I agonized about every little detail and imagined the worst possible scenarios in each aspect of the trip. However, as per my usual neurosis, the moment I stepped off the plane I was completely enthralled and in love with my new city.
Fast-forward to today, and I can't believe how fast a month went by. It's a strange sensation because while I feel like the time raced by, I also feel like I've been away from Canada for five months, not five weeks. (Also, Happy belated Canada Day!!)
I left Florence on Saturday, and I was surprised at the feeling of melancholy that came over me. As I mentioned, I started to become attached to my routine here, and having the same apartment for a month forced me to get comfortable, more than I could have at a hotel.
Below are the things I will miss...
- Daily gelato - I've become an expert on gelato here in Florence. There is an art to choosing the right place. It is best to avoid the gelaterias that feature giant, brightly coloured mounds of globby ice cream. (These mounds are mostly full of artificial colourings and preservatives). For example: Mint gelato should be white, not green, as mint is naturally white. Always try to find places that are marked "artiginale" or "organico" as they are made with real ingredients and taste 1000% times better. Special mention goes to Grom.
- Sunset walks by the Arno river. There is really no place more magical or romantic to walk by at night in Florence. (Yes, I just used the words "romantic" and "magical" in the same sentence).
- Waking up to church bells, and having Chiesa Santa Croce as my backyard
- The appertivo bars and wine drinking piazzas. Appertivo is a relatively new concept in Italy where you purchase one drink, and then get access to a free dinner/buffet/snack bar. The food is also quite diverse, (no chips or salsa; depending where you go), and it's quite economical. You can have dinner and a drink for $5-7 euro. Special mention to Piazza Santo Spirito (The Brooklyn of Florence as I call it) and Zoe for a vegetarian appertivo.
- All the friends, students and new acquaintances I met throughout the month that gave me a new perspective on life, and who helped me to become more social and outgoing. Special mention to those who showed me around like a true Florentine.
- My roommate Maria who departed for Greece on the same day, and with whom I've found a new best friend across the world. Already plotting my trip to Greece in 2014!
Lastly, below is my final Firenze photo diary! Enjoy x