Another week in Italy gone, and now it’s halfway through the month! Only two weeks left in this beautiful country, which is bizarre to even think about!
Last Friday, every Kent student in the program, no matter what major, had to take a mandatory field trip to Siena, an hour and a half outside of Florence. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly why it was considered “mandatory”, especially because they waited to tell us till we got to the orientation the previous weekend. Despite that though, I’m really glad I went and experienced it in person. Siena is BEAUTIFUL! We didn’t have all day but we still made the best out of it. We went to the Siena Cathedral, walked around the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, climbed the Facciatone to a get a view of the whole city and Tuscan countryside (ABSOLUTELY worth it, despite the amount of steps!), explored the Palazzo Pubblico, and, of course, ate some gelato. I highly recommend visiting Siena if you have never been. It’s such a charming, vintage European town with so much history and wonder. It kind of reminded me of a village you would see in an old-fashioned movie or also the opening scene of Beauty and the Beast!
The following day, me and my friends Megan and Chelsey decided to spend the day exploring Pisa. It took less than an hour to get there by train (we didn’t take the faster train, we just took the normal one), and it was only around $8 euros per person. In my personal opinion, while the city is beautiful and iconic, it’s only worth a day to visit rather than a whole weekend. The only thing that most tourists really do there is take pictures with the Leaning Tower of Pisa 😂 But I still recommend going for a day and exploring. It’s totally worth it and you’'ll learn so much more about the city than you did before!
On Sunday, to end the weekend, me and two of my roommates, Marj and Haylee, took a day trip to Viareggio to hang out at the beach. It was 90 FREAKING DEGREES in Florence, and we felt that we would probably die if we decided to stay there for the day. So that’s when we looked up some train tickets and booked them for a beach day! We left in the morning to take a train there and we arrived there within an hour and a half. By the time we were on the train and at Viareggio, it was PACKED. There were a lot of students who, just like us, were on their weekend break going to the beach for some fun in the sun. We met two really nice Italian girls, Francesca and Demet, who were heading to the beach as well and they spoke clear English, so they let us hang out with them! We chatted with them on the train and went to a grocery store to get some snacks and drinks, then we headed towards the beach. Thank goodness that we met them because Francesca spoke Italian to all the employees there and helped us get chairs by the water to layout on! It was such a nice day. We went for a few dips in the ocean, ate, drank, took some fun pics, and just chilled in the sun. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Week 2 of classes started off with another field trip to the Palazzo Vecchio for my Italian Fashion & Culture course. I’ve only seen the outside of the museum, so I was definitely excited to see the inside of it. It was absolutely stunning, just so purely authentic and historical! Later that day, I went to a food tasting with a bunch of other students hosted by Pozzo Divino. The owner was so sweet and intelligent, he gave us so many insightful information as he served us cheese, bread (with no salt!), olive oil, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, and salami. He also said that the restaurant hosts special wine tasting events every week, and that Kent State students get a 20% discount on wine bottles … I’m certainly going to one those for sure for good wine with good discounts!
On Tuesday, my first class met for our next field trip at the Pitti Palace, home of the famous Boboli Gardens. It was so beautiful and majestic! Except I didn’t have time to use the bathroom beforehand, so I had to hold it in for at least over an hour which was a little uncomfortable, especially in a big ass museum 🙃 Afterwards, me and a few friends in my fashion classes decided to get lunch at La Milkeria (of course after I was finally able to pee). Y’all, I HIGHLY recommend going there if you ever come to Florence! It’s soooo good. They serve Nutella crepes, pancakes, and waffles that are unreal. They also have delicious iced vanilla lattes. It’s now officially one of my new favorite restaurants in Firenze that I’m definitely going back to at least ten more times this month! Later that night, me, my roommates and a few of our gal pals decided to hit up a sports bar called Reserve, which a lot of Kent State students go to for Tuesday night discounts on drinks. Despite not being a big partner, that was one of the best nights of my life! We drank, we danced, we drank, we danced … thankfully, I drank plenty of water afterwards to avoid having a hangover. Still, I enjoyed that night with my friends and all the other students (at least the ones I know). It was much needed break for all of us!
On Wednesday, for our European Fashion Study Tour class, we went to the Salvatore Ferragamo to learn about how sustainability plays a major role in the fashion industry. They showed off a bunch of displays featuring outfits made out of reused material that are environmental friendly and help decrease pollution (the fashion industry actually ranks in the top of most polluted industries). It was seriously one of the most intriguing museums I’ve ever visited. I love that sustainability is becoming more of an awareness in the fashion world, we need it now more than ever! And the sustainable outfits that were on display at the museum were CHIC AF. I’d definitely wear them!
Another successful and amazing week in Italia, if I do say so myself. This weekend I will be spending Friday in Rome, Saturday in Chianti and San Gimignano for a wine tasting tour as well as spending Sunday in Cinque Terre. I also have field trips to Prato and Milan for my European Fashion Study Tour class, so stay tuned to hear about them all in next week’s post!
I’m here in Florence for another two weeks and I’m still open for any recommendations, so comment below if you have any for me!