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Cousins in Firenze

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by Elena D. & Keara S. Reporting to you live from the center of Firenze, three blocks from the Duomo, within spitting distance of the Palazza della Republica, are two cousins, Keara and Elena. Follow us weekly as we uncover the beauty and magnificence of this one-of-a-kind city and country. As two high school students living essentially alone for the first time, we hope to entertain, interest, and inspire the readers as we write this account of our adventures. Living for a month in a foreign country would be a huge change for the two of us, which meant our minds were flooded with expectations and pictures of what this trip would be like. Elena was worried the program would leave students with no time to wander and appreciate the city and a strict time schedule, while Keara thought we’d be left to fend for ourselves in a big, strange city alone with little to no help. What we found was that Abbey Road was a perfect balance between the two extremes. Our teachers have given us plenty of instruction and made sure no one ever feels unsafe. We are given enough responsibility and freedom to feel like young adults, which after all, is what we are. All of the staff members (a.k.a. our wonderful teachers) were so understanding and are the ones that made all of our worries and preconceptions vanish. With the comfortable setting that Abbey Road has provided for us, we have been able, with having only been here for four days, to experience the pleasant surprises that come with being open and willing in a new country. Growing up in an Italian-American family, we are no strangers to the food in Florence. When given the chance, we wander the city with our meal “stipends” and follow our noses to the best restaurants we can find. Staples in this city include pizza, pasta, and freshly baked bread (which is cooked without salt here: something we have to get used to). The local waiters and waitresses smile and warmly accommodate us as we attempt to order in Italian. Although we may make mistakes when we speak in italiano, we know a simple “grazie,” meaning “thank you,” goes a long way, and attempting to speak Italian with the locals is greatly appreciated. In return, all of our meals have been delicious. Yesterday, Elena had her first Italian cappuccino, which was so incredibly tasty she brought more friends back to the Café with her again today. We ordered our caffè and stood at the bar to drink it, which is a common Italian occurrence. Sipping caramel cappuccinos, we almost felt like natives ourselves. Until next time, Keara and Elena

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