|View from the Piazza Michelangelo|
|Me in front of the view from the Piazza Michelangelo|
|Lights along the Arno river|
Not everything has been as great as my first experience with gelato, unfortunately. I am writing this from my bed after spending an entire day (a day, in fact, in which everyone else went on a day trip to Pisa) recovering from an awful cold. I spent most of my nights this week coughing, and most of my days running around the city and eating a delicious (but not very balanced) diet. As much as I hate missing out on an excursion, I feel so much better after giving my body time to recharge. It's been an incredibly wonderful, messy week, and I can't wait for more. Ciao!
|View from my bedroom window|