Saturday, April 23, 2011

How long has it been anyway?

hey so this is kevin. Its been a while since I last updated. Looks like its been about a month. Sorry about that. I've been really busy. Sometimes life just catches up with you and something's gotta give, ya know. I've had to write papers, study for exams, normal college stuff. But when you're living here you are really on your own. You have an apartment that you share with other students, you have to manage your money, and find/cook food. You're living in a city, not a dorm. Actually, right now I'm cleaning up my apartment. But writing this is one of the many ways I've been putting it off.

Actually I knew it was time to clean when my parents came over to visit. My parents are teachers and since they had spring break last week, they decided to come over for a few days. Well when my dad came up to look at the apartment, he was clearly traumatized. There were dishes everywhere, there was trash, and the sewage system in my apartment is a little funky so you can guess what it smelled like. I'm pretty sure he convinced my mom not to come up since they didn't complain when I tried to avoid my apartment. But it was a nice visit and I was

looking forward to it for a while. I didn't have to pay for a single meal which was a great change of pace.

We even took a trip to Lucca which is a small town off to the west of Florence. Its a beautiful town perfect for a day trip. Its got a pretty cool history. Throughout the middle ages and the renaissance, the town put 1/3 of its money into building these impenetrable walls. Now that's a lot of money, imagine giving 1/3 of your money to the production of a wall. But because the walls were so impenetrable, the town was never invaded. No one even tried. When they loo
ked at the walls, the invaders would always say, "It isn't worth it, lets invade the next town." And when cannons and gun powder were used in warfare, the town knocked down its old walls and built new ones that could withstand cannon fire. The town remained free and was never invaded until Napoleon came to Italy. So when you go to Lucca, the incredibly old buildings and art are in great condition because the place was never invaded.
So now that things are winding down I'm starting to come to the realization of how much I am going to miss Italy. I was pretty homesick in the beginning. I didn't really miss anything specific about home except for the people. But going on spring break and traveling away from Italy has really developed a strong appreciation of the place. Like you realize how much you had only when you lose it. Well I got a taste of that during spring break and now I'm cherishing every moment I have in the country. But don't get me wrong, I'm excited to go back home. But I'm not excited to leave Italy.
Enough of that though, me procrastinating on my cleaning duties is beginning to upset my roommates. I'll write more later!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The final weeks

Ciao everyone!

Sorry I haven't been able to write..I've been so busy with assignments and papers! I can't believe this semester is coming to a close in 3 really does feel like just yesterday that I came here and was in complete shock. It's really nice to see how much I've changed and adapted to Italian culture in the past few months and it's definitely going to be bittersweet when I have to leave.
Last weekend, the stony brook university group (all 75 of us) went to Sicily for our last trip all together. The weather was pretty terrible, but the food and how beautiful everything was really made up for it. I ate a true sicilian cannoli.. and omg it was the best thing I've ever eaten! I also ate the best bowl of pasta in my life..the food is SO ridiculous! It was also really cool to go to Sicily because that's where my family on my mom's side is from..even though we didn't get to go to their town, it was nice to know that I could at least be in Sicily.
So, I'm in the process of writing/ handing in all my papers and I must say that this whole 'study' part in study abroad can be bad sometimes because all you want to do is go out and enjoy Florence and not side inside your apartment doing work..especially since it's so beautiful in Florence in the spring time!
In these last couple of weeks, I'm gonna try to make it to all of the places in Florence that I haven't been able to visit like the Boboli Gardens and the Uffizi. Once you start living here for a while, you kind of forget about doing the touristy things and you pretty much start living like a true Florentine/ Italian.
Even though I still have 3 weeks left, it's really starting to hit me that I'm really gonna miss it here. This was really a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm SO glad I was able to do it!
..I'll write soon!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Time is flying...


I can't believe it's April already! I only have 5 more weekends left in Florence..that's crazy! Time is really starting to go fast now. I have so many things left to do and it's making the days fly.

This weekend, I went on a trip to the Amalfi coast and it was AMAZING! It was like the Bahamas for the U.S. The water was so blue and the weather was awesome. We stayed in a cute little bungalow in Sorrento and we spent most of the weekend on the island of Capri. The one thing I knew I had to do while I was in Capri was see the blue grotto. We missed the last boat to go inside the grotto the first day we got there, but we went back the next day and it was totally worth the wait. We were inside the grotto for only a few minutes, but it was probably one of the best moments ever. The water was so beautiful and the man rowing our boat sang us Italian songs the whole time. It was great!

We also went on a chair lift in Capri and saw the best views of the whole island and also of the water surrounding it. I can't even begin to describe how pretty the island of Capri was and even Sorrento, too. I think that the Amalfi coast was definitely my favorite trip of the semester so far. I would go back in a heart beat! I'd defintely say that it was one of the best weekends of my life.

If you ever want to go to the Amalfi coast, book it through euroadventures. They make it so easy and it's supposed to be very hard to travel in that area by yourself.

Well, I gotta run to go to my cooking class now! I hope you enjoy the pictures!

-- Kelsey