(I’ll keep this short and sweet because I’ve more or less stopped updating this thing…)
What I learned in Italy:
I had dreamed about going to Italy for years, and I finally did it. However, I realized that the breath-taking experiences that traveling gives you are nothing without loved ones to share it with. Sure, solitary thoughts are good, but true happiness comes when you can share these fond memories.
So… grazie mille Italia. It was a wonderful five weeks. I hope to see you again in the future, but I don’t plan on doing it alone.
My final days in Florence! :’(
-Went to the Giardino di Orticoltura with some friends to see the Butterfly garden exhibit. Unfortunately it was closed for a… children’s fashion show (?!?) but the garden was a really cute park, and the weather was gorgeous, so it was still a nice walk.
-The farwell dinner was okay. Warm, and awkward at times, but at least here there were a COUPLE more familiar faces to chat with.
-Afterwards my friend Marie and I went to the steps of the Duomo to chat and make up for lost time. The weather was beautiful and felt great at 10 at night!
-Then we heard some processional music around. We got up and walked around to find out that there was a parade! Apparently they got their festivies early for the holiday.
-That’s right, here in Florence, today is a holiday! The Festa di San Giovanni! Tonight there are fireworks, so I think I’ll go see those.
-Packing/mopping/cleaning the apartment has been tough. Yet, I’m getting it all done. It’s pretty sad though- I know I’ve been bitching an moaning about leaving, but I am gonna miss the place. My roommates are already gone too! That’s not the least bit scary at all…
-Went to San Lorenzo market and Mercato Centrale one last time to buy stuff. This time, I was buying souvenirs … for me! :D
-Had lunch at Trattoria Da Guido again because I don’t know when I’m gonna have their divine penne gorgonzola con noci. Of course it was AMAZING. What a great last lunch.
OKAY. I have more packing and cleaning and eating to do! This will be my last blog post before I go back home, but I will DEFINITELY update some more in a few days, wrapping things up about my total experience here in Florence. Until then, have a great Festa di San Giovanni!
Me, being goofy at the Piazza Liberta
Climbed to the top of Brunelleschi’s Duomo in Florence. The view was just… incredible. I didn’t want to leave. On a nice day, I highly recommend shelling out the euro’s to climb the 400+ (gasp!) steps to the top. Also, go in the morning to avoid the lines. :)
On a little cafe on Via Faenza not far from Mercato Centrale, I saw an interesting sign in the window. 6 euro’s for a drink and an apertivi buffet? Hmm… I don’t think Italians understand the USA concept of buffets. Regardless, I have two words: Challenge Accepted.
Now, apertivi is the Italian concept of finger foods, basically appetizers, but usually free at really nice events or restaurants. As such, they had many little things. Still, at a buffet, many little things add up to sufficient meal. ;)
Among the choices were little sandwiches of prosciutto cotto and crudo, various cheeses, potatoes and spinach, cooked rice, avocado dip with bread, pizza with funghi, frittata sandwiches, green beans and carrots, small pasta shells, and lots of other little stuff.
For a drink I decided to be classy and have red wine. I didn’t really like it- no insult to the wine, I’m just guessing that really nice wines aren’t to my taste.
Overall, it was satisfying. I had a certain perception of “buffet” that I guess wasn’t quite what I paid for. Still they were very nice and didn’t judge me as I went up to get seconds… and thirds… and fourths, fifths, and sixths. I filled up, and certain foods were great (avoacdo dip!) while others were lacking (the pizza). I’m docking a star because they could have warmed up the food more. I recommend it if and ONLY if you realize that these are small finger foods and that you’ll need to eat a lot of them in order to be actually full.
Creampuffs from a cafe/bakery right here on Via San Antonino. These were divine, and totally worth the 2.60. It’s nice to have something other than gelato for once. Frozen, these treats are even better. The little chocolate one was so good, I may have actually shed a tear. I highly recommend it, it’s on the corner where S. Antonino meets Mercato Centrale. So get one after eating at Nerbone! ;)
This sandwich is far and away the best thing I’ve ever eaten in Italy (and possibly my life). It’s from Nerbone, the trattoria within Mercato Centrale, and what I’m eating is the Panino Ribollita, or boiled beef sandwich. Served with optional spicy salsa’a, the meat is cooked to the perfect tenderness. I don’t highly recommend it- I URGE anyone who is going to Florence to buy at least one. I could easily scarf down two, and at the price of 3 euro’s each, it’s beyond worth it. Plus, look how happy I am!
It’s been awhile, sorry I haven’t really talked about my life in over a week. That’s just a testament to how much I haven’t been doing anything “interessante.”
-My Italian final is in like three hours. Now is the PERFECT time to go on tumblr!
-I visited several museums using my inclusive pass, including the Orsanmichele, the San Marco, the Pitti Palace Museum, and the Bargello. The Bargello was the most amazing, the bronze sculpture exhibit was just… so beautiful.
-I also went (and unfortunately had to shell out euro’s for) The Strozzi exhibit about Miro, Dali, and Picasso, and the Museum of Santa Maria Novella… which was really just a church.
-Every museum and the art and architecture from hundreds of years ago really does humble me. It’s like… people LIVED in these palaces. It’s jaw-dropping.
-Yesterday some guys tried to guilt me into buying a leather jacket. I’m pretty sure it was a woman’s jacket though. Still, he gave me a sick deal, so I might go back and try on other things and see if I can haggle the sh^& out of it.
-The view from the top of the Duomo… is just unbelieveable. It really made me realize that I AM gonna miss this city.
-Watching Scooby-Doo in Italian is TOTALLY a form of studying… right?
Okay, I’m off to go study for reals. Hopefully I’ll update ONE last time before I leave on Saturday.
Part of the Bargello exhibit. I loved these birds, they were amazing.
Check out me and my new Italian haircut, lol.
ps- Biscottino flavored gelato is immaculate.