Ciao! It’s been about two weeks since I arrived in Florence. After a hectic flying experience, we took a taxi to the CAPA center, which is our academic building. I immediately took notice to the narrow, cobblestone streets. Due to the small sidewalks, it is normal for Florentines to walk in the streets. Only those that live in the city and taxis can drive in the city, so there are a lot less cars than I expected. When you’re walking, you have to move whenever a car is coming behind you. Most people drive mopeds or bikes, so you also have to pay attention to them when you’re walking, because the pedestrians do not have the right of way in most instances. We arrived at CAPA and they coordinated another taxi to our apartment, which is on a street called Via del Corso only a 3 minute walk away. However, with all of our bags and the uneven streets, it would be very hard to walk even a short distance.
We arrived at our apartment, and the first thing I noticed is the beautifully painted ceiling. We have a main room with a small kitchen, dining room table, and a couch. I turned right and walked into my room, which is a triple that I share with my two friends Bridgette and Marlo. It is a lofted bedroom, so Bridgette’s bed is up a small flight of stairs. I was impressed with the size of both our bedroom and the apartment; I expected a room smaller than my freshman year dorm. I also live with four other girls, three of whom go to Pitt. Two of these roommates I had never met before, and one is in my business fraternity. My final roommate goes to school in South Carolina and met us all for the first time the day we arrived. I am glad that we all get along and go out to eat, attend class, and travel together.
There are some challenges with the new apartment that differ from what I am accustomed to in the United States. As I mentioned, there is no air conditioning, so it gets pretty hot in our room. We keep the windows open often to cool down the apartment, but there’s no screens, so mosquitos get inside. There are also no dryers, so we have to use drying racks by the window to dry our clothing. The microwave is also oddly difficult to use, and it is not as powerful as my microwave back at home. The buttons are completely different, and it takes about three times as long to heat something up. The outlets are also different, so we need to use adapters to plug things in.
Despite these challenges, the apartment is very nice and in an ideal location. We don’t need to walk more than 15 minutes to get to most places, and there are several cafes only a minute away. If I want to take a quick shopping trip, I can walk 4 minutes to Zara! If I have class at 12, I can leave at 11:57! If I want to view the beautiful Duomo, I can walk just three minutes to see it. I love how everything is walkable and so close to home. I could not be happier with my living conditions in Florence thus far!
– Alexis Hammer