May172012

thewildbohemian:

Blog guest appearance by Bethany showing off her gorgeous Italian scarf!

Yay scarves!!! 

(Source: theecollector)

April292012
(Continued)
I’ll miss the friends I’ve made here - particularly those who have come to be a family to me. Those 14 people have made this experience an adventure. It’s hard to imagine not seeing them all every single day. 
Before we even left, when all of us sat together for the first time in that orientation class for the CCI Florence cohort, Deborah told us that we would become each other’s families while we were here. We would protect each other. We would support each other. We would encourage each other. We would annoy each other, and then we would forgive each other. Because these are the things that families do. 
And we have. 
It’s funny to think that I came here knowing about four of the people who were traveling with me. Now, I feel like I’ve known them all for years. In a short five days, we’ll go back to our families and the lives that we left behind for the past few months. And I don’t know what will happen after that. But who can ever really say? 
What I can say is that this trip gave me more than I expected. It gave me the world, quite literally, but it also gave me these wonderful, crazy, lovable people. They were a gift I wasn’t expecting, and I’ll be forever grateful to them for becoming a part of my family and for welcoming me into their’s. 
Cara mia famiglia di Firenze, 
Vivete semplicement - come nostra vita in Italia, e ricordate sempre questi giorni insieme. 
Tanti auguri!  

(Continued)

I’ll miss the friends I’ve made here - particularly those who have come to be a family to me. Those 14 people have made this experience an adventure. It’s hard to imagine not seeing them all every single day. 

Before we even left, when all of us sat together for the first time in that orientation class for the CCI Florence cohort, Deborah told us that we would become each other’s families while we were here. We would protect each other. We would support each other. We would encourage each other. We would annoy each other, and then we would forgive each other. Because these are the things that families do. 

And we have. 

It’s funny to think that I came here knowing about four of the people who were traveling with me. Now, I feel like I’ve known them all for years. In a short five days, we’ll go back to our families and the lives that we left behind for the past few months. And I don’t know what will happen after that. But who can ever really say? 

What I can say is that this trip gave me more than I expected. It gave me the world, quite literally, but it also gave me these wonderful, crazy, lovable people. They were a gift I wasn’t expecting, and I’ll be forever grateful to them for becoming a part of my family and for welcoming me into their’s. 

Cara mia famiglia di Firenze, 

Vivete semplicement - come nostra vita in Italia, e ricordate sempre questi giorni insieme. 

Tanti auguri!  

4AM
With just a few days left in Europe, I’m thinking about all the things I want to do and all the people I want to see when I get back to the U.S. But, it’s also a little bittersweet as I discovered yesterday during our day trip to Fiesole. 
I knew I would love Europe. There was no question about it. Things have happened which might sour this kind of experience for someone else, but all of Europe would have had to work very hard to make me not like it. 
Living in Italy has been like something out of a dream, and while the city of Florence is beautiful and ancient, it’s the outskirts of this city that really struck me. It’s the landscape, the sunsets and the people that I will miss most of all. 
So yesterday, we took a short trip out to Fiesole and wandered around the hilltop town that looks down on Florence. Like in so many other parts of Tuscany, the land rolls away in gorgeous green fields. It’s a natural, deep green that I can’t accurately describe. The pictures help, to be sure, but even photographs can’t communicate that kind of beauty. 
Although there isn’t much in Fiesole, some ancient ruins, a few old churches and some gardens, I found myself enchanted with the town. Flowers and vines crawled across the tops of the stone walls that flanked the narrow streets. In fact, it was so quiet and peaceful and there were so many flowers and blossoming trees that the entire city seemed like a large secret garden. 
Of course, we passed people on occasion, but a good deal of our time was spent only in each other’s company. From the surrounding trees, we heard the melodic chirping of birds - something I didn’t even realize I had been missing until I heard it. The air already smelled like summer with hints of basil leaves and wisteria.
There are many things that I miss being here, particularly the people I’ve left at home for the past four months. Still, there are things that I will miss when I leave. I’ll miss the Cypress trees, which look like very ambitious shrubs. I’ll miss the bells chiming out the hours from the old churches and from the cathedral. I’ll miss the tall buildings that give the narrow streets their romantic, European appeal. I’ll miss the little cars that scoot past me everyday with barely any room, all the scarves that I see people wearing, the freshest fruits and vegetables I’ve ever had. 
(Continued in Second Post)

With just a few days left in Europe, I’m thinking about all the things I want to do and all the people I want to see when I get back to the U.S. But, it’s also a little bittersweet as I discovered yesterday during our day trip to Fiesole. 

I knew I would love Europe. There was no question about it. Things have happened which might sour this kind of experience for someone else, but all of Europe would have had to work very hard to make me not like it. 

Living in Italy has been like something out of a dream, and while the city of Florence is beautiful and ancient, it’s the outskirts of this city that really struck me. It’s the landscape, the sunsets and the people that I will miss most of all. 

So yesterday, we took a short trip out to Fiesole and wandered around the hilltop town that looks down on Florence. Like in so many other parts of Tuscany, the land rolls away in gorgeous green fields. It’s a natural, deep green that I can’t accurately describe. The pictures help, to be sure, but even photographs can’t communicate that kind of beauty. 

Although there isn’t much in Fiesole, some ancient ruins, a few old churches and some gardens, I found myself enchanted with the town. Flowers and vines crawled across the tops of the stone walls that flanked the narrow streets. In fact, it was so quiet and peaceful and there were so many flowers and blossoming trees that the entire city seemed like a large secret garden. 

Of course, we passed people on occasion, but a good deal of our time was spent only in each other’s company. From the surrounding trees, we heard the melodic chirping of birds - something I didn’t even realize I had been missing until I heard it. The air already smelled like summer with hints of basil leaves and wisteria.

There are many things that I miss being here, particularly the people I’ve left at home for the past four months. Still, there are things that I will miss when I leave. I’ll miss the Cypress trees, which look like very ambitious shrubs. I’ll miss the bells chiming out the hours from the old churches and from the cathedral. I’ll miss the tall buildings that give the narrow streets their romantic, European appeal. I’ll miss the little cars that scoot past me everyday with barely any room, all the scarves that I see people wearing, the freshest fruits and vegetables I’ve ever had. 

(Continued in Second Post)

April142012
We hit the streets of Rome today and saw some of the main attractions. Our day included a quick stop at the Colosseum, the Ancient Roman Forum, the Vatican (including the Sistine Chapel), St. Peter’s Square, the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Needless to say, everyone’s a little sore/tired tonight! Pisa tomorrow is starting to look a little uncertain. I might give the parents a break after all their hard work hoofing it through Florence and Rome for the past three days to take in the sights. Here’s Mom and Dad at the Trevi Fountain looking very spiffy despite the rain that sprinkled throughout the day. We all threw in our coins - a boon for our return to the city one day. Hey, it worked the last time! As an aside, I used my bargaining skills to score a nice umbrella with a solid wooden handle and an automatic release for only five euro.

We hit the streets of Rome today and saw some of the main attractions. Our day included a quick stop at the Colosseum, the Ancient Roman Forum, the Vatican (including the Sistine Chapel), St. Peter’s Square, the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Needless to say, everyone’s a little sore/tired tonight! Pisa tomorrow is starting to look a little uncertain. I might give the parents a break after all their hard work hoofing it through Florence and Rome for the past three days to take in the sights. 

Here’s Mom and Dad at the Trevi Fountain looking very spiffy despite the rain that sprinkled throughout the day. We all threw in our coins - a boon for our return to the city one day. Hey, it worked the last time! 

As an aside, I used my bargaining skills to score a nice umbrella with a solid wooden handle and an automatic release for only five euro.

5PM
Last night, we found this cute little restaurant right next to San Lorenzo. The walls were decorated with wine bottles and corks, the kitchen was out in the open toward the back of the room and the servers were very entertaining. Here’s a picture of our server semi-photo bombing Dad.  

Last night, we found this cute little restaurant right next to San Lorenzo. The walls were decorated with wine bottles and corks, the kitchen was out in the open toward the back of the room and the servers were very entertaining. Here’s a picture of our server semi-photo bombing Dad.  

April132012
Mom and Dad contributed to the duck blog efforts while we were in Piazza della Signoria. Vito thought the copy of the David should be a little more modest!

Mom and Dad contributed to the duck blog efforts while we were in Piazza della Signoria. Vito thought the copy of the David should be a little more modest!

3AM
Here’s Mom and Dad bonding with the Florence Family Wednesday night at the Lion’s Fountain! This was the day the surprised me on the way back from class. There they were eating gelato in front of United Colors of Benetton! I had no idea they were coming to Florence. Tricky, very tricky. =) 

Here’s Mom and Dad bonding with the Florence Family Wednesday night at the Lion’s Fountain! This was the day the surprised me on the way back from class. There they were eating gelato in front of United Colors of Benetton! I had no idea they were coming to Florence. Tricky, very tricky. =) 

3AM
Teatro della Pergola. Vito and I attended opening night for Breakfast at Tiffany’s this Tuesday. It was unusual seeing the entire play in Italian, and the two brief nudity scenes were also unexpected. Overall, we really enjoyed the film noir feeling of the play, set in New York City during WWII. 

Teatro della Pergola. Vito and I attended opening night for Breakfast at Tiffany’s this Tuesday. It was unusual seeing the entire play in Italian, and the two brief nudity scenes were also unexpected. Overall, we really enjoyed the film noir feeling of the play, set in New York City during WWII. 

April92012
Today we went to the Boboli Gardens right behind the Pitti Palace. We stayed for awhile, escaping to a large degree the tourists that are converging on the city center. 
Between the lush greenery and the colorful blossoms, it was easy to relax and enjoy the clear blue sky and pleasant weather. 
Throughout the gardens, we found tiny doorways cut into hedges or off in secluded corners. Unfortunately, most of them had chains blocking any entrance into the area.
There were several fountains and quite a few sculptures dotting the garden. And the views were just as spectacular as the gardens themselves. From the very minute you enter the area, you can see the Duomo and part of the Palazzo della Signoria from the hill. The higher you climb through the garden, the more of the landscape you can see. 
At the highest point, we could see the rolling hills of Tuscany with all the different greens of the fields juxtaposed like the patched fragments of a quilt. From one side, I could see a fortress-like castle sitting on the top of a hill obviously some distance away.
When you tired of looking out at the landscape, you could turn around and look at the garden right before you. It was a maze of tiny hedges with children chasing each other. The walls surrounding it had flower-laden branches creeping up and spanning across it with. Instead of the gray stone beneath, you focus on the mass of yellow framing the doorway to the left or the powdery white blossoms mixing with purple rose on the right. 
The cypress alley was especially beautiful. I’ve really come to like these scraggly, skinny trees, and I imagine that they will probably always remind me of my time here. A whole stretch of the gravel path leading away from the gardens was flanked on either side by cypress trees with statues placed here and there. Then, about mid-way down, we found paths canopied by arched branches.
We turned down the path to our right, taking time to enjoy the soft sunlight that filtered in between branches and through the leaves. The path was all but abandoned except for us. Between the fair weather and chirping birds, this particular spot seemed like something from a fairy tale.
I’d heard from others that it takes about two hours to make it entirely through the gardens, but I think I could have stayed there all day. It was so nice being away from the constant noise of the city and seeing some greenery. The view from my own window is rather urban.
Afterward, we tried to go to Mama’s Bakery, but alas, it was closed for the holiday.  In fact, it was the same case for the new cafe we found as well as the bakery near the Duomo. Instead of brownies or cupcakes, we settled for some gelato. If you can call Italian gelato settling. 
It’s always satisfying to spend some time during the day seeing something new or beautiful in Florence. It’s tempting to stay cooped up inside, but there’s so much to explore that it seems wasteful, almost disrespectful, to hide away from it. I’d say that this was a great way to spend our holiday. 

Today we went to the Boboli Gardens right behind the Pitti Palace. We stayed for awhile, escaping to a large degree the tourists that are converging on the city center. 

Between the lush greenery and the colorful blossoms, it was easy to relax and enjoy the clear blue sky and pleasant weather. 

Throughout the gardens, we found tiny doorways cut into hedges or off in secluded corners. Unfortunately, most of them had chains blocking any entrance into the area.

There were several fountains and quite a few sculptures dotting the garden. And the views were just as spectacular as the gardens themselves. From the very minute you enter the area, you can see the Duomo and part of the Palazzo della Signoria from the hill. The higher you climb through the garden, the more of the landscape you can see. 

At the highest point, we could see the rolling hills of Tuscany with all the different greens of the fields juxtaposed like the patched fragments of a quilt. From one side, I could see a fortress-like castle sitting on the top of a hill obviously some distance away.

When you tired of looking out at the landscape, you could turn around and look at the garden right before you. It was a maze of tiny hedges with children chasing each other. The walls surrounding it had flower-laden branches creeping up and spanning across it with. Instead of the gray stone beneath, you focus on the mass of yellow framing the doorway to the left or the powdery white blossoms mixing with purple rose on the right. 

The cypress alley was especially beautiful. I’ve really come to like these scraggly, skinny trees, and I imagine that they will probably always remind me of my time here. A whole stretch of the gravel path leading away from the gardens was flanked on either side by cypress trees with statues placed here and there. Then, about mid-way down, we found paths canopied by arched branches.

We turned down the path to our right, taking time to enjoy the soft sunlight that filtered in between branches and through the leaves. The path was all but abandoned except for us. Between the fair weather and chirping birds, this particular spot seemed like something from a fairy tale.

I’d heard from others that it takes about two hours to make it entirely through the gardens, but I think I could have stayed there all day. It was so nice being away from the constant noise of the city and seeing some greenery. The view from my own window is rather urban.

Afterward, we tried to go to Mama’s Bakery, but alas, it was closed for the holiday.  In fact, it was the same case for the new cafe we found as well as the bakery near the Duomo. Instead of brownies or cupcakes, we settled for some gelato. If you can call Italian gelato settling. 

It’s always satisfying to spend some time during the day seeing something new or beautiful in Florence. It’s tempting to stay cooped up inside, but there’s so much to explore that it seems wasteful, almost disrespectful, to hide away from it. I’d say that this was a great way to spend our holiday. 

6AM
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