Top of Brunelleschi’s Duomo.
I have arrived in Florence! What a place!
I was dropped off on the edge of the city centre as cars are not allowed in. Looking at a map, both I and my airport pick up decided it was a pretty easy walk. Just straight down here, a right here and keep going straight. Well of course that wasn’t the case. Italian streets have incredibly poorly signage. Half the time you have no idea what street you are on, and by no means are they divided into neat little blocks. After lugging my suitcase through the streets of Florence for a good while, I stumbled upon the school office, almost by chance. There I received my housing info and address. Next step, find it! Turns out it was very close and an easy 1 minute walk back the way I came. Turns out I walked past my apartment a few times while trying to find the office. The apartment sleeps three, and I’m lucky enough to have my own bedroom. There is a living room, good sized equipped kitchen and a pretty darn big bathroom. The beds are comfy but best of all I have wicked roomies.
After arriving yesterday morning and finding my place, my first priority was to settle in, unpack and relax a bit. And I did just that. It felt so good to have my home base set up. Feeling relieved and slightly rested (key word slightly), I decided to walk around a little. I was recommended that I walk to the place where the orientation would be just so I know where I’m going and how long it will take. I step outside my apartment, face in my little map, and start walking. About 10 feet away from the door I look up and what to I see? The one and only Duomo rising above the streets, teasing me. I cant believe I am this close to it. All the time talking and studying it in my Art History classes and now its right in front of me, well a few blocks away. I decide to find the orientation spot then I will go see the Duomo. Easy find, next! Arriving in the Piazza del Duomo, I am completely moved. The beauty and grandeur of the Cathedral was simply breath taking. This is why I came to Florence. I walked around the of the perimeter, then thought, well might as well climb Brunelleschi’s worlds most famous dome. After 463 steps and narrowing passages ways, I emerged atop Florence. Mind blown. Completely spectacular in every aspect.
After climbing up 463 steps ones legs tend to turn to jelly. Walking back down was almost a little tricky. Reaching the bottom, I felt like my knees were going to give. The heat was also getting to me as it was a lovely 35+, so I decided a siesta would be a great idea. It was.
I woke up to one of my room mates arriving and after we chatted a bit and she settled in, we went for a walk back to the Duomo. Her mind was also seriously blown. We picked up some groceries and wine (DUH) on the way back and walked in the door as our other roomie was arriving. We all enjoyed some wine. Then it was seriously my bed time. Sleep came quick.
Today there was an orientation in the morning, followed by a siesta, then we met our landlord, then me and one of the girls went out for dinner. We picked a little restaurant IN the Piazza del Duomo, looking right up at it as we enjoyed our Chianti, caesar salad and pizza. Perfecto!
Now I am wondering why I typed all this and who will actually read it – ha ha. Its nearly 2am and I really should be tired and thinking about bed. However, I am not. The joys of jet lag.
I have made it to Amsterdam. It is currently 7pm and I am fighting off yawning and jet lag. I have checked into my little pod hotel for less then 24 hrs before I fly down to Florence where I will be staying for July.
This hotel is a riot! Its designed for layovers and shorter stays. I have a one room shoe box. As you walk in the door you are greeted by the toilet, which you slide capsule like doors around you for privacy. The shower is similar, and the bed takes up the width of the room at the back against a huge window. I am really impressed. I must post pictures. Everything is in its perfect spot and there is no extra clutter. My big orange suitcase looks out of place with the minimal and modern decor. The entire room is control by remote. Air/heat, blinds, radio, TV, lights…oh did I mention you can select different mood settings with the lights. (tropical, romance, work), where am I?! Japan!? Oh, and the bed is one of the best hotel beds I have experience. And I’ve been around!….to hotels that is.
Tomorrow at this time I will be on a plane to Florence, Italy! This is where my adventure truly starts! I will be diving into art history for the month (July) and exploring some amazing Cathedrals and museums. I am excited to get there, find my apartment, and settle in to the Dolce Vita.
Until next time!