On Friday July 3rd I touch down in Florence. After an evening of unpacking, meeting my 7 roommates and exploring our apartment, we went out into the city for our first taste of Italy. We didn’t have to go far till we reached one of the many piazzas in the city, Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, where we enjoyed some authentic Florentine coffee. Later that day, after resting inside to escape the midday sun, the whole Abbey Road group went on a small tour on the way to a restaurant for dinner. It was great to start to learn our way around the city, and we saw some important landmarks including the Duomo. We enjoyed some delicious Italian cuisine and got to practice some of the Italian words and greetings that we knew.
Sunday was a particularly hot day, so everyone was relieved when we walked to a local pool. We got to swim and enjoy Italian ice cream to keep cool. My favourite part was the two high-dives that we jumped and dove off of. In the evening we walked to another delicious restaurant for dinner, and then walked to the Piazza della Repubblica for a photo treasure hunt. In small groups, we explored the nearby streets to take photos of a list of items. It was very fun and definitely helped to familiarize ourselves with Florence.
On Monday we had our first day of classes. In the morning, a small group and I went to the Church of Santa Maria Novella to learn about art history in Florence. The church had beautiful stained glass windows and incredible frescoes. We learned about the birth of the Renaissance and how it influenced the style of artists in Italy, and got to see some physical examples hanging on the walls. I learned so much in such a short time and I’m excited for the next two weeks of classes.