Boboli Gardens

I did it! Well, almost. I took a stroll through the Bobobli Gardens this weekend. It was amazing! Lorenzo and I went to the front of Palazzo Pitti, which is enormous and also the main entrance to the gardens. There is a photo of me standing in front of it so that you can get the idea of how huge this place it. We wondered around in the sun for a while trying to see all of the different sites that are listed on the tourist signs, but that place is a maze and I felt like we kept ending up where we can in which was weird because I know that gardens are so huge. In the end we spent a good couple of hours there and saw a lot of amazing sights and took photos so it was a day well spent!! After we had thoroughly exhausted ourselves in the gardens and Lorenzo showed me the courtyard where Sigur Ros played a couple of years ago. After that we went on a mission to find some cute boots in the San Lorenzo Market (for me of course) I ended up with a small shoulder bag, a cardigan and a dress… so mission failed, better luck next time. We spent Sunday with the parents for a nice long lunch where I was introduced to the typical Ragu and “Bistecca Fiorentina”, it was great! Lorenzo’s dad took the trek out in the pouring rain to get some amazing typical gelato and got 3 different flavors for me to try!! Then we watched the Fiorentina match and they won!! It was great to see Gilardino score his first goal in 920 minutes! 🙂 After that Lorenzo’s dad went out once again and got us Bomboloni filled with creme and chocolate, while his mom made us Cappucini. We are so lucky to have them here! Overall, it was a successful weekend! This week I am going to work on the job hunt and hopefully going to the Uffizzi with my former classmate and future workmate, Jesse. Should be fun! I’ll post the pics as the come!

Read More

Month #1 Florence, Italy

Since arriving in Florence on 28th of December, quite a lot has happened. I will hopefully be staying here in Florence for a while and traveling to other countries in the meantime. I had a full-packed month of learning during my TEFL course over the past four weeks. Now, here I am sent out into the “real world” and I don’t know what I am supposed to do now! I have spent the past week being entirely unproductive and non-proactive about getting a job and let’s just say I have been bored out of my mind! I don’t ever want to have to say that in a new country! I did start an Italian course this week, and I did go to Rome for all of eight hours for an interview (more on that when I am more sure about what is going to happen). I hope that the course will really allow me to get more into this culture and adjust to living in a new country. I have slowly been seeing the sites here in Florence; but now I am ready to start going full speed. I know that I will be here for a while so it’s easy to take it for granted but that’s stupid of me because if I have learned anything in the last year it’s how quickly your plans can change! My plan: To climb the Duomo and take a stroll through the Bobali Gardens this weekend… and to get the camera USB so that I can put up my photos!

Read More

A Day in Rome, A Month in Florence

I have been in Florence for one month now. I have learned to be an ESL teacher, I have learned to cook (sort of) and I have learned to be a tourist (or not be a tourist) in a tourist city. I have not learned to speak Italian, and this is my biggest setback. I hate that I am afraid to talk to people on my own and that I can’t help the people who ask me questions in the train station (which happened 3 times yesterday). I have been here for one month now! So, I started my Italian course today. It was amazing, all of the sudden I wasn’t alone. I was not the only one who didn’t know everything the teacher was saying, in fact, I may have understood better than some of my classmates! I am so ready to be able to completely allow myself to live in this country and not feel like a foreigner or a drunk American study abroad girl (we’ve all been there; but from this side… what were we thinking?). Watching my Italian teacher this morning was so amazing, because for the last 4 weeks I have been the one standing in front of the classroom talking to my students in a new language and hoping they are understanding me. I understood her, and it gave me so much hope as a teacher! I am now excited about being a student and being a teacher at the same time. Yesterday, I was in Rome for all of eight hours; interviewing for a job in Florence (funny, right?). All said and done, if I want to go through the process (and can find a way) to get a visa then I can have a job. That’s pretty amazing being that I graduated 2 days ago and most ESL teachers struggle to make hours by holding 3-4 jobs! Now my dilemma is getting the visa without spending too much time, money and energy. It’s pretty discouraging to spend hours on end in the library applying for jobs to get all of three responses saying you are not being considered for a position. It is hard to be sent out into the world of floating ESL teachers who are all scrambling to get jobs in the most popular cities in the world. But who said life was easy… here I go! If I have…

Read More

Florence to Amsterdam and Back

So here I am again, on the road to somewhere new. I arrived in Florence on 30th December after a ten hour flight to Paris, a cold and foggy terminal transfer and an hour delay. I was very nervous about going through customs, since I smartly chose to come to Italy with the “3 month tourist no visa” visa. I didn’t even go through customs… interestingly, I’m technically still in Paris? Anyway, I was also nervous about finding Lorenzo in the airport. The Pisa airport is not nearly the size of any of the other airports in my mind, needless to say I walked out of baggage and into his arms. He was patiently waiting (remember that hour delay?) front-and-center of the crowd. It was slightly shocking when he instantly went in to kiss me, but a short 30 minutes later everything was back to normal. Pisa is about an hour drive from Florence so on the drive home we started to sit in silence. Normally, this would make me uneasy since we had been apart for just under six months but it was calming. I looked at him and said “I don’t want you to think I am not excited, it’s just that it feels like we have been together the whole time”. It’s funny how that happens after all the hardships that come from a long distance relationship. The first two days in Florence were spent meeting friends, family and co-workers; taking short naps and eating. I think the most important thing that I learned in Italy straight out was surprisingly, nothing about how to speak or order food, but instead how to appreciate people for their animation and different means of communication. I sat through two dinners (dinners in Italy are long) understanding no spoken word but still smiling and enjoying myself. I didn’t find a dull moment in simply watching everyone else interact. Without a moment to breath we packed our bags and headed to Amsterdam for the much anticipated surprise Australia reunion. Being the bargain hunters we are, Lorenzo and I, yet again booked a 6am flight. The difference between doing this in Sydney and doing this in Florence is that the airport in Florence is an hour away. Lorenzo’s dad kindly picked us up at 4am to get us to the airport on time. The second problem with bargain flying is that the airport…

Read More