Boungiorno from Italy!!

It’s my fourth week here in Florence, where I’ve been living in the city center and taking classes through the Viterbi Summer Abroad Program. It’s been such an amazing experience so far… I’ve learned so much about what it means to live among another culture. I’ve never even crossed an international border until now!

Here’s a typical day: Class at either 9am or 12:15pm, Monday through Thursday. Afterwards,  grocery shopping, gelato excursions (which we got at least once a day the first week we were here!), and/or lunch somewhere near school. Then, either: explore the city by checking out one of many internationally-renowned museums, go home to escape the heat and do homework (or nap), or simply hang out at somewhere with the group. For dinner, we usually meet up and go out for the delicious Italian cuisine.

… but most days are far from typical!

For example…

One day, I went to Catholic mass at the Duomo held by the Cardinal of Tuscany, and afterwards there was a Procession around the city! Another day, instead of having class, we visited the headquarters of a concentrated solar power  (CSP) company and later observed the infrastructure of Perugia, a modern Italian city with a really cool “MiniMetro” system.

Last weekend, eleven of us soaked up the sun on the Isle of Elba (history buffs, you may recall Napoleon was exiled here in the 1800s). Elba has tons of gorgeous beaches, nice people, clear blue water, inexpensive hotels, amazing weather, entertaining clubs, and great views of the ocean. Pretty sweet.

The weekend before that? ROME!! They have amazing gelato places, plus my favorite building in the world (the Pantheon), and just SOOoo much to see. One day we toured the Colosseum and Roman Forum, but the day before we toured the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. I could write a whole blog post just about that three-day visit.

Anyway, here’s best part: The pictures!!**

**Check out my twitter for more pictures!