I can’t believe that I’ve already been here a week! Time really does fly! Anyway, I love Florence! I’ve made a ton of great new friends and have some amazing classes as well. This summer is looking really promising and I can’t wait to see what else happens! So, here’s a little bit about my first week here.

Florence is beautiful. It still amazes me everyday that I am living here right now. NYU’s campus is about a 20 minute walk from downtown Florence down a pretty big hill. The campus is GORGEOUS! There are beautiful gardens along the freakishly long and steep walk to class. I live in a villa that’s been converted to dorms with bunk beds and these desks with closet type things, it’s basically a big cupboard with a rod that you pull down so that you can reach it all. Classes are across this valley in another villa that is also beautiful. One of my classes is in this room with a terrace-it’s beautiful!

There is so much to do and see in Florence it’s insane! The duomo and baptistry are green and white marble with lots of sculptural details. At first I didn’t like it too much but it’s grown on me a lot! There are churches everywhere filled with magnificent frescoes, sculptures and more. In one of my classes we go to churches and museums to look at the art and discuss it. I really enjoy it because my professor is so interesting and really wants us to see all of the art that we can during these 6 weeks. It’s great because we go during class and then later on our own (for homework-not so fun), so that we can hopefully see other stuff.

I’ve had some great food here as well. While I haven’t gone out a lot in an effort to save some money, I got pizza and a bottle of wine for 7 euros each on Thursday night which was sooo good. It was unlike any other pizza I’d had before. It was not thin crust, but rather somewhat medium crust that was really light, unlike the doughy stuff in America. Gelato is also about a million times better in Italy. They use different cream so it’s sweeter and richer. I can’t really describe it but basically it’s amazing. The only food I find weird here is breakfast, it’s mainly pastries, although our dining hall here did make scrambled eggs one day and puts out ham most mornings and cheese. Also, I’m starting to like coffee…I know, I know, I never drink it but I’m liking cappuccinos.

The best night of the trip was Thursday. I went out for the above mentioned pizza, when a group began playing music and others were dancing up the hill from the pizzeria we were at. After eating we went and watched them for awhile. Soon a nice Italian woman brought me into the dancing circle and then I had my friends join in too. An old Italian man taught us a traditional Abruzzian (I think) dance. We had partners in a circle, did a foot thing, turned around and did it with the person behind us, then turned, dosi-doed with our first partner before switching partners. I don’t know if that made sense. Anyway, it was really fun! Then I did this dance with the 3 other Italian women. We were partnered up, went forwards and backwards, switched partners, did the same thing then made this circle and twirled around. It was soo much fun. All of the people were friendly and welcoming. We spoke a combination of broken Italian and English while dancing and standing around. They truly wanted us to have fun and enjoy our evening. It was amazing and something that I will never forget.