The Game Plan

My photo
Florence, Italy
So this is a handful of what I think I know... 1. Hands speak volumes. 2. Wine is cheaper than water. 3. Life is slower paced. 4. Food is AMAZING. 5. Italian men love all women and don't hesitate to say it loudly. My adventure begins Jan 12 in Florence, Italy, as a student at SACI (Studio Art Center International) having come from American University, in Washington, DC. While our nation's capital may have a plethora of monuments and history, it's nothing compared to standing a few feet away and gazing up at David, or so I've been told. (I'll let you know.) I continue my European exploration with my twin sister when our semesters end. We plan to take our backpacks into and over as many countries and borders as possible before landing for a few weeks revisiting Madrid. I hope to use this blog as a personal journal to keep track of my travels, but feel free to read along! Al prossimo anno! :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

I Made it!

So… I made it! It’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve arrived and as much as I swore to myself that I would keep up with this blog, the lack of Internet we’ve had in our apartment has made it extremely hard. Still without Internet, I won’t let that keep me from keeping a record of my experience because Italy truly must be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Everything from the language, the people, the food, and the buildings are so unique and exciting. As much as I love America, I will not have any trouble living in this city for the next few months but I see leaving being more of a challenge than anything.
My apartment!
I definitely lucked out in terms of my apartment. Arriving at SACI’s main building in the afternoon having sat in Frankfurt airport since 4 am that morning, I was not excited to lug my 2 suitcases, large and heavy backpack and messenger bags through the cobblestone streets of Florence to find my apartment. The 3 people I travelled with from the airport all got their living assignment and were all at least 20 min away, handed a map, and told to go explore to find it.  However, I was assigned the apartment 2 doors down from the main building, which was and has been amazingly convenient.  As close as I was, getting into the apartment was a whole different story.
It takes 3 doors, strange Italian keys, stairs, a long hallway and a whole bunch of hidden light switches to successfully get inside my apartment… no simple task for a newbie to Italy. Needless to say, I’ve now mastered the process and can be in and out in about 2 min compared to the 20 min it took the first day.
I was first to arrive, but soon enough I heard Rich from Skidmore at the end of the hall struggling to get in as I had a few minutes before.  I was not expecting a male roommate, and I secretly prayed that I wouldn’t be the only girl in the apartment. Unfortunately for Rich, he’d be the odd gender out because Susan from MICA arrived a few hours later, our final apartment mate. Other than Rich being the only guy with about 8 girls the majority of the time, we’re all getting along really well.  
Rich had studied at SACI for a late Spring term last year so he was able to show me around a bit when we first arrived. I was in complete awe as we walked through the streets. Everything was just as I had expected but real and so much better. All the roads are cobblestone, their aren’t a ton of cars, and when there are cars they’re all mini. Vespas zoom past on any street, every other shop is a Gelataria, wine shop, meat shop or leather store, and each tiny road is surrounded by brightly colored apartments with interesting window shades and flower pots. To my surprise, we walked down 2 blocks and the Duomo stood tall before me. I could get used to this.
Pisa and Lucca Trip 1/29/11
Although classes have started, I’ve visited Ravenna, Pisa, Lucca and the Medici Villas, experienced the night life in Florence, had real Italian food, have learned some unusual Italian ways, explored my fair share of different types of wine, and have met some really neat people, for this first post I think I’ll end it here. I want my plan to be to (try) to post a picture each day to help me keep track of my experience. Days with nothing too exciting I may write about the old man that sells me fruit at the market, or a recap of a class I have yet to describe. Italy has already proved to have enough to explore and experience to keep me busy and in wonder for the next 3 months.
Ciao for now!   

Monday, January 10, 2011


Charli the Stowaway

It's the night before it all begins, and though I'm tremendously excited, I have a feeling tomorrow will be a long one. I have 2 transfer flights before I get to Florence, (supposedly Wednesday morning) however, each city I transfer at is having a snow storm as I speak. :/

Alexa left tonight making the whole thing seem much more real. She won't be back in this house for another 7 months... same for me starting tomorrow morning. Though I am soooo ready, having been packed for days now, the goodbyes I've been saying for the past month are now, actually, goodbye. Know that I will miss all my family and friends an unbelievable amount but hope to see many overseas! Ciao!