My first week in Firenze has been an unimaginable experience to say the least. There are beautiful landscapes unlike any other, artwork at every corner, and authentic Tuscan food. For the first three days I explored the city and tried my best to find my way around. A big challenge I faced is not knowing where I was going and getting lost all the time. The street names in Florence change every block so it was hard to navigate around. I was beginning to feel very frustrated because of the cultural differences such as not knowing the proper way to order food at a restaurant, not knowing how to buy the fruit at the grocery store, and not knowing how to get to class. As I was walking from class I stumbled upon this open door and from the outside I could see a beautiful garden. I decided to go in and there was a David statute at the center of the garden and a renaissance style fountain. There was also these crests that represented prominent and well known families in Florence. I was mesmerized by the intricate columns and the sculptures. In Florence there is always something to do and something to see. This has easily made me fall in love with this city.
Towards the end of the week I was able to find my way to class and through the city (except the Oltrarno side which is the south side of the river Arno… I’ll get to that next week). I found out that when you go to a restaurant in Italy you wait for the waiters to sit you down and when you are ready to leave you have to ask them for the check or else they will never bother you. Also, when you go to the grocery store each fruit has a number and there’s a scale right next to the fruit. You grab the fruit with gloves and put them in your bag to weigh it. You punch in the number that identifies different fruits and put the sticker onto the bag. Everything that I have learned here has been by trial and error. It is normal to feel frustrated at first since it’s such a different culture. However, this first week I discovered the beauty in being lost.