This is a dream. I don’t think the fact that I get to live in Florence for almost 4 months has truly set in. It really feels like a vacation because of how breathtaking and incredible everything is. My journey here was incredibly smooth. I had no issues flying into Rome and getting a train to Florence. The worst part was navigating my 49-pound luggage, along with my carry-on luggage. I arrived in Florence around 13:00 pm (they use military time which is something I’m going to have to get used to). CAPA provided a taxi to my apartment, which I will go into great detail about in this blog post.
My prior thoughts on European living spaces were that they are generally pretty tiny and cramped. So I was blown away when I walked into my massive apartment. My bedroom here is larger than my bedroom at school and at home. There are 3 gorgeous chandeliers in the apartment (one in my room). I have the most beautiful armoire to store my clothes in. My roommates and I have a private backyard/garden! The bathroom and the shower are both huge. But I would have to say my favorite part are the high ceilings (I feel like I’m in a castle). There is also a quaint little river outside our door. We live a bit farther than most people from the school and Duomo area, but I wouldn’t trade where we live for anything! I think I’m going to like it here.
There are some things about my new home that are quite different from apartments in the States. First off, the toilets here are weird. You flush them by pressing a button on a wall. Also, most bathrooms have a bidet. Second, the keys to our apartment are a lot larger and shaped differently than American keys. Refrigerators are a lot smaller due to the fact that people here buy food daily at local markets and don’t store it for very long. I’ve also noticed that they keep homes a lot cooler her, but my generous landlord provided us with lots of warm blankets! We also had a slight power outage for about 15 minutes Saturday night, but the electrician is coming on Monday.
I’ve also noticed some other differences between Italian and American cultures even only being here for a few days. Dinner is a treasured experience. You take your time, you talk to the people at your table, and you sure aren’t looking at your cell phone. Water is not free, and there is no ice. Waiters don’t split checks, and you don’t have to tip because they get paid a higher wage compared to the States (also I’ve been here 3 days and I’m already calling it “the States”). They also eat later in the evening! I didn’t get done with dinner until 10:30 last night. With all the pasta, pizza, and gelato, I can see how Italians stay healthy: they walk everywhere. I have walked 23 miles in 2.5 days. My legs are exhausted.
These first few days have been incredible. I feel like I’m already starting to navigate this beautiful city. I got to hike up to Piazza Michelangelo and the views were breathtaking. I couldn’t be more excited to call this place my new home.