Happy Monday guys! I hope that you’ve had a nice weekend and are having a great Monday! This past week for me was so great! Florence is already starting to feel like a second home.
While wandering the streets of Florence last week, I had the idea to sign up for a library card. I know this is probably a surprise to some of you because the library is not the most exciting place, but a little background on this may help you understand. One of my favorite things to do in the States when I am stressed out about schoolwork, or life in general, is to go to the Rockville Library and sit by the huge windows. I feel like it helps me sort through my thoughts and ideas, and this is basically the equivalent. And no, I am not feeling stressed at the moment, but it can be hard to do schoolwork when all I want to do is go out and explore the beautiful streets of Florence! The library is so beautiful: It is an open building, with a lot of sunlight coming in, with young and older people hanging out and enjoying their afternoons with a cup of coffee or a pastry. The experience itself just made me feel like I was a local, a member of a community here in this city. Another great perk of the library is the view. There is a great restaurant and patio where one can sit and enjoy a great breeze and a beautiful view of the Duomo.
The woman who helped me sign up for the library card was very kind and patient. She asked me for my ID and gave me a form to fill out. After that, she gave me a welcome packet, a list of all the libraries that I have access to in Florence, and a card with my name on it. Next, I took a tour of the library and checked out some of the books that the library offers.
I went back there with my friends to hang out, and we had such a great time. We got a hot chocolate and sat there and talked for hours. This is another great thing about Italy: You can sit at a restaurant or space for however long without anyone rushing you to leave. The lifestyle here is just so relaxed…I love it!
I also went on my first run to the Piazzale Michelangelo. I woke at 7:00 on Thursday morning, and ran for about two miles before I reached the top. It felt so different seeing the streets so empty. I was able to see the city from a whole new perspective. I saw the locals walking to work, merchants opening shop, and other workers cleaning up the streets. I also saw some tourists already at the main monuments taking pictures before the crowds arrived. I thought that it was quite the commitment… But I probably would have done the same! Florence tends to get very busy during peak hours, and one can’t always enjoy the art with the overwhelming crowds.
And lastly, last Friday, my group and I visited a couple of wineries on the countryside of Florence. We had the chance to taste some of the finest wines in Florence and view some of the most picturesque sights of the city. It was a really great experience to see the process grapes go through to finally become wine. We learned a lot of about Italian culture, about how Italians feel about food and wine, and about one of the most powerful families that existed in Italy: The Medicis.
I wish I could put all my experience into words, but I feel like it would not do it justice, so here are some photos to help! I hope you have enjoyed this week’s blog! Don’t forget to tune in next week to see where I wander next and check out what the other bloggers are up to later this week for some beautiful sights and foods. Have a great week!