I Moved To Florence! First ImpressionsSaturday, August 06, 2016
Hello Everyone! So I guess I should introduce myself before starting this blog. My name is Alexandra and I study French and Italian at University. I'm currently in my third year which means... YEAR ABROAD!
|Ponte Santa Trinata|
After almost a year of preparation, talks, stress and paperwork I can't believe it's finally here. Time flies so fast and before you know it you're onto the next chapter in your life, so exciting but so scary. The plan so far is to move to Florence, Italy for four months from now until the end of November, and to then move to Paris for six months from January 2017. Here are some of my first impressions from the first two weeks of living here.
First of all, it's obviously a breathtaking city with an immensely rich culture and history ...
|The view from the Piazzale Michelangelo|
Seriously, there are countless museums/attractions/churches here.
Florence (and Italy in general) has some of the best food, not to mention gelato, that you will ever indulge in. I already have a handful of favourites and i'm sure that i'll share them with you at some point in the future!
|Gelateria dei Neri|
Ugh just look at that deliciously creamy cookies & cream and nutella gelato. LOVE! If I don't put on some weight after my time in Italy i'll be quite surprised. The food here is insane! I love how you also have this concept of "aperitivo" which is where you pay for a drink (proseco, wine, cocktails etc) and there is a buffet included. Not all places do this and prices vary but again, i'll make sure to document the best ones for you.
Florence also has some of the best sunsets that I have ever seen...
|View from Ponte Santa Trinata|
However, being in such a nice city also has some not so nice things - there are literally tourists everywhere and the walk to/from work is one where one's patience is rapidly diminished. Between the selfie sticks which block your way and the horse carriages almost running you over it's quite the achievement to cross Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria and not look completely exasperated and unimpressed.
You also need to be careful of pickpockets and gypsies. Like most European cities, this is a problem and just yesterday a woman I know had her handbag stolen in a church. You just need to be careful and make sure that your bag is next to you at all times. Don't get caught up in taking that perfect photo that you give someone the chance to reach into your bag and steal your wallet.
One thing that i'm really curious about Florence is the secret bakeries. I've been told that there are these industrial bakeries who bake through the night, delivering the baked goods to the local restaurants/bars/cafés in the morning and that around 1am you can go, quietly knock on their door and they'll slip you a beautiful warm nutella croissant (or whatever takes your fancy!). I love love love nutella (as you'll get to know throughout my year abroad and the blogposts I write), so my friend and I ventured out on Sunday night to find them... We couldn't and after some confusion we decided to go again this Friday night, however the bakers said that a lot of the bakeries had closed for August (everyone leaves the city to go on holiday at the seaside). So once again we left empty handed and my desire for a nutella croissant has reached a whole new level!!
And finally, the stereotype of Italian men being womanisers (donnaiolo in italiano) is true (think of Marcello from La Dolce Vita)! This is the same for PDA (public displays of affection) - MASSIVE amounts of PDA here. Some girls and I were having dinner and drinks at a restaurant (which was actually an old prison, really cool place, will definitely take you there one day) and this couple was passionately kissing over the table and sucking each others fingers for a good hour before they decided to leave and literally "get a room".
All in all though I am so happy to be in Florence for the next few months, to experience the well known phenomenon of the "culture shock", and excited to share some of my adventures/food discoveries with you !