A Hard Rock Christmas

In the spirit of the holidays, FITSA (FIT Student Activities), decided to throw a program wide Christmas party at the Hard Rock Café in Florence.  This was an excellent opportunity for us to celebrate the Christmas holidays together, as well as say goodbye to those semester students in our program, who are returning to FIT in New York for the spring semester.

Our group was seated in the best part of the restaurant, which was right in front of the stage. Since originally the Hard Rock was a movie theatre for the people of Florence, the stage featured a large silver screen which was playing rock and roll music videos.  The entire building was decorated beautifully.

After socializing for a bit, it was time for the meal. The menu was fantastic. It featured all of the “American” delicacies we had been missing; ranging from Burgers, to New York Strip Steak. I decided to indulge in the messiest of all choices, and chose the “BBQ Baby Back Ribs”. They were exceptional, and it was made better by the traditional American ice-cream Sunday topped with a cherry, to conclude the feast.
We concluded the party by taking pictures together and reminiscing about the fun times we had during the semester. It was a bitter-sweet moment for everyone, yet everyone still had a blast.

 

Permesso Di Soggiorno

One of the wonderful undertakings that every study abroad student needs to undertake in when arriving in Florence is the acquisition of their Permesso Di Soggiorno (PDS) or “Permit of Stay”. While this can be a tedious and sometimes painfull process it is a necessary item for all foreign nationals to obtain upon arrival in Italy. Yesterday, after waiting for nearly two months for it to be ready, my PDS card was finally ready for pickup, concluding the PDS process.

The first step in me picking up my PDS card was a trip to the Questure building. This is the HQ for the State Police in Firenze and also contains the Ufficio di Immigrazione, which is the large room where you pick up your PDS.

When I arrived the next challenge was getting a ticket so that I could reserve a place in line to wait to see an agent to give me my PDS card. After asking
several security guards for what felt like twenty minutes, me and about five other confused students were finally directed to a booth where we received our tickets to wait for a PDS agent. My place in line was 226.

To my enjoyment, I found that me arriving a half-hour early to my appointment was rewarded. The agents were already on number 126 so there were only 100 other people ahead of me in line.
Finally, after waiting for 2 hours they finally called my number. I handed them my passport and my PDS receipt (obtained when you first apply for your PDS at the Questure), and was handed my card. The whole process took about 30 seconds. While examining my card, I was shocked at how much effort went into obtaining the little piece of plastic.

Line Place at Questure

Line Place 226 at Questure!

PDS Card Holder

PDS Card Holder