Tuesday, September 28, 2010

La rossa, La dotta e La grassa

Amo Bologna.

No words can describe how much I love this city. The surroundings, the atmosphere, the people, the shopping...THE FOOD!

Sconvolgente. Literally.

My good friend Sarah invited me to come with her to visit the city for a mini break, and wow am I glad she did. This city is home to the oldest university in the world, Università di Bologna (although an exact date is uncertain, it is believed that it was initially founded in 1088...doesn't that make Virginia Tech seem like an infant?!?) Despite being so rich in history, the city is extremely vibrant and alive. While there I was able to eat like I was going to the chair, shop like I wasn't living on loans and hang out with some locals who renamed me Marie Michelle (because LAUR-en MITCH-ell is difficult for Italians to pronounce.)

Tanti Baci, mi amichi. I need to go dream of Bologna.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Italian Time

Buona Sera Amici!

Sorry it has taken me forever to update last week was filled with orientation, reading, Italian class and lots of running around the city. The picture above is me outside the European Union Institute; our program allows us to use it to do research and study. It is a beautiful old abbey that was once a place of reflection for Lorenzo de' Medici. Just amazing. (Also I want to note that shortly before this photo was taken there was a GIANT storm- like I literally could have made a birds nest in my hair from all the twigs that got stuck into it. But in true diva style, I was able to get myself clean up enough to take a mom photo.)

Needless to say all of this excitement means...Sono stanca!

It is hard to believe I have been here almost two weeks! In a lot of ways it feels more like a life time. Maybe that is because everything seems slower, more relaxed in Italy (well everything except for the traffic...Beltway drivers have NOTHING on Italians. Cross the street at your own peril.) Nevertheless, days leisurely drip by, each instant more sluggish then the last.

It may not be the perfect environment for an intensive one year graduate program- but hey I'm digging it for the time being.

Tanti Baci,

PS: Just some administrative stuff for those who have been asking. Trust me when I tell you, I want to update my photos as much as possible. However, internet here is touch and go cause like everything else in Italy it does what it wants. I promise to do the best I can this week to get a photo album up on facebook and my other photo album account. Hopefully, my Italian internet will cooperate or else I may need to enlist the help of the Mafia.

Ciao Ciao!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Huntin' Around the City

This city is amazingly beautiful, but confusing. I still don't have it down, but I am trying! (It gets kind of tricky because streets kind of look the same- but no worries I will get it down soon.)

I really love where I am living; the area around San Spirito (the church you saw in my last post) has a lot of local flavor and is really fun. But I am really glad I got a chance to strike out and see what the other side of the Arno has to offer.

{{A view of the river Arno from the Ponte Vecchio; so lovely}}


And of course...the Duomo's dome! Isn't it amazing?!?

I hope you all enjoyed that little "mom photo" it was from the scavenger hunt. Totally cheesey my I had to include it because of the view.

Well its Ikea time so I got to run!
Tanti Baci,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ciao from Firenze

Ciao Ciao everyone!

I have finally made it to Florence (and finally have internet!) Let me tell you- it was not an easy journey. Reasons why:

1) Crabby old lady in front of me
2) Crabby old man behind me
3) Italian couple sitting next to me who liked to push the boundaries of flight PDA so much that a few times over the Atlantic I was pretty sure they were going to join the mile high club.
4) Charles de Gaulle is the worst airport I have been too! Avoid at all costs- EXTREMELY CONFUSING AND THE STAFF IS NO HELP! I almost missed my flight to Florence and barely escaped heart failure.

But none of that really matters anymore, because I am finally here (jet lag and all.) This city is so incredibly beautiful and I feel blessed to be here. The staff is so kind and helpful and everyone in the program is great. We all had a lot of fun last night just hanging out and getting to know one another.

Not much more to report right now- tomorrow we are doing tons of exploring because we have a group scavenger hunt! So I promise those pictures. For now, I hope you enjoyed the shot from my balcony (yes I have a balcony and one of the best views in the palazzo!)

Tanti baci,