Life here is hardly what I expected it to be, which isn’t to say that’s a bad thing. My silly fears of not getting along with my roommate (she’s awesome!), hating my housing option (I have a heated indoor pool…in my building), and having a horrible language barrier (I’m working on it…) were quickly quashed within hours of getting settled in; I feel bashful just thinking that I worried about those things at all.
As for the city itself, Florence is proving to be a place heavily reliant on the American-college population that runs it rampant. Nearly every bar offers Long Island Iced Teas, intercultural bartenders, and the ease of ringing up a disgustingly high bar tab – certainly a nice taste of home right here in Italy. It still baffles me how you can be in such a “home-y” atmosphere and then somehow stumble out onto the cobblestones in front of the Duomo. It’s absolutely ludicrous how the two realms are juxtaposed yet it’s how the city works and I seem to be the only one questioning it.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Florence (and I’ll try to say this as modest as humanly possible) three times prior to this trip so for me, all the historical sites are somewhat “been there, done that.” Despite that incredibly pretentious fact, I still want to climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s Duomo (again) and Giotto’s Campanile, wander around the Academia and the Uffizi, and take leisurely strolls by the Arno. I know there is so much that this place can teach me and I don’t want to waste any time – which is hard when it’s 2 degrees Celsius outside and you live on the opposite side of the city from most of the places you want to go. Regardless, I know I’ll get to do all the haughty cultural things I want to do in time. Hell, I’ve already seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa during a casual day trip I took on Saturday. I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that it’s just as easy to go to Pisa from Florence as it is to go from Massapequa to NYC.
I already know the next few months are going to be an insane adventure just by the sheer volume of interesting people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, and the encounters I’ve had thus far. Long Island, I miss you but you’re currently in the rear-view mirror. For now, I’m more than ready for the ride of a life time.