After having finished placement in Gran Canaria at the end of November, I managed to scoop myself a lovely 2 month break over the Christmas period to spend chilling at home. I also took a short trip to Naples, Florida and spend two weeks in Florence, Italy.
It was pretty much my first proper experience in Italy, as I don’t really count my whistle stop 4 hour tours of Pisa and Pompeii. Although a little nervous about my sheer lack of Italian language knowledge, I was really up for a change of scenery and some new culture. It started of on a dodgy foot when I was left waiting for an hour at the airport for my ‘ride’. When it eventually came, I was fearing for my life every second I was in the car, and didn’t understand a single thing the random people were saying to me. Finally at my accommodation, I quickly realised it would also be a chilly 2 weeks with no heating in my room and only a sheet and thin blanket to keep me warm. I ended up sleeping in two coats one night. Not only ridiculously cold, I’m pretty sure it was also in the ghetto part of Florence, so wearing extra layers in case of stabbings was completely necessary.
The city itself is so gorgeous. The architecture is stunning, but it took me only about 4 hours to see everything of interest. Megan came down from Verona for a day and we rented bikes to tour the city centre. We were pro riders. Sign us up to the Giro d’Italia right now. I also proved myself to be a budding mechanic when my bike chain came off twice. Wandering about with oil all over my hands and clothes wasn’t so classy and professional though.
We didn’t actually make it inside any of the important buildings. Seeing the outside was more than enough for us. They were all very pretty. To me that’s all Florence is; pretty, but also expensive. My gelato at Ponte Vecchio cost me something ridiculous like 7 euros. It was my first and last gelato in Florence. However the Italian Leather Market was a pretty good experience for us. Someone even begged us to take their stock for free.
Funnily enough, (or not really because I’m quite boring and not very cultured), I actually went to Florence to study. I undertook a 2 week Italian course which ended up being pretty helpful and quite entertaining besides the fact the teacher hated me and an Asian lady told me she dreamt about me at night and tended to sketch me during classes. Getting to class was a pretty lengthy walk, although it did take me through the main piazza and past some nice churches. Although, Florence has stupidly small pavements which aren’t wide enough to pull a suitcase on, resulting in me trudging through the cobbled streets yanking a 23 kilo case, getting death stares of the ghetto residents. Even me walking on the pavement to class was impossible. Local Florentines also don’t care if they push you off these miniature walkways. One day I trekked for 50 minutes on this stupid pavement to a supermarket to buy some basic food including bread for toast and microwave popcorn. On my return to the crummy flat I realised I was without a toaster or microwave. How is it possible to survive without either? I’ll never know. To top my 2 weeks off, my wench of a landlady charged me 20 euros out of my deposit for having Megan over to stay. I repaid her by leaving all my rubbish in my bedroom and some opened raw chicken in the fridge. That’ll teach her.