It’s been a busy couple of weeks, so I thought I’d take the time to quickly update what’s been going on.
On our first weekend here, we ventured out into Florence to acquaint ourselves with the city. From the Villa (and from my apartment), it’s pretty easy to get into the city center via bus.
We also found the public library in Florence, where many Italian students go to study and hang out with friends. (It looks quite different from the libraries that I know!)
And, of course, this isn’t Florence without stumbling upon a statue or two.
I also got my first gelato of the semester at a place near Piazza della Signoria.
Over the weekend, I also moved into my host family’s apartment. More photos of that later, but it’s been a wonderful experience so far!
During orientation, Alan took us on a “walking tour” of Fiesole. Turns out, it was more of a hike than a walking tour, but that’s just semantics. We hiked up to Piazzale Leonardo, where Leonardo Da Vinci famously tested out his flying machines.
On Sunday, we had some time to get lost in the city, armed with a map in hand. One of the highlights was crossing the Arno right at sunset, when the sun casts a beautiful golden glow over the buildings.
Last week, we began our first week of classes, a fairly condensed schedule since we only have class four days a week. After my Italian class every morning, I have some combination of the other three courses that I’m taking this semester: a government course on EU Identity and Globalization, a history course on the Late Renaissance, and another government course on Italian Politics since 1796. In between, I get some reading done in the library or music room at the Villa.
On Wednesday, I tagged along with the Art History class to visit the Bargello and Uffizi––two of the great art museums located here in Florence. Last Friday, we took a group field trip to meet local artists and paint our own scarves for our City of Florence class, a 1-credit course that encourages us to get out and explore an aspect of the city.
Over the weekend, Julia and I decided to jump right into sightseeing, pulling off an exhausting 12-hour day at Museo dell Piedre Dure, Museo di San Marco and the church, and several more hours at the Uffizi. I also bought a student annual pass, which will hopefully allow for many more museum visits over the next several months. We put it to use on Sunday, by going to visit Michelangelo’s iconic David at the Accademia.