When I first arrived in Italy, I was overwhelmed with the number of friendly people (men in particular) I encountered while acquainting myself with the beautiful city of Florence. Their usual comments including “ciao bella” (hello beautiful girl) and “bellissima” (very beautiful girl) were definite self-esteem boosters for an average American girl with limited Italian experience.
Beginning at a young age, my parents have always stressed the importance of traveling in safe, well-made vehicles. Therefore, riding on a motorcyle/scooter would be absolutly out of the question. When I first arrived in Florence, I was shocked at the number of people that drived scooters. Unfortunately, I have regretfully noticed how wrecklessly most of them choose to drive
I was shopping in the Supermarket yesterday when something strange happened to me.Perhaps I should preface the story by saying that I come from California- a land of freedom where grocery store ethics are almost nil. That said, I was browsing the fruit section on a Thursday night shopping trip.I was shopping for myself and thus - trying to pick the best and smallest grape bunch from an assortment of monstrous bunches that I knew would go bad before I got the chance to eat them all. Now speaking as a single person from the land of supermarket freedom - I would say that I was within my bounds and those of common decency. And perhaps I was.
The sounds of church bells are what awakens me on Sunday morning. Not at all a bad way to wake up and thankfully the first ones don’t strike until 8:45am, so I am not forced out of bed too early.If I stay in bed for another 15 minutes, the second reminder of Sunday sounds as the bells attempt to call me to church.I’m living in the Santo Spirito area of Firenze, so happy to have moved away from my first apartment by the Ponte Vecchio.My new place is only 25 Euros more a week and it’s more than worth it for its tranquility (one of the few places in Firenze where I’ve not heard the constant noise of Vespas, talking and metal rolling doors being lowered and raised).
In order to enjoy Portofino to its fullest, plan on spending at least two days there. Once you decide on the best time to go, you can purchase a train ticket at Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. A ticket costs approximately €30 round-trip. Unfortunately, you must switch trains at least once along the way because there are no trains which go directly to Portofino. Luckily, it is not necessary to repurchase a ticket each time you board a new train. All together, the train ride can last between three to four hours depending on how many times you switch trains. While on the train, be sure to glance out the window and admire the beautiful Italian countryside
If you are one of those students lucky enough to not only study abroad in Florence but also have your parents visit you, then naturally you will want to make it worth their money and effort.What do you do when I genitori arrive? Of course priorities will vary depending on the nature of your family. Here you are some useful tips!!
It’s a little past 2 on a regular night in Florence. Along via de’ Benci and farther down past Piazza Santa Croce on via Verdi, people pour out on to the street as the bars and clubs begin to close.While some congregate outside to smoke and chat or stumble to the next place for more dancing and drinks elsewhere, others go in search of something different: a secret bakery.Just off via de’Benci, through the small Piazza Peruzzi, and down a couple of narrow, dimly lit streets, a cluster of people can usually be found outside the non-descript doors of via del Canto Rivolto 2. A sign taped to the glass doors reads, “Please be quiet”. Nothing else. Only the golden glow shining through the glass doors lets you know something’s going on inside. That and the intoxicatingly sweet smell that floats through the air and beckons you inside like a siren call.