. (I took a picture of that too!) I met three other girls (ironically alex and liz were also from SSU but I had never met them before) and elena is from chico state. We all went apartment hunting yesterday and this morning and I swear I have never walked so much in my life! We are all very excited because we found a spacious 2 bedroom apartment that we all liked and secured our living arrangements today. As soon as we move in I will take pictures of our place and post them. It is still hot here, but we have fun walking around and seeing all the little shops in the tiny alley ways and the old architecture mixed in with the modern. My first sight of the Duomo stopped me in my tracks because of its massive size and grandeur. It is under construction but it is still an amazing site to see. From the street our apartment is on, you can see the top of the duomo. Although my Italian is subpar, many of the Italians are very helpful and many speak very good English. I am anticipating my language classes so that I can feel more comfortable conversing in Italian. I still need to catch up on my sleep, but the sights, tastes and sounds of Florence have been worth it. I still miss all of you friends and family back home but your pictures and your messages keep me warm with thoughts of home. I wish you were all here to share Florence with me (which you can if you book a flight now and come see me! I have a space reserved for you on my living room floor or couch) but the next best thing is to know that you are with me in my thoughts. If anyone comes across or knows any really cool and exciting things I should do, see, and eat here, let me know! (Do not worry about the gelato though...I am on it..hahaha) Hopefully next time I can upload pictures to the site. Until then, Ciao!
So I am finally here! The past few days have been been so incredibly busy that I feel like I am still trying to catch up to everything going on around me. My flight over was smooth, and the girl I sat next to is now one of my roommates! We stopped over in Munich for our connecting flight to Florence, where I had my first realization that I was not in the US anymore. I am so much of a picture dork that I even took a picture of our flight gate in Munich! We arrived in Florence at around 9pm but I was unable to sleep due to the time difference and the fact that my blanket is about as thick as a napkin which did not keep me warm in the air conditioned room. Yesterday was the busiest day of all with orientation and our first glimpse of the CSU Study Center. Our building is a beautiful old palazzo "palace" or large villa with ornate mosaic floors, frescoes on the wall, and beautiful garden with majestic statues in the back. I had my first delicious authentic Italian meal during lunch which consisted of tiny round pizzas, proscuitto and olive sandwiches, and awesome eggplant and zucchini