I can’t believe how quickly this month has flown by! It seems like only yesterday I was on the plane making the long painful journey to Florence. But as I explore more of Italy my love of Florence continues to grow, and I become more convinced that Florence was the perfect choice for me.
I’ve spent three of the past four weekends traveling throughout Italy. I visited Juliet’s balcony in Verona, got a beautiful view of Florence from Fiesole, saw the Vatican City and Rome, and explored the waterways of Venice and Murano. Despite the freezing temperatures, Verona was one of my favorite cities so far. My favorite thing was the locks that lined the gates by Juliet’s balcony, placed there by the many couples that were looking for luck in love. It was hard to enjoy our free time in the city with the cold weather, and we had to stay on the bus for half of our walking tour, but overall the city had so much history and beauty it was difficult to find many faults in the city. The cold also impacted our trip to Fiesole where were ended up cutting our tour an hour short because of the snow and harsh winds. However, the view of Florence was amazing and it’s only a short bus ride away so I will definitely be taking a trip back there before the semester ends. I also went on my first train ride, all by myself to meet my mom and sister in Rome and although it was a little nerve racking, when I finally make it to the B&B I felt like I had really accomplished something. It was great to see my mom and little sister and explore all the amazing history throughout Rome, and of course enjoy the gelato! Lastly, in Venice I felt like I really got a feel for the city when my friends and I got lost on our way back to the hotel at night. Although it was a little scary we had a lot of fun and laughed the whole time and luckily make it back to the hotel at a decent hour, and in one piece and in Murano it was amazing to see the glassblowers at work, and of course buy some gifts for people back home. As much fun as I had in each of these cities, at the end of the day I was happy to come home to Florence.
Every time I walk down the street here, I am blown away by the amazing architecture. This month I started my community service giving English tours of Santa Croce. Santa Croce is the largest Franciscan church in the world and the burial place of some of the most famous people in history such as: Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo. I am working with a program called ARS ET FIDES, which provides free tours of many churches in Florence, including Santa Croce and the Duomo, in many different languages. Due to the season, and the lack of English speaking tourists going through the church when I’m there, I haven’t given many tours.
However, all the research I did when I first got my community service assignment was extremely interesting, and I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge and meeting many interesting people as time goes on.
After my first full month in Florence I am only more excited to see what is to come, and for all the exciting weekend trips I have planned! But for now, I’m glad to have a weekend off to relax and enjoy Florence.
Jordana – Lynn University