Well now that we’ve gotten food out of the way, we can talk about Italy as a whole. There’s a lot to get through so I’ll just stick to my living situation for now. My two roommates (who are also from FIT) are living in an apartment in the center of Florence, right near Santa Croce. The location is ideal for food, getting to the important sights in Florence as well as close to school. The apartment itself is pretty nice. It’s a perfect size for us three and has a lofted second floor. Stairs! Like a whole staircase! Whaaaat? That would never happen in New York. I mean we ran into a few normal first apartment problems like noisy neighbors and broken wifi but like the adults we are, we got it all worked out.
Florence is definitely a walking city. There is no subway system and there aren’t really any cabs. There are taxis that take you to and from the airport, but that’s about it. You don’t really see anyone hailing a cab like in New York. There is a bus system but I have yet to bother to learn the routes or buy a bus ticket. It’s just better to walk, everything is within twenty minutes at the longest. The only hard part of walking is that Florence still follows its Medieval city plan so all the streets twist and are small and sometimes change names right in the middle and don’t appear on maps and are generally pretty difficult to navigate. It’s kind of like the West Village but the whole city is that way. I appreciate the historical quality of this plan, but I also want to, you know, get places quickly.
Living in an apartment is not too different than living in the dorms. We actually have more room, and since I always lived in a suite at FIT I am used to cooking and going to the grocery store and doing my own laundry, etc. The only part that is a little annoying is that Italians don’t use dryers so it takes about two days for my clothes to dry on the drying racks. Also we can have wine, like whenever we want (which is all the time, let’s be honest). And if anyone has ever lived in the dorms, they know that the ability to have friends come in and out as you please is amazing.
Honestly, living in Italy isn’t that different than living in New York City, it’s just way older and more cobblestone-y. Oh, and beautiful. It’s more beautiful.