it took me a second at the train station to take a deep breath to ignore that rush rush panic feeling i’ve been having all day and just stop and say “kat….you’re in FLORENCE.”
tutto bene. once i realized which way the duomo was i was good and nothing else seemed to matter. i found the school, they showed me to my apartment (molto vicino alla scuola) and even though i had wanted to take the rest of that whole day to settle in, the moment i opened my window and the smell of deliciousness from the pasticceria below wafted in i almost died and knew i had to go for a walk.
i already loved it here. my plan had been to walk by the duomo but somehow with every turn i managed to walk in the exactly opposite direction and soon found myself on the ponte vecchio. the bridge was packed: tourists crowded the sidewalks and spilled onto the main walkway, some stood around watching two men sing and play a phil collins track, others took photo after photo, of themselves, of the ponte alle grazie, of the shops filled with gold that lined the bridge and made it so famous.
my walk likely lasted an hour without me even noticing. it was exactly what i had wanted – to be in a city where i could go for walks on my own accord, visit the sights, breathe in the life. and an hour later i was already having pizza and wine with my new roommate and some people from school! i was speechless, i was euphoric: within five hours of my landing here, my ‘florence’ dream was already coming true…allora…here i go!