Sorry that I haven’t posted in a bit, but life has been hectic… in the best way possible! Since the last time I have posted, I have gotten to explore Florence more, meet new people, have my first week of classes, plan trips, go on trips and spend quite a bit of money. Overall, I am head over heels in love with Florence and this past weekend engaging in day trips to Modena, Italy and Venice, only made me realize my obsession with Florence more. Florence is an AMAZING place to have my ‘home base’ in and I could not be happier I chose it.
…because apparently I am here to study…? Hehe
My schedule is amazing because Monday I only have my Italian class at 4:15, Tuesday I have no classes, Wednesday my classes start at noon and I have Sports Marketing, Italian and Web & Social Marketing and then Thursday I have Creative Advertising class at 9am. This schedule absolutely rocks and makes traveling super easy, and it helps that I already like every single one of my classes and the people in them. Writing this is making me realize I haven’t yet done my Italian homework yet so thanks blog.
Now, onto the abroad part….
Planning trips (a.k.a HELL):
Yes, it is super exciting to be able to travel to new countries every weekend but man, is the planning aspect a pain in the boOoty. With everyone having different schedules and preferences, planning and organizing gets tough and becomes the topic of EVERY conversation. Not to mention… it’s PRICEY (relatively, because obviously it’s cheaper than traveling from the states). I am going on a few trips with my roommates and a few with other friends so that is also making things more difficult because well… I don’t live with my other friends so I can’t discuss it with them 24-7. Even though it’s a pain, I know it will all be 100% worth it. Coming up, I have some trips that are free through my study abroad program and then I am going to Budapest, Vienna and Salzburg (yes, in 1 weekend) and then Prague the next weekend. Currently in the process of trying to plan Spring Break (4 countries, 10 days STAY TUNED) and my HUGE trip of jumping continents and going to MOROCCO. Other than that, we are planning on going to Springfest, Croatia and some other places. EXCITING STUFF.
This weekends excursions:
Alrighty, let’s get into this.
Saturday we woke up bright and early and eagerly awaited to arrive at out first excursion of this crazy study abroad experience. We went to Modena, which in all honesty is a small and boring town but hey, we can’t expect everywhere to be bumpin’ at all hours of the day.
We started off going to the Ferrari Museum. The museum was cool to see but it was short and not all that interesting. Don’t get me wrong, the cars were cool and all but there really wasn’t much to read about the cars. We got through the museum in 20 minutes and then got excited for the Ferrari simulator….. until we were told it costs 25 euro. So, instead we got cappuccinos! #basic
After that we went to get a tour of the largest distributor of Balsamic Vinegar in Modena. If you didn’t know, Modena is known for their Balsamic. This was actually pretty cool to learn about… did you know: Balsamic can get as expensive as 350 EURO. We then got to do a tasting and to our surprise, we were not getting to taste it on food, rather we got little spoons and just tried it that way. Some I didn’t like at all, but some didn’t taste like vinegar at all! From there we were given 3 hours to do whatever our hearts desired in the center of the town.
The town is adorable and all the buildings were gorgeous but if there’s anything that you wouldn’t expect to have a hard time finding in Italy… it’s food but we had to look hard for a restaurant. We actually ended up settling on a Chinese food place, which I wasn’t that ecstatic about because I know I will never be there again and would have liked to get a meal with their balsamic on it but we were all hungry and I know my roommates were happy with it so I wont complain!
The next day, Sunday (the day I am writing this), we woke up even earlier and took an almost 3 hour bus ride to VENICE. I didn’t have crazy high expectations about Venice because I had heard of people not loving it but man was Venice cool. We were lucky enough to be able to experience Venice during Carnivale. Pretty much, it seemed like Italy’s Halloween. People had some interesting costumes from very traditional old-fashioned dresses to chickens, we saw it all. Me and my roommates got little masquerade masks for only a few euro and wore those around. They all got pretty colorful ones…. and I got a full black one because I think it is absolutely gorgeous (tomorrow I will post a picture of it). Then, all of our favorite parts, we hoped on a gondala and got a tour of Venice via the canals. Unfortunately, the maximum capacity of a gondala is 6 people and we had 7 people (of course) so we had to split up 4 and 3 but it worked out just fine. We paid 20 euro each to get a 30 minute ride, which may sound expensive but it was totally worth it because I had a wonderful time and I know all my roommates did too!
OH, then we went to lunch at this random little restaurant and I ordered polenta with shrimp and the waiter pretty much wouldn’t let me order it?!?!? I asked for it and he was asking me if I knew what it was and since my mom made it once, I did and had liked it a lot but then he was like no no no so in the spur of the moment I had to change my order. SO strange because I was looking forward to it. Polenta is a weird looking food but it really is yummy! I ended up getting seafood risotto. It was delicious once I took out the octopus and snail… just not into the texture but the taste isn’t terrible. It had shrimp, clams, oysters, mussels and peppers in it! After lunch we didn’t know what else to do but still had almost 2 hours left, we took a stroll down a different road and came to the actual edge of the city just in time to see the sun setting, it was breathtakingly beautiful to see.
I had so much fun exploring different parts of Italy this weekend and I cannot even imagine the fun I will have when I visit other countries in just a short time!
Well, I think that is about it! Thank you for reading:)
Until next time,