I went for a 40 minutes walk at 6:40 am along Il Fiume Arno (“The Arno River”) which runs through Florence. It was sprinkling and crisp out.
Il Fiume Arno
Scooters along the sidewalk.
“Giornali” = Newspaper
An average street.
The little cars drive pretty fast though the narrow lanes of the city.
Side note: Apparently if you order “pepperoni” for your pizza in Florence, you will receive veggies (peppers) on your pizza!
Apartments: Later in the morning we had our Orientation, and then were distributed out to our apartments by taxi. Each apartment is in a different area in Florence, all within around 20 minutes walking distance from the school, and all within the historic district. Each apartment is unique, and it’s a total mystery which apartment students will be assigned. The apartments are all at least 300 years old.
I’m in a lovely apartment with two other study abroad students, and we walked to a few restaurants and grocery stores and did some grocery shopping.
What I learned about Italian Grocery Stores:
1. You weigh vegetables yourself prior to checking out, and stick a printed barcode sticker onto them which is scanned at the register.
2. Italian grocery cashiers serve you while seated (as opposed to American cashiers who remain standing).
3. You are expected to bag your own groceries.
4. You are charged a small fee for using plastic bags (similar to the small charge in the U.S. for bags).
I had dinner with some class mates at “Masticabrodo,” one of the restaurants participating with the AIFS meal voucher plan. Their tiramisu was the best I’ve had so far! Tiramisu is a chilled sponge dessert made with coffee, a sweet liquor and mascarpone cheese. The name translates as “pick me up.”
I’ll be signing up for many of the AIFS cultural events, like seeing a Florentine soccer game and taking a pizza-making classes among other cultural activities, like the weekend trip to Verona and Venice. I shall post about them all.
Side note: Horse meat is served in Verona.