Buon giorno, Firenze!

Yesterday was the first day of orientation, beginning with the subject of housing. We were given a packet with a number of properties around Florence from a local real estate agent and a speech on how the housing process works. No one could pay any attention to the presentation being given since we were all anxious to get to our favorite place first. I knew exactly where I wanted to go since I had spoken to students from previous years about where they had stayed. 
Everyone ran out of the school as soon as the presentation was finished. My group of roommates consisted of three other people beside myself: Maggie, Anne-Sophie, and Gaysha.  My room-mates and I had to run back to the Hostel to grab some papers so we could head right to the agency directly after we found what we wanted. As soon as we left the Hostel we saw another group running towards a listing. We sprinted down the street towards the Pointe Vecchio looking for a cab. The moment seemed like if could have been from the Amazing Race.  The cab dropped us right in front of the street but we ran one street past where we were supposed to be.  We finally get to the tall wooden double door of the apartment and ring the bell.

The first apartment was a dream. High ceilings with ornate designs, a lobby when you walk in the large wooden doors, three bedrooms, a double bathroom, a living room (to be converted into a fourth bedroom), a kitchen and a terrace with the view of the Duomo.  We left the apartment feeling it was almost too perfect.

 On the same street, there were two other apartments we were interested in. An older Italian lady showed us around the next two apartment but we were all too anxious to pay attention.  Maggie and Anne-Sophie decided to run to the Agency to reserve our apartments in the middle of our tour, while Gaysha and I stayed behind politely listening to what the woman was saying.

After the landlady’s presentation was finished, Gaysha and I ran for the door towards the housing agency. We got to a nearby piazza before realizing that not only did we have no idea where we were going, but we had no map to show us the way. We ran back to the apartment and asked other housing competitors(aka our classmates) if we could have their map. They courteously offered up their map so we could meet up with our other roommates and sign the lease.
When we arrive at the agency only an hour after setting out on the housing race, we signed our lease for the year.  We later found out that 3 other groups wanted that same apartments.  My group of roommates arrived at the agency only a few minutes before these other groups.  We still cant believe how lucky we got!

Check out the pictures!
my room!

our terrace!

the view!

Gaysha's room and loft!

Anne-Sophie's room!

Living room (to be converted into maggie's room!)

Goodbye, US!

So the night before I left for Florence, I had my last photo shoot for my clothes. My room was a mess when I got back from the half packing and trying to organize. Eventually everything came together. I managed to fit everything I need, art supplies, clothes and such into two large bags and one carry on.

My first flight from Newark to Frankfurt was 7 1/2 hours. Nothing too memorable happened. The flight from Frankfurt to Florence was more exciting. The plane flew over the Alps and before we landed we flew right over Tuscany. It was too amazing for words.

I arrived in Florence last night and was the first in my program to check in to the youth hostel so lucky for me, I had my own room for the night.


It's the final countdown to Firenze and I'm looking for a new pair of boots to take along. So far I have my choices narrowed down to two. What do you think?
Steve Madden Banddit
Steve Madden Blazzee