Monday, January 30, 2012

God's View

Sometimes there are no words to describe breathtaking beauty. After our journey up to the Piazza Michelangelo, I was left with this speechless feeling. Looking back on all the photos I took, the number is slightly embarrassing, especially considering most of the pictures are pretty much the same.... It was just too beautiful to stop taking them. I'd move about 5 ft and it would be just ever so slightly different of an angle forcing me to have to take yet another one. Let's just say it took me lots of time to narrow down the keepers.

It is one thing to be venturing through the surrounding and always surprising beauty of the narrow roads of Florence, being eye level with it all, but the ability to look down on as incredible of a city as Florence is truly breathtaking. There is something about looking down onto vast land... all the colors, the forever expanding landscape, that is completely indescribable. Whether it is hiking up to the Piazza Michelangelo to overlook Florence or even hiking Humpback in Cville, the view from the top is always the best. I guess it makes sense that earth was created that way.... He's definitely got the best seat in the house.

Arno River

Street level

View from the Piazza Michelangelo

New friends!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

No more pillow cases, shoot-a-monkey, beautiful food and more beautiful food.

Well it is day three here in Firenze and after a successful search for towels, my first hot shower (3rd times the charm??), both bags back in my possession, a VERY full room, and a much needed Martha Stuart apartment make over, I'm feeling much more at ease about things. Its so nice to finally be settled into our apartment and beginning to get our bearings... big emphasis being on the "our" part of that statement ( mom and dad I completely blame you for my incapability to know where I am at all times in this city). Essentially I say the river is to the left and it is 100% guaranteed really to the right (i.e. our run today, we managed to get on the outside of the gate into Florence without ever exiting it).... my first trek out alone is going to be quite an interesting one...

Our apartment is much much better. Between the 11am wakeup entry of our landlord yesterday to fix the hot water and Natalie and I's attempt to get crafty with some decorating, the place feels much more quaint and homey... ( some actual bedding and towels helped a bit too). Now our living/dining/kitchen/den features a lovely table cloth, some fake flowers, and a slip cover and curtains made from a sheet set (DIY pintrest worthy?)...
Humble abode... (photo courtesy of Nat's blog)
Aside from fixing up our apartment, essentially all I've been doing is wandering, and admiring or eating beautiful food. We went to the market for the second time today. The food there is beautiful! Every fruit and vegetable looks like it was color enhanced. Oh and I made my first Italian purchase yesterday (shocking it was so soon I know...) and got an AWESOME fur coat from the market.

 While the market food was amazing to drool over, I've already had quite my share of meals worth drooling over too. Last night I had the best pizza of my life (thank you Ley Ley!) at Gusta Pizza. It was AMAZING anddddd if that wasn't enough it even came in the shape of a heart...

Gusta Pizza mmmmmmm
After our delicious pizza we went to Art Bar another new favorite (again, thank you Ley ley!). I plan to go often, the intimate atmosphere was great and the drinks were INCREDIBLE. Truly the prettiest things I've ever seen. I got a fruit cocktail which literally came with a fruit basket bursting out the top of it... you name it, that fruit was there.

Art Bar with Christinia.. my new found soul mate.. we both say "Shoot-a-Monkey" and are the only 2 I know that say that... enough said. 

And now just to assure everyone I did not come to Italy solely for food, a little peak at the beautiful Duomo, a 5 minute walk from our apartment...


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ciao from Firenze!

(haven't learned the "from" part of that phrase yet)

We are finally here and able to breath a bit. After 2 flights.. long flights, both of my bags lost, and a bit of venturing to get to our apartment (which is another whole story) we are finally here! Its been quite a journey. Still have no bags on day 2 (probably punishment for over-packing).... so as much as I'd love to wear the same clothes again tomorrow I'm really hoping they will get here soon.

It is still pretty unreal to me that this is about to be my home until May. The city is BEAUTIFUL. I can't wait to go exploring tomorrow. We have been stuck in orientation ALL day so I don't feel like I've been able to just wander and enjoy yet. While our apartment is in a great location, it has not been the best situation thus far. I didn't think it would ever be possible to live in a room smaller than kappa but I'm pretty sure we are currently living in it. We've already gotten some good laughs out of it though.... Such as Natalie and I's attempt to switch out a piece of furniture last night which resulted in the bottom breaking off, a discovery of old wine that smelt like sauerkraut, and an ab workout from laughing so hard, followed by an orientation talk today explicitly emphasizing how important it is NOT to move furniture... woops.

The amount of electricity and water the Italians use, or lack thereof, is definitely something I'll have to adjust to as well.  Our one outlet in our bedroom and lack of hot water were not the most comforting discoveries. I got about a minute into my ice bath of a shower this morning before I physically couldn't bare it anymore, then resorted to the sink to wash my hair. After which I dried myself off with extra pillow cases... who knew "linens provided" didn't include a towel...

I don't mean to complain there is so much to be excited about here! I've got a gem of a old school Nokia phone to use while in Italy :) and am so happy to have Natalie, Adair and Christina on this journey with me. I don't know if I could be doing it alone.

I've already tested out 2 pizza places, both of which were absolutely delicious... don't worry it won't be a regular habit... I don't intend on gaining my "Florence 15", just had to try it out. Oh and the cappuccinos and gelato are divine! I never thought I'd consider Starbucks to be a downgrade but I think it might be compared to Florence.

Like I said everywhere is absolutely beautiful! The tiny cobblestone streets are so quaint (even though their narrowness makes you feel like you'll be hit by any moving transportation at all times). The constant scenery is so idealistic with the beautiful Arno river and all of the gorgeous Renaissance buildings. Its like walking through history everywhere you turn.

This is the breathtaking Santa Croce one block down from our apartment and on my path to class everyday...

And my wonderful roommates in what we wish was our apartment, Napoleon Bonaparte sister's house....
That's all for now! Ciao!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So Ready to Go!

Less than ONE WEEK before I leave for Firenze. I am so stir crazy at home... with my sisters well into school again, and all my friends back to UVa together I am ready to get started on my own adventures! The thought of packing in 2 suitcases for 4 months is still quite a daunting one that has been lingering over my head. Those of you who know me well, know that that could quite possibly be one of the worst nightmares I could have... sad I know. I just have a hard time narrowing down to the essentials sometimes....

Aside from the packing, and the fact that I can count the Italian words I know on one hand (if you don't count pizza and spaghetti) I am so ready to be in Florence. I cannot wait to get lost on little side streets and make friends with little old Italian men. I will miss everyone at home and UVa. so much. Hopefully this will give y'all a little taste of my life over seas while I'm gone.

Just as a side note... I have never had a blog before and feel a little silly writing about myself like this so just bare with me. Hopefully my super artsy pictures of all my travels and experiences can compensate for the writing skill level of my blog compared to the blogs of my two English major roommates.

One last thing.. just to explain the title for those of you that don't get my super cheesy play on words... it is called "Fashion Firenze" because for one thing, Fashion is one of my greatest interests and my primary area of study while in Florence (Firenze) which leads me to the second thing, the "Firenze" part.... Firenze is Italian for Florence and it sounds like "frenzy"... get it??... Fashion Frenzy... Fashion Firenze. Okay I'm done now.
Promise these will get better once I'm in Italia!