19 January, 2010

The last few days...

Quite a few updates... I'll go day by day

I ended up waking up a little later than planned, 11:30am.  Patrizia was very happy I slept in so late.  I think the jet lag finally was catching up with me.  The night before we all hung out at a little corner bar (bar in Italian means more of a coffee shop.)  We sat outside even though it was cold and just chatted =)

I went to Michaelangelo Piazzale alone Sunday morning.  It's crazy gorgeous with wonderful views.  Unfortunately, it was rather rainy, cold, and cloudy.  The area was still beautiful despite the weather.  There is also the first replica (I think) of Michaelangelo's David.  I had to climb a lot of stairs to get up to the top.  Some photos:

This photo on the left is the landmark for me to identify it.  I don't know what it's called.  I climbed many steps like the photo on the right to get to the top!

This is the David replica: 

I ended up walking about 11 miles total that day. I took 'Viale Michaelangelo' which is a very beautiful road my host mother told me I must walk on.  I took many photos of the view.  I put all the pictures from the day in an album, stored here: 

Just a preview of the views I saw this whole walk: 

I then went to Palazzo Pitti. It was a museum which at one point in time was a huge palace.  The artwork was gorgeous, but of course no cameras were allowed.  Behind the building is the 'Gardenia di Boboli' or the Boboli Gardens.  Because it was late, they were already closed, but I could see them out the windows of the Palazzo Pitti.
Palazzo Pitti: 

Stopped to eat lunch at a place where no one knew English, which made it fun.  The owner even laughed since he knew we had no idea what we were saying!  I got spaghetti e pomodoro. I know pomodoro is tomato, so I knew I'd love it.  Probably the best sauce I've ever had in my life.

At this point  I had been outside and walking for over 5 hours, so I walked the last 2 miles or so home.  It was just beginning to get dark and I was able to take my favorite picture thus far.  The Ponte Vecchio is the bridge you see in the background, a bridge with a bunch of shops on it:

I went back out that night after dinner and met a few people and just walked around the city.  Finally withdrew Euros from my bank account too!  It was a long but fun day :)

For dinner we had 'melanzne alla parmigiana con pomodoro e mozzarella'.  Patrizia couldn't find the English equivalence, but essentially it was lots of vegetables and mozzarella in a red sauce.  Might be my favorite dish thus far.

First day of classes! Only had Italian.  Spent the rest of the day walking around the city aimlessly, but it was very relaxing.  Got lunch at the same bar we had drinks at on Saturday evening.  I had some kind of panini with mozzarella and tomato.  Excellent as always!

Went to the Irish Pub to meet some friends before dinner.  Had risotto (I think that's what it's called?) for dinner.  Guido was sick, so only Patrizia and I ate. She made me try everything, including salami (Florentine style she explained.)  Didn't love it, but it wasn't bad.  Went back to the pub after dinner with friends, and met students from all over the world! I befriended students from England, Australia, Scotland, and even New Jersey haha.  Was a very nice night.

Today I had Italian class again, and also managed to get Skype to work for Abstract Algebra II at Ursinus!  Tonight we had hamburgers or something of the sort.  First hamburger in like 4 years I think.  I wouldn't say I disliked it, but it would not be my first food choice.  Tonight I will be staying in.  I'm very tired and took a little nap before dinner.  I have class at 8:45 am tomorrow so I hope to get to bed soon!!


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