Saturday, September 15, 2012

Florence: A Breath of Fresh Air



At last I have arrived in Florence. Well, actually I arrived on Monday... And I have been loving it ever since. Arriving in Florence from Rome was like a breath of fresh air. Don't get me wrong, the Eternal City is unmatched in many respects! Florence is just more to my taste.

The village where we are living and studying is in the hills surrounding Florence. It is a quaint little town, pretty quiet most of the time, with a little church right in the middle. We are surrounded by green, rolling hills which are great for hiking, but they definitely make running more work (as I found out yesterday).

The Villa is so nice too! Here are some pictures and the view from my window...

My window that opens out to the Tuscan hills. Every morning a rooster cock-a-doodle-doo's at 5 a.m.. through this window. Gotta love it. 

Two of my adorable roommates sitting on our little stoop. It is going to be a great semester with them!

The view from my roomies' room. So beautiful. Looks right into the city and onto the Duomo.

Another picture from my window. Wish I could look out onto this in Atchison.

This is my room! Roomie Theresa and I are enjoying our quaint little abode in the Tuscan country hills.
(insert pic of dining hall at later date)

(insert pic of patio soon)

(insert pic of chapel when I get a pic)

Our first jaunt into the city of Florence (population 400,000) was to Santa Maria de Fiore, or as it is most commonly known, the Duomo. We hiked (literally hiked) up 200-plus stairs and hallways no more than 2 feet wide at widest point, to see the city of Florence from above. It was amazing! Here are a few pics from my phone (of course I forgot my camera that day!). Not the best quality but you get the picture.
My view of Florence from the Duomo.

Disclaimer: It was super windy and super bright up there! Hence the crazy hair and squinty eyes. Don't judge.

The front of Santa Maria de Fiore. If you want to know why it's called St. Mary of the Flower please ask! It's an amazing analogy!
We had a pizza/Welcome to Florence party after our trip into Florence. It was complete with live Italian music, good company, tiramisu, and good wine.

Oh! And yes, we have started classes, in case you are wondering. Life isn't all fun and games over here. We have 3 hours of Italian class every morning (Monday-Thursday) and then 2 1/2 hours of Theology class in the afternoon and then a few times this semester we will have 2 whole days of Italian heart and culture. I promise it really is Study abroad, not just holiday abroad =]

God bless!


P.s. Here is an excerpt about pilgrimage from our reading in my Theology of Pope Benedict XVI class. I thought it was applicable considering the sort of pilgrimage I'm currently on, and we are all on here on earth...
"The more we turn our eyes and our hearts to the earthly Jerusalem, 
the more will our yearning be kindled for the heavenly Jerusalem, the true goal of every pilgrimage,
 along with our eager desire that the name of Jesus, the one name which brings salvation, may be acknowledged by all (cf. Acts 4:12)."

P.s.s. Pics of our trip to Cinque Terre to come soon!

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