Flying into Florence was a sight to behold. I woke up moments before we flew over the city, the Arno river, and around the Tuscan countryside and vineyards before making a U-turn and landing at the airport. It seemed as though our pilot wanted us to take in the sights before landing. I was in awe, it was everything I had seen in the movies and more.
The airport was tiny, which made locating the taxis a snap. After picking up the keys for my apartment at Lorenzo de’ Medici, I got in another taxi so I wouldn’t get lost finding my place. The apartment is in between Il Duomo and Piazza della Singoria on a quiet side street. The building is yellow and has a lot of character and charm. I was feeling the burn in my legs once I found my apartment on the 5th floor of the building. I opened it up to find granite and marble floors, an adorable bedroom and a kitchen worthy of big italian dinners. The views are exactly what I hoped for, two big windows open up to our little street and the old buildings across from us. If you lean out the window you can see the bell towers from the several churches about two blocks away. I left the windows open to let in the wonderful natural light in, as well as some air since the building is without air conditioning, as is most of Florence. While I was unpacking my suitcase the smell of pasta wafted into the room from the ristorante down stairs and the bells from the churches began to ring, and it seemed to me that Florence is exactly how I imagined it after I had watched old Italian movies: magical.
The first thing I did after I unpacked was buy some delicious local buttery bread from a bakery that is three doors down from the apartment, and immediately after bought Stracciatella and Frutti Di Bosco gelato.
I went on a walk to orient myself and find my way around. I wandered over to the Duomo and Piazza Della Singoria, after studying Art History last semester, I can say that the slides do not do either place justice. The Duomo is enormous, grand, and glows in the sunset. The Piazza Della Singoria is remarkable, there are 15 to 20 marble and bronze sculptures created by great masters of the Renaissance era that tower over you as you take their photograph.
That night I drank the local wine and ate unknown cheeses bought at the market with my roommate and her family. The wine was sweet, but not dry and the cheese was strong in odor and the mozzarella was especially fresh. Later we all went to the outdoor terrace of a restaurant in the tiny square by our apartment. I had the homemade noodles with a wild boar ragu–a Tuscan specialty. It was sensational and flavorful without being overpowering. After dinner I cleaned up and climbed into bed for the night and let the sounds of the Florence sing me to sleep.
This is starting off to be a fantastic Italian summer.