Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter from Firenze! What a crazy couple of days it has been in Florence. My first weekend in Florence just so happens to be Easter weekend, so I have had quite an introduction to the city. Easter is a BIG deal in Florence and, I’d assume, all of super Roman Catholic Italy. To begin, I must gush a bit about how much I am starting to love my host mom, in spite of the language barrier. She is so chill and when Eryn and I went out on Friday night, all she said was “Give me your cell phone numbers. I promise not to call but just in case of emergency…” Ha, so cute. Speaking of Friday, let’s see...
Well I had two classes, my politics and Italian classes. So far I really like my politics class. There’s a lot of work. There’s generally a lot more work and a lot more class here in Italy than in London. The professor is adorable and a total sweetheart. My Italian class is going pretty well. It’s a bit a of a struggle just because there is so much information being thrown at us at once. I really need to study more outside of class, but am so not motivated because of how much effort I put into understanding simply the people around me. Every meal is an Italian lesson! It's all a bit exhausting. After class, my roommate and I decided to walk around for a bit in the sunshine. It was pretty beautiful out. Then we headed home for dinner. I love meals here. The food is always ridiculously fresh and I’ve never eaten more vegetables in my life. But they’re so delicious! Steamed spinach is a new favorite. After dinner, we headed out to meet up with friends and headed to a club called Twice. It was a great venue and we had a really good time. Dealing with Italian men has certainly been a trip. They are as aggressive and forward as their reputation claims. But I’m generally with guys from my program and have learned it is best to just ignore. Plus, looking Italian has proved to be very helpful. People address me first in Italian instead of English which I always find funny. Anywho, Friday was very fun and a good introduction to nightlife in Florence.
Saturday we decided to explore the city a bit. We walked around and I perused an Italian bookstore. I love a good bookstore no matter what language the books are in. After a full day of exploring we went home and chilled for a bit. We had dinner with Anna, the host mom and got dressed to go to church. We decided to go to Easter vigil at the SS Annunziata. It was pretty cool. 6 ACM kids joined us and it was a neat experience to share. It was nearly a 3 hour service! All in Italian! But I totally loved the experience. We started in the courtyard where they had a big bonfire. They said some prayers and handed out candles. Then in front of the doors to the church they slowly lit everyone’s candles. The light spread and it was pretty beautiful. The church slowly lit up. The service was SUPER long and very different from back home, but I won’t forget last night for a long time. This insanely old building full of history at midnight before one of the most holy days of the year. Awesome.
Today we got up early and met up with some friends to go to the Duomo, this massive cathedral in the heart of town. Thousands of people crowded around a huge cart. An electronic dove hit the cart and there was a ten minute fireworks displace. There was purple and red smoke. Simply a wonderful display and I’ve certainly never done anything like that on Easter. Next, we headed over to our professors house for Easter brunch. We had lasagna, bread, salad, veggies, chocolate, wine, champagne, and dove cake. Dove cake is this white cake with limoncello in the inside shaped like a dove. It’s a traditional desert for Easter in Florence. By this point we were all soooo full. Eryn and I came back and literally passed out for 3 hours. Talked to mom on skype and then it was time for MORE FOOD. I thought I was going to be sick at this point. But thankfully dinner was mainly veggies and a light meal. We had steamed spinach and the best cauliflower I’ve ever had. She also made a spinach omelette. I don’t know how but I managed to find room for it. I just finished some homework and am watching The Blind Side on my itunes. Love this movie.
So it was a crazy, unique, and fun first weekend in Firenze. I’m starting to feel at home here and that’s so nice. I hope everyone had a lovely Easter filled with family and laughter.
Easter happiness to you all.