My name is Sara Edell and I am a sophomore at Nazareth College of Rochester in New York. My friend Ally Kadin, and I write a blog called “2 Blondes Take on Florence” We update it weekly with stories about our time here in Italy and at SRISA. I thought I’d share part of my experience with you.
Thus far, we have traveled to many different cities in Italy. It has been beautiful here and I love visiting all the wondrous cities and experiencing the different cultures. My favorite city so far is Verona!
When I arrived in Florence I was home sick at first but it was easy to settle into the city once you get the hang of everything. We have found our favorite cafes, bakeries and pizzerias. Our favorite café is News Café by Piazza San Lorenzo. The owner Marco, is a middle-aged man with a man bun. He is so friendly and always welcomes us whenever we come in. Our usual is a cappuccino and a pasta (a croissant with nutella in it). Marco is also an cappuccino artist! He can draw anything you want in your cappuccino. He has drawn the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, a bear coming out of the cup, hearts, flowers, cartoon characters and more! He also demands we order in Italian so there is no getting away with English in there. It can be frustrating at times like when you need to leave to go to class and he’ll refuse to take your money until you tell him perfectly in Italian what you ordered, but really he’s just trying to help us. We can always count on him to put a smile on our face. There’s never a dull moment at News Cafe. We asked Marco if he’d be our friend, and he said yes! Needless to say, our day was made!
Another favorite store of ours is 99 Tutto! It’s a 99-cent store so everything is a dollar (perfect for poor college students. They have everything from school supplies to cleaning supplies to spices and herbs. We usually go there at least once a week.
My favorite spot in Florence is the Boboli Gardens at the Pitti Palace. It is breathtaking there, literally! You need to be in shape to climb all the way to the fountains and gardens at the top of the hill. But once you get to the top, your jaw will drop to the ground once you see the view of Florence. Even in February when the flowers aren’t in bloom, you will find gorgeous pathways with arches that line the way and beautiful garden sculptures that have been preserved for over 500 years. I could talk about the gardens all day but you will never truly understand how beautiful they are until you go there yourself!
If you’d like to check out Ally and I’s weekly blog, click here: http://twoblondestakeonflorence.weebly.com/blog/pisa