Hello everyone (whoever you might be who reads my silly blogs),
im sorry i have been slacking so much on the blog posts, life in italy has been busy and i guess ive just been so caught up in absorbing it all!
so since i last updated ive traveled quite a bit- cinque terre, milan, bologna, sienna, pienza, sicily, and venice. have been putting in my time seeing all of italy that i possibly can because i think its important to see and experience the country your living in. sicily was absolutely the most different place i have been, and probably one of the hardest places i have ever traveled to. i went to sicily on a 4 day weekend trip sponsored by the school. from the moment i arrived in sicily i immediately felt a shift- the people are so different from any italian i have ever met. there is this heaviness that seems to be woven into the very fabric of sicily and its reflected in everything from the architecture of the buildings to the eyes of the people that live there. we had an amazing time spending most of the weekend with some local sicilian farmers who work on coop land that has been reclaimed from the mafia. i guess i never knew how real it really was, but the mafia is part of everyday life in sicily and still very much runs that city. we also got to hear 3 survivors of the 1947 massacre in which 11 people were killed (farmers and family) at a local celebration by mafia command- we actually heard them speak in the field where the massacre took place.
i liked sicily, and got to experience lots of things i would have never been able to do/see if i wasnt there with school, but overall i dont think i could spend more than a week there. the heavyness really weighed me down and i had a hard first few days there because of it. i will post pictures of sicily asap, but my friend kelsey borrowed by big camera yesterday and i ahvent had a chance to upload the sicily pics.
bologna, sienna, pienza, milan, and cinque terre were all nice... but in the end of the day each italian city i travel to just makes me appreciate florence more. i really feel like i have found my home here and no other italian city seems to compare... or get even close.
i have become so accustomed to my life here, and i really really enjoy it. i think there is a lot to be said about the way they lead their lives here, and i am truly living it up italian, or rather florentine style! i have even made friends with the guys who run the tripe (yes i said tripe, as in intestines- florentine special) panini stand on my street. its a stand which is famous for its tripe paninis but they also have other AMAZING paninis. i walk by it everyday and one day when i was buying a panini i introduced myself, so now every morning noon and night when i walk by the stand the guys say "BUONGIORNO (buonasera ect) LIZA!" and then if i stop and talk they always inquire about my days events ect, its adorable. and i have also made friends with stefano, the man who works in the italian specialty deli on my street. i feel like i am becoming a resident here, and most importantly i feel at home here.
as for school (the most boring part of my life here), its okay. i just finished midterms and now i am on 'fall break' for a week. i leave on weds for berlin where dad and anth are coming to meet me and maris for maris's big art show on the 30th (send good thoughts to her!). and then the whole fam is coming back to florence on sunday night for a few days! im SO excited to see everyone, as much as i love my life here i do get homesick and miss my family a ton.
back to school, school here is sooo different from school at home. its much more like a crossroads environment... except in a villa in florence! i am taking 3 academic classes (20th century european history, italian urbanism architectural history, and italian language and culture) and metal smithing in the afternoons at a local art school. my classes are interesting, but i have to say that school is not my priority here, and luckily none of my grades transfer back, only the credits so school is pretty pressure free here. but i do quite enjoy walking into a huge italian villa in the mornings, getting a cappuccino from elia (the lovely older woman who owns the little cafe inside school with her husband sergio) and talking to her in italian, and then making my way through the villa rossa garden to my mornings class- its quite lovely! so i spend my mornings at the villa rossa (syracuse's 'campus') and then head to the center of the city for lunch at marios (our family tradition, we eat there everyday that we spend in florence, thus i eat lunch there every single day) and then after a 3 hour lunch break and usually some red wine heading to my metal smithing studio for 3 hours of metal smithing. the metal smithing program hasnt been everything i hoped it would be, and i get really frustrated with metalsmithing because im not used to it and all of their equipment is different- however, im stickin with it because i know the experience will only make me grow as a designer.
okay i feel like im rambling, i have more to say but i will update before i leave for berlin. here are some pictures of my travels and life in florence!