First Gelato, First Pizza, and First Day!

Posted on September 2nd, 2010 by

I would have never imagined that so many exciting things could happen in such a small amount of time! In a nutshell, since we got off the plane in the Florence airport we managed to go to our hostel, roam downtown, eat gelato, eat at a pizzeria (gustapizza!!!), get a good night’s rest (jetlag succccks), find our school, get our keys, find our apartment and FIND INTERNET (obviously haha)! So here I am, sitting in this comfortable bed, waiting for my other two roommates to arrive here. So, as I wait, patiently and relaxingly (is that a word?), I will give you an account of these very exciting inaugural moments in Florence!

Upon arriving at the Florence airport, Melanie and I immediately met up with my cousin, Lotte, who has lived in Florence ever since she completed here three-year program in Florence a year ago. She was our tour-guide for the night (it helps knowing the tour guide personally!). We left the airport and took a taxi from there, across the whole city, and over to our hostel for that one evening: plusflorence. Seeing as we weren’t able to receive keys to our apartment until this morning, we had no other choice but to spend the night in a hostel. The hostel was actually very nice! There were no murderers, rapists, or sets for a terrifying horror movie! Mainly it was a bunch of touristy foreigners speaking random languages I couldn’t exactly understand.

After checking in at the hotel and grabbing some euros, we headed out for a quick tour of the city! Lotte first brought us along the road that brought us straight to our school headquarters and then, conveniently, to the duomo!  Now, I know pictures of the duomo and people just talking and talking about the duomo is stereotypical, but I now see why they all rant about it! It is just breathtaking! Phenomenal! I kind of do not mind walking past it every day to get to class :) I do not think i’ll mind at all!

After the duomo, we crossed the river to the ‘less’ touristy side of Florence. This side of the town is still very dense (as is all of florence) but contains more residents than tourists. This side is where my cousin lives and works! Her work is actually very famous and a couple of weeks ago fed the entire band Muse (which I coincidently am listening to!). After visiting her work, we ate at her favorite pizzeria (gustapizza) which actually has non-traditional Italian pizza! Instead of having a very thin crust…this pizza was bit thicker, but still, quite amazing! A great first experience of Italian food! And of course, for dessert, we hit up a gelato stand! GELATO IS EVERYWHERE! It is just so amazing. I had mango and hazelnut…which was so good! But I’m sure you could have figured that by yourself :)

Well, shortly following our meal of pizza and gelato we just simply wandered around the city admiring the night life of downtown Florence. Even on a Tuesday night, nothing compares. Everyone is out, but no one is obnoxious. It is a calm fun. The best kind! As the night slowly drained on, and our jet lag began to catch up on us, we left Lotte to go back to her apartment and we made our way back to our hostel to finish the night up there! A great first day. That’s how I imagined it!

All-in-all, the first night in Italy along with the hostel (which was actually quite nice…unlike all of the movies/popular media) was a success. We had big plans for Wednesday: find our school, find our apartment keys, and find our apartment! At 10:00 A.M., we set off! We dragged our luggage (thankfully I only had one bag!) across half of Florence (I’m being dramatic) and found our ‘school.’ Turns out it was just a student meeting place at our school we had found…The nice front secretary, however, tried to help us out by sending us to the correct location. Turns out, we don’t understand directions…or at least Florence’s directions! First, it took us quite the amount of time finding the building. It took us a trip back to the student meeting place, three random strangers who knew nothing, and a trip to the library, the art portion of LDM, and finally down the correct street for us to finally find where we could get our keys! The process got much easier from that moment on! Whenever we had to find somewhere, like our cell phone company and our apartments, we knew how to search this time! So, as I was saying, we got our keys and then set off! Melanie headed towards her apartment which was near our hostel we stayed at, and I headed off in the complete opposite direction towards mine!

This is where things began to get quite exciting! Not only did the realization that I was actually living in an apartment in downtown florence hit me, my neighborhood is great! As I got closer and closer to my apartment, I began to worry that it might be loud with a large monument near my place (never did I ever think this would be a concern!). However, the next direction was a right onto a quite street called via magalotti. I found my apartment, apartment 9, and walked up the three flights of tightly enclosed stairs and finally opened the door to the place I would call home for the next 3 and l/2 months! Needless to say, I am beyond ecstatic I will be living here! When they say ‘furnished apartment,’ holy crap do they mean furnished! Complete with a living room (with a futon for anyone who wants to visit!), a kitchen (with the sweetest fridge and every utensil to make ANYTHING!) and two bedrooms (with spectacular views), this apartment is more than I EVER expected!

After unpacking and exploring our apartment, I was going to take a 20 minute nap and then meet Melanie on the steps of the duomo at 2:00 P.M. to go pick up our rental phones. At that time it was about 1:00, so I set an alarm for twenty minutes and closed my eyes…1 hour and 20 minutes later, I grudgingly looked at the clock to see how much of my 20 minutes I had left and realized it was 2:20! Seeing as neither Melanie nor I had functional phones, I was very worried we were going to not meet up again for a while! So, I quickly got everything together and scurried to the duomo! Thankfully, the exact same thing happened to Melanie! Both late, we headed towards the cell phone store and picked up our cell phones hoping that mix-up wouldn’t happen again anytime soon!

Now that we were back together, phones in hand, we went to my apartment and then to Melanie’s to show off our new homes to each other! Melanie’s apartment is nothing like mine! Her’s is a little roomier (seeing as it houses 4 instead of 3) and a littler girlier :) Other than that, we both are very happy with our accommodations! Next, we headed toward the city again (it was about 5:00 PM) to get some drinks and food! We ended up wandering around Florence until about 11 that night just soaking everything in, eating at another pizzeria, (where Melanie experienced her first ‘real’ salad!) playing cards (we got some stares!!) and having different drinks near the duomo! Once again, the day was a success! However, once I got back to my apartment, only one of my roommates seemed to have moved in, but he was gone! He never returned that night and I’m still curious as to where he is (it’s about 7:30 A.M.). I have no worries he will return though :) Also, I am having espresso this morning. I’m psyched.



One Comment

  1. Allison Alsaker says:

    Sam, this sounds awesome!!! =) I’m so glad you’re having a great time! I’ll be following your blog. ^^