Monday, July 4, 2011


Well, I had my first full day in Florence. Aside from waking up late and getting lost finding the school class went well. It was the first day of the session so nothing crazy, but tomorrow we'll be split up into groups. Most likely i'll be in a higher conversation class and a middle grammar class. While I was walking home I saw something I don't think I'll forget anytime soon. In a small car driving down the street there was a nun inside fanning herself from the heat.

After a nice nap I explored the downtown area of the city for a few hours ducking into many shops, though I didn't buy anything. I went into 2 shops where I had a full on conversation with the store owner and they were both surprised at how well I could speak. Yay, It's actually working! At the gelato shop the guy immediately spoke to me in English and I told him (of course, in Italian) to speak Italian please. not too shabby. When it started to rain I made my way back home, quite a walk, probably a good 15-20 min. Everything has been quiet since i've been back, sang a little, made a dinner of pasta (what else?) and relaxed. Tomorrow I plan on going to see something, though i'm not sure what that something is.

I like Florence, but there are a LOT of tourists. Too many near all the main shops, but it's funny how quickly it becomes just you walking down a side road. I stumbled upon the ponte vecchio though to me Venice and the Rialto stands out more in my mind than this. It's pretty from afar but there are just crazy jewelry shops with too many people running around. I'm excited to see some sculptures though. Architecture and sculptures are my favorite. Oh yes, and hopefully I'll make it to services this friday night!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Halfway through!

Well, at this point i'm halfway through my Italy trip! I finished my introductory course (but really intermediate) in Italian and I can finally put real sentences together. Awesome. Please excuse the fact that I can't think or speak/write in English very well anymore...

Over the last two weeks a few highlights come to mind. One is our trip to the Island of Giglio. It was honestly the most gorgeous water i've ever seen or swam in, clear blue water, amazing panoroma of the island and the sea...hopefully, you all saw the pictures I posted of it on Facebook. After we had explored the castle at the top of the island we went to the beach there. First, I forgot to put sunscreen on my back because when I left I was wearing a dress and forgot that i'd be getting into my bathing suit at some point that day. To fan the flames, no pun intended, I fell asleep on my stomach at the beach and BURNED everything from my shoulders all the way down to my heels. And let me just tell you, sitting down was hard for the next few days. I did buy a nice wine to take home from the island though, which I am quite excited about.

Over the past week I haven't been doing a whole lot besides eat, study, sleep, and read. And what else should I be doing? I figure that in Florence i'll be exploring more in the afternoon and that i'm getting in most of my "vacation" relaxation in Orbetello. Every day my host asks what I do and when I say read and sleep she always mutters how i'm 22 years old and that I should be out doing something. Love Italian mothers.

I do have to say that i've been quite creative in class. If I can't find the word in Italian i'm thinking of, and can't use my dictionary, I come up with the closest relevant phrase I can think of. So our teacher was asking us to tell a story of how we lost something. The only thing that came to mind was on my 21st birthday when I dropped (lost) a whole roll of toilet paper in the toilet. Classic. Not knowing the word for toilet paper I preceeded to play pictionary on the whiteboard. I draw a terrible version of toilet paper and say that I lost a "page/paper for your butt" or (buttpaper if you will) in the toilet. It was obviously the wrong phrase because my teacher was crying laughing so hard at what I said. I soon came to find out the phrase is carta igenica. I personally prefer foglio per il culo. Or even bigliette per il culo (butt tickets).

So, tomorrow i'm off to Florence to start a new adventure, to meet new people, explore a new city, and somehow fill my brain with more Italian. Onwards!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The first few days in Italy


Well, what an interesting couple of days! I left saturday evening and took a red-eye to zurich. I ended up sitting next to a conductor (small world eh?) and had the best seats in the house other than first class. The exit row has ever comfort except when people are waiting for the bathroom they eiter step into your legroom or put their butt in your face which most likely has a lot of gas build-up. After 7 hours we finally arrived. Then i was supposed to fly from zurich to florence however there was too much wind in florence and just before we were going to land we went back up into the sky. We were all a little confused but we ended up flying to Pisa.I did get a glimpse of Florence and of course it was beautiful. Trying to stick with my original plan I was on the train platform waiting for the train to the main station in florence, but quickly realized that I was actually closer and hopped on a train bound for Rome that stopped in Orbetello. While I was minding my own business ont eh train all of a sudden it started raining grey water in my lap and all over my books for that matter. It was from the light above me which was gross so I quickly dodged out of the way. My host met me at the train station in Orbetello and we had a wonderful dinner at home- pasta, rabbit, prosciutto e melone and then....gelato! There is another woman staying there as well but she goes to a different school in town. We walked around the town center and on the water (the laguna). We speak only italian at home and at school so i'm trying to keep up. Last night at dinner i said something that was quite embarrassing. We were talking about food being natural and i was trying to say it lacked preservatives...however....preservatives in italian means...CONDOMS! so everyone had a great laugh at my expense. Alora....

Yesterday was my second day and i'm already speaking much better and understanding more. In the mornings Haike (the other student living with me, and no she's not asian, she's swiss) and I have a huge cup of coffee (as big as a soup bowl if not bigger) and some crackers, butter and prune jam our host Paola made herself. Last night we went to the beautiful town of Pitigliano. It looks like venice but without the also is one of the major Jewish cities in italy...awesome!! We then went to the baths in Saturnia. They were sulpherous, a little smelly, but natural and relaxing.

Please check out all my pictures I posted on facebook through photobucket. More later!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bon Voyage

Hey there!

I know I haven't posted in over 6 months and there are many things that have happened, but to save you all from long stories i'm going to start back in again from where I am now. The main event is that i'm setting off for Italy in 2 days for an entire month! I will be in the Tuscany region splitting my time between 2 places, Orbetello and Florence. You ask why a small town? Well, i'm trying to immerse myself in the italian language and culture and what better way to do that then by staying in a small town, where most likely most people don't speak english. Florence is a nice bonus though, part of the language school package. I plan on documenting my journey over there with posts and pictures here so stay tuned for updates!