Life in Florence

It’s kind of funny, I go to Italian class every morning, and my teacher asks me what I did after class yesterday.  I usually respond with something along the lines of, “it was good…I didn’t do too much.”  And she responds, “niente di bello?”  Asking me, “nothing special?” or “nothing nice or fun?”  Well, I guess now that I stop to think about it, I should be answering yes.

Because I have been blessed to visit Florence many times before, I don’t feel the same push to go around and see all of the top tourist sites like others might; but that is just the way that I wanted it.  I wanted to come to Florence, study Italian, and just wander the city and enjoy all of its natural beauty and history.

So maybe nothing terribly new or out of the ordinary compared to other visitors or students, but it is the simple Tuscan life that I am living right now, and I would have it no other way.

I wake up (early) for school.  Wow.  I wake up for school.  I kind of never thought that I would hear those words about myself again.  And even stranger…I am excited to go to school!  As soon as I am ready, I head out to grab a cappuccino from my favorite spot nearby school, Caffè Gilli.  At this time of the morning, the city is quiet, and the cafe is filled with locals fitting in a quick coffee and pastry before work.  I (gladly) follow suit.

Post cappuccino high, I walk over to the Istituto il David and dive right in.  After 2 hours of intense grammar, I have a 20 minute break.  The moment the bell rings for our break (yes, there really is a bell), I run down the stairs and make it back to Caffè Gilli, quickly enjoy a macchiato and then get back to school with enough time to climb the very large 5 flights of stairs…and have a spare minute to catch my breath.

After 2 more hours of conversation class, my head is spinning a little, and I am more than ready for my lunch break.  I brought with me to Florence a very long list of restaurants to either re-visit or new places to try.  So pretty much everyday brings a new adventure.  Pasta, a panini, pizza –  whatever I have, I know that it will be delicious.

the famous, and rightly so, panini from All’antica Vinao

one of our favorite restaurants in Florence, Trattoria Mario

After lunch, I wander the city.  I typically don’t have a destination in mind, just the desire to wander every tiny little street that gives Florence its charm. I stop in little shops, practice my Italian with some of the locals, and occasionally stop for a gelato.

Basilica di Santa Croce

the beautiful view of the Ponte Vecchio from the Ponte Santa Trinita

Mercato di San Lorenzo

Cattedrale Santa Maria del Fiore

I usually get home by late afternoon, and have found myself spending a few hours working on homework and catching up on work emails.  By the time dinner rolls around, I either eat leftovers from lunch or a few light things that I had picked up from the food store.  Then I head out for a little passeggiata (stroll) to cap off the evening.

So nothing particularly exciting, yet all so special and amazing at the same time.  I am in Florence.  I am literally living my dream of living in Italy.  So Francesca, tomorrow when you ask me, “niente di bello?”  You better believe that I will be answering, “tutto di bello.”