Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy Days Are Here Again

It's definitely nice to be in school again. I'm meeting so many cool people, ages ranging from 19 to 45, and from all over the world. I really like a girl named Peggy. She's 20 (tomorrow!) and from Holland. She is living in Chianti with her Italian boyfriend's family and has been here for six months now. I think it's great how Europeans speak so many languages, or atleast have the willingness to learn. I would love to go back to school and study French intensively, maybe Spanish too, but for now, my goal is to dedicate one year to the language of the country in which I am living.

Grocery shopping at EsseLunga is such a fun experience! In fact, I just came back from the store right now. The food is so healthy and so there are so many delicious things to choose from. Cheese, meat (so much for the vegetarianism!), pasta, and of course, dolci (sweets). Been continuing to drink 2.5-3L of water a day, and by the way, water is so cheap here compared to Canada. You can get 2L for 0,43E, equivalent to $0.65CAD. But to be honest, water is probably the only thing in the entire of Italy which is cheaper than in Canada. Cappucino ranges anywhere from 0,80E to 4,50E, depending on where you take your coffee, either standing at the bar, or seated at a table. Location of the bar in the city also makes a difference, as I experienced in Milan. Avoid the centre, otherwise you will pay 6,00E for 3 sips of coffee! Maybe I do look like a tourist, but in any case, it won't happen again.

So, in short, I am loving it here in Florence. It's so nice to be living in this city, as opposed to being a tourist. Every day I meet two or three new people, and my schedule is always full with walks here, cappuccinos there, I love it! I am happy with my school in the end, especially because I like the girls in my classes, and they really try their best to organize activities for us we can become better acquainted with eachother and the city.

Until tomorrow...ciao ciao!

C'era una volta

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wonderful World of Web Cafes...

...these places suck. Gotta put out the fires.

But on a better note, meeting some girls from school tonight and going to a few discos, should be fun.

Winter Wonderland

No snow in Florence, unlike the westcoast of Canada, but still, the city is so beautiful at this time of the year. I took this photo last night when I was out with some girls from school. We were on a walking tour near Ponte Vecchio, just after having lunch. I can't wait to see this city completely lit up for Christmas. Just last night the city workers were putting up the lights near Duomo.
Already my time in Italy is going by fast. Can't believe it's already been 6 weeks! School is fine, not nearly as challenging as I was hoping, maybe I just need to be patient and see how it is later this week. There are some girls who speak quite well after studying for only a couple of months, so there is hope.

The long weekend is coming up, it falls on December 8, so I will be heading back to Milan to see friends. Another fun weekend!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Istituto il David - via de' Vecchieti, 1

Yes, I know, I was supposed to start my Italian school yesterday, but, uh hum, I was still in Milan. :0)

Better late than never. 9am start with grammar. Apparently I am terrible and so was placed in the beginner class, but to my shock, was put into the intermediate conversation class! To be honest, I think they will place anyone in the intermediate conversation class if one can communicate, to some degree, in Italian with the secretary.

There are lots of nice people at school, Americans, Chileans, Germans, Swiss, Japanese and Dutch. Had lunch with the girls, proceeded by a walking tour, and tomorrow we're going for aperitivo and then nightclubs. Guess that means I need to buy some new clothes tomorrow because my luggage is still in Milan.

Now, off to the apartment, toss the paper ball around with Micia, and dinner with a friend.

Ciao, ciao!

A little bit of Canada to throw in the mix..........

Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks... Spoke with mom last night, Mazda is on her best behaviour, finally. Though still cautious with her feline flatmates, but now accepting of the one that feeds her. Good work, Mazda!

Monday, November 27, 2006


So this is Micia, sitting contently in her chair, the sun warming her fur.


Hour after hour
Day after day
Year after year after year
I'll be here

Friday, November 24, 2006

Photos Repubblica (location of La Rinascente = Canada's version of Holt Renfrew)

Ponte Vecchio on a Wednesday afternoon

View from Ponte Vecchio

Little streets filled with shops Uffizi

Typical Day in Florence

My days tend to go like this:

* Wake up at 8am (this is the view from my apartment which I share with Micia the cat, and of course, her owner, Letizia - take note of the Duomo in the background to the left)
* Breakfast of warm milk and biscuits (there are these delicious little cookies at the market which are perfect with milk and just about anything!)
* Write in my journal for 1hr or thereabouts
* Visit the web cafe to check emails, update my blog, surf the web, etc.
* Head to town and walk around, grab coffee, shop, sightsee, take photos, meet more people
* Walk back home and play with Micia
* Rest for a bit, have some lunch/dinner
* Head back to town for more sightseeing, picture taking, maybe meet a friend for aperitivo and just enjoy the night

Alas, things change next week, when classes start bright and early Monday morning, 9am to 1pm. 4 weeks of fun!

Catching the Eurostar train to Milan in a few hours. All packed, ready to go!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Lunchtime at Ponte Vecchio

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

Meglio e meglio

As in English, the days just keep getting better and better. I visited the owner of the leather shop in Florence where I purchased the red satchel and briefcase this time last year. It was so nice to see her! She recognized me immediately as I walked in her store. I'm going to go back to visit as soon as I have more time and take her for coffee.

Florence is such a small town. Starting to see the same faces, visiting places I'd been to last year, though this time it's a little different. Not using my map nearly as much as I'd thought I would, the streets are becoming familiar. Smiling more, different attitude, it's nice to be here. The best city to learn the language, clean accents, easier to understand, still "lentamente," but each day is an improvement.

Today, Duomo and dinner with a friend, then off to Milan Friday, 4:14pm train.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Day 3...

Well it's been 3 great days in Florence so far. Lots of sightseeing, lots of photos, meeting great people, both locals and foreigners, I am loving it here. This was a good choice, moving from the big city to the art city, I am happy.

After a night of thunderstorms, the sky is clear and the air is fresh. I met an American woman this morning for a house/pet sitting job the last two weeks of December. That would definitely solve my housing situation for the last few days of December. She has one dog and one cat, and will be returning to NYC with her family.

I am currently living at via G. Modena, 10 minutes from the centre, with an amazing view of the Duomo from the living room. The owner of the apartment is Letizia and I have the best roommate a girl could ask for, a black cat named Micia, who likes to join me in the middle of the night in my bed.

I start Italian lessons next Monday at Istituto il David, near Repubblica on via Vecchieti. It will be an intense 4 hrs per day, Monday to Friday, for one month. By then I should be fluent...well, not really, but it's a great start. Then I'll decide what steps I want to take next, maybe continue with school, or take a small adventure to another country for a short period of time. Next stops - Paris, Berlin and Oslo, those are my top 3 destinations at the moment.

I'm really happy with my decision to move to Florence, even if it's for a short period of time. This city is beautiful with so much to see and do, and Florentines are such nice people. Taking lots of photos and will upload more to this blog later. I unfortunately don't have internet in my apartment, so am often at the web cafes, so time is running out and I will head home for some lunch.

A dopo, Kristi

Saturday, November 18, 2006

November 19 --- Florence bound

Currently in Milan. Months too long.

Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Renaissance, Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Duomo. Apartment in the centre, language school, friendly people, good food, fun shopping. Ready, set, go!