Sorry for the radio silence recently! I’ve been busy with traveling and midterms, but I’m done with the stress of midterms (for now) so I finally have a chance to sit down and write!!
Last weekend, I made the trip up to Firenze to see the Marywood architecture students that are studying there. I hopped in a cab to Termini, then on a Frecciarossa train, and in a mere hour and fifteen minutes I was in Firenze! I had rented an AirBnB for the weekend, which was super nice and not too far from the center of the city. I think AirBnBs are the way to go now. They are usually much cheaper than hotels and sometimes the same price as a hostel and they are much nicer. Around 5:00 I met my friend Ben in front of Santa Maria Novella Church and it was so nice to see a familiar face for the first time in 6 weeks. Making new friends has been great (and challenging), but there is such a comfort in seeing someone who you haven’t just met and has known you for more than a month. He showed me around and I’m still amazed at how different Rome and Florence are. I saw all of the major sites in one evening and didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. I’ve been in Rome for a month and there a still places I have yet to see. We were wandering around and then all of the sudden the Duomo appeared out of nowhere! I gasped and said “wow” out loud when I saw it. One minute we were walking down a side street and the next, we turned the corner and it was right there! Ben mentioned to me how you can pretty much see the dome from anywhere in Florence. The details on the outside of the Duomo are simply amazing. It might be one of my favorite buildings I’ve seen so far, besides the Vatican. We got dinner and headed back to his apartment to visit with the other guys. It was so odd to see them all together in a different country. I’m so used to seeing them on campus or doing work in the architecture building so they seem out of place, but it was so nice to see them all. Unfortunately it rained all day Saturday so I didn’t get to see much of the city because, as I have learned, Italians do not go out when it rains. I was able to get some studying done and they got some of their architecture stuff done so it wasn’t like the day was totally wasted. Around 4:00, I met up with Ben, Matt, and Joe to grab sandwiches at Al’ Antico Vinaio. They have all been raving about this place and now I see why. The sandwiches are huge and only 5 euro! It took me a while to finish mine. It had ham, ricotta cheese, zucchini, and artichokes on it and it was delicious. We went to a pub in the evening and then walked over to Il Porcellino. Il Porcellino is the bronze boar statue and the legend is if you rub its nose and put a euro in it’s mouth, and the euro falls into the grate below, you will return to Florence. Well my euro didn’t fall into the grate, so I guess I’ll never go back! 😦 I hope that doesn’t happen though because I LOVED it there. I felt more at home there than I do in Rome.
On Sunday I went to mass at the Duomo with my friend Joe. I couldn’t go to Florence without seeing the inside of it, so what better way to see it then mass! The mass was said in Latin and as usual it was beautiful. We sat very close to the altar and was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Yet another thing I can check off my bucket list! I was sad to leave them, but I had a great weekend. Ben was a great tour guide and it was so nice to see them all. I can’t wait until they come to Rome so I can show them around!
Next stop: EMILY COMES TO TOWN & PERUGIA FOR THE CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL!