Arriving in Florence.

Ciao a tutti! Sto adesso a Firenze. Finalmente.

Leaving my house at 3:30pm on July 29th, I’m writing to you at 5:37 pm on July 30th from my desk, while I look at the city of Florence from above through the window that is shining slanted rays of the mid-afternoon sun on my desk.


But before I get ahead of myself, my flights here were relatively painless. In JFK, I met up with another girl in my program who had the same travel agenda as I did. We made fast friends while waiting out the hour delay of the first leg of our journey. Once the plane tooke off, the 8-hour flight seemed much shorter than I thought it would: this is probably thanks to both the movie screening of Silver Linings Playbook, and the fact that I missed my afternoon coffee and was actually tired when the cabin lights went off.

Arriving in Rome at 8:20, Maya and I made the executive decision that an espresso stop was worth power walking to the gate of our connecting flight.

At 10:30, we were in a taxi on our way to Villa Natalia.

I’m not sure what I really expected this Villa to look like, but I can honestly say that even if I had imagined a beautiful image, that the Villa in real life would have surpassed it.

The estate is absolutely gorgeous:



I hope to find the time later — or more realistically, tomorrow — to explore more of the grounds, because the estate really is too beautiful to not examine every nook and cranny… on our way back to the Villa Natalia, I found a pea (or lima bean?) garden!


My room was equally perfect. With ample closet space, air conditioning, and an airy, spacious feel, I am thus far very satisfied. (Although I suppose anything that closely resembles/ contains a bed looks good to me after only a short 2 hours of sleep…)

After unpacking my (less than 50 lb!) suitcase, Maya and I headed into Florence via bus from the Villa to Piazza San Marco. It was surreal to walk around the city with the simple agenda of finding a place to eat. With 6 weeks ahead of me to hit all the must-see, touristy spots, I rather paid attention to the Italian people as I strolled: listening to the beautiful Italian language envelop me, I was surprised and excited to understand drips and drabs of conversation. Although I did accidentally misdirect a tourist who was looking for l’Accademia…

We finally chose a lunch spot an hour later and dined with margherita pizza in the back of a hand-painted ristorante off the Piazza San Giovanni. I managed to carry on conversation with the waitress in Italian, and successfully relate that we were two students studying abroad for six weeks etc. etc.. Although, I wasn’t able to understand what Za – Za (il nome della ristorante) meant — I feel as though it imitates the buzz of a bee in Italian, but you can let me know if you think otherwise!


We decided to walk back to the Villa instead of taking the bus, as to further explore the side streets and get a better idea of the layout of the city. In reality we explored the shops and street markets…


But all in all, it was a beautiful afternoon. Even more beautiful was returning to my room and realizing that when I woke up the next morning, I would still have oodles of time in Florence.

Arriverderci for now, I have to run to my first Orienation dinner.

But I’m looking forward to showering in this cute little contraption afterwords,


and even more so, I’m excited to sleep soundly, and wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to start my studies.