Getting the Hang of the City: Welcome Dinner and Travel Orientation

The Travel Orientation was this morning — there as a lot of useful travel tips about buses, trains, flights and exploring, and suggestions on where to travel. I think I’d like to visit the Island of Elba for a day, which was one of the suggestions. I really enjoyed it, and it gave me quite a few ideas on where I’d like to visit. The orientation made me realize just how much help the AIFS office can be with planning trips.

Side note: There’s a train ride to Sicily (an Italian island) from Florence. When the train reaches the water, it is dismantled and put onto a ferry boat, shipped over the water to Sicily, and put back together on the island; all the while the passengers remain onboard!

After the orientation we stopped by an electronics store; it’s interesting how small all of the shops in Italy are. In America we’re accustomed to rows and rows of large, glass windows filled with displays and exposing the interior of the shop. In Italy, it is easy to accidentally pass the shop you are looking for, because the stores here are very small, with perhaps one window and the entrance door. There also aren’t any glaring neon signs — I had to pay more attention to shops I am looking for.

We stopped by a pastry shop, and I bought a cute small heart-shaped frozen pastry (I had to wait at least 20 minutes before eating it).

I had my first class today, Italian Renaissance Art. What interested me most was an introduction into the subject of iconography in art, the use of symbols in artwork. It was getting very cold out, so after class my roommate Kat and I ran home and grabbed extra coats, then went to meet everyone from the program for the Welcome Dinner.

My meal was pretty good, and it was made vegetarian and gluten-free for me 🙂

I recommend letting the AIFS staff know of any special dietary needs as soon as possible, which is what I did. I also learned the words “Vegetariana” and “Senza glutine,” which means ‘Vegetarian’ and ‘Gluten-free,” which I used to communicate to the waiters tonight.

 I had a Caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella and basil with olive oil), gluten free pasta, potatoes, and fruit for desert.

 Kat, Elizabeth and Shelby at dinner.

 The whole place was just filled with the students and faculty from the program. (There are about 90 students).

 Creeper photo of our waiter.  A lot of the Italian guys here have this type of haircut, where the sides are shaved and the top is long. There are more extreme versions of this haircut I’ve seen already.

My roommates Kat and Elizabeth and I were pretty tired by the time dinner was over, so we walked home, passing the Piazza Santa Croce (“Kro-Chey”) on the way home.

It’s nice not to need a map when we walk home anymore! We’ve nearly gotten lost about 3 times now. More on that later!

Side note: There are about 5,000 study abroad students in Florence at any given time.

I Skyped my dog Leonard in the evening too:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s