This morning I moved in to my apartment in Florence Italy. After excited months, turned to anxious weeks, turned to terrified days, it has finally arrived. I said good-bye to my mom and my brother this morning at roughly 6am, which I had told my mother last night was “too early for tears.” And as I am sure you can imagine, that plan was a failure. I trudged through the rain, from the “Christina House,” our hotel during our stay in florence, down through the narrow cobblestoned streets, until I finally reached my destination, the SACI main building.
I was told that I was the first student to arrive this morning and I was not surprised because I had shown up roughly ten minutes before they said students were “allowed” to show up. I was greeted with warm smiles and friendly Italian greetings, from everyone excited to begin the new school year. Everything as far as registration and obtaining my housing assignment went about as smoothly as it possibly could have and soon enough I was back out in the streets.
Luckily for me it had stopped raining however, weighed down by now-wet luggage, I plodded off towards my new home. I walked past the now familiar, although still incredibly impressive, awe-inspiring Duomo, and made a right down onto my street, Via del Proconsolo. I located my door, put the key in the lock and turned it. Click! and I walked into the lobby. I successfully climbed the stairs in the pitch black and made it to the top floor. However, my key did not fit in any of the locks on any of the doors on that floor. I found this to be odd so I tried pushing the doorbell of an apartment from which I could hear voices (they were speaking in Italian) inside. I heard the buzzer go off inside the apartment and I waited. Nobody answered the door. I pushed the buzzer four more times and still no answer. Great! I started to make my way back down the steps thinking that I would have to go all the way back to the school to only come back and try my luck again. Thankfully, I realized that no such adventure was necessary when I noticed a “SACI” name-tag thing, by the doorbell of a door one floor below. I had finally found my apartment. I put the key in the lock, turned it a few times, heard the lock open, and pushed the door in. I walked into my apartment (pictures to come) and began to look around. I was the fist to arrive and I was throughly impressed. A full kitchen, a nice sized living room, a room with two beds, two connected single rooms, and two bathrooms. I put my stuff down in the room with the two beds, thought about for a while, picked my bags up, moved them across the room to the other bed, thought about it for a while, picked everything up again walked through the living room and into the first of the two single rooms, put everything down and I was finally content. I went to the window, pulled up the blind, pushed open the shutters and my eyes opened wide. I was staring right at the dome of the Duomo. I had, unknowingly picked the room with the best view. Anybody think I was moving? Hell no.
I dropped my bags and grabbed my skateboard. I had to run back to SACI to pick up my last bag which I had left there so I would not have to carry everything. I rattled along the cobblestones, careful to avoid the holes so I wouldn’t fall on my face. It was one of the coolest things to skate around and look to my left and up and see the Duomo looming over me. Back through the narrow, wet streets to SACI I rolled. I cannot even begin to describe the number of strange looks I got as I pushed by on my little pink board. I picked up my bag and skated back past the Duomo, back to my new home.
Slowly my roommates started to trickle in. First came Brett, a girl from Minnesota who was still a bit jet-lagged. She had left some of her belongings back at SACI’s main building so she and I walked back to SACI to gather her things. I still had my package waiting for me with all of my art supplies, so this gave me the opportunity to grab that and bring it back to my apartment. When we made it back, I began to unpack and settle in, arraigning all of my little trinkets that I have collected over the last two and a half weeks. I was just about finished when I heard someone else enter the apartment. I went to the living room and welcomed Meg to her new home. Meg is from Worcester (Yay Mass) and she, like Brett was also very jet-lagged. About an hour later I met my final roommate, Nick, from a small town in Michigan. Nick changed clothes and then the four of us ventured downstairs and out into Florence. I was the only one who had any idea where I was going because I have had a week to explore (and I have done a lot of exploring). I played tour guide and led our little group to my favorite pizza place which my mother, my brother and I stumbled up a few days ago, O’Vesuvio. After a delicious calzone, it was back to the room for a quick stop and then to the supermercato to do some food shopping. Since shopping, the four of us have just relaxed in the room and gotten more situated. Everyone is asleep now, except for me because I am writing this to tell you all about the wonderful time I am having. Tomorrow begins orientation at 10 am and then who knows. I am going to try to keep up with this whole blogging thing, seeing as I have never done one before, but I will do my best. Photos to come of my adventures and even more stories! Buona Notte! Ciao!