The two days leading up to Firenze, Emma and I were in Amsterdam. What a busy and beautiful city. Maybe I’ll write a full post about it at some point. Maybe I won’t. I’m still getting used to this whole blog thing, so who really knows? What I do know, is that I plan on making my way back to the Venice of the North.
Now onto Firenze! Well that’s what the plan was, but the weather thought differently. We had to touch down on Pisa. I honestly didn’t mind. I wasn’t in any huge rush. Plus I got to see an hour of Italian countryside that I’d never been able to see without that little detour. Didn’t get to see the leaning tower, but I’m sure that’s still to come.
After arriving in Florence I had to go straight to a short orientation. At this point I hadn’t met any of my roommates, and had only been able to contact one on Facebook. Wolfgang just happened to be standing right behind me in line. I know, how freakin cool is it to have a roommate named Wolfgang? Anyway, I had the great idea of trying to find our own way to our apartment and bypassing the taxis. Now, Florence’s streets remind me a little of the cracks of a broken mirror. No nice and easy, structured city blocks. These narrow cobblestone streets are going to take a little getting used to. Wolf and I tried our best, but after about 15 sweaty minutes and figuring out that we were walking in the wrong direction, we decided to hail a cab. At least we could feel a tad accomplished about that.
We were the last two to arrive. Five guys living in the middle of Florence. And what do you do on your first night with new people in Italia? Drink wine! And explore the city a little. But mostly, drink wine! We stopped at a tiny restaurant tucked away in the city. I panicked due to not understanding/knowing how to speak much Italian, so I ordered one of the first things I recognized, pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans). But, honestly, I don’t think it matters what you order most places in Italy, because it’s going to be delicious. The main components of this soup were square cut pasta pieces and chick peas. The warmth of the soup and the familiar onion and garlic flavors seemed to welcome me home.
Then came the wine, of course, and a chance to connect a bit with the roomies, or as I coined on WhatsApp, the “Fierce Firenze Five”.
The next morning I stopped at a cafe that is right next door to our apartment that I’d failed to notice the day before. For breakfast I like to have something soft, crunchy, sweet, and something strong to give me a kick start to the day. And the apple tart I had gave me the first three and looked like a piece of art with the thinly sliced apple fanned out on top. The cappuccino gave me my kick.
After some more orientation and whatnot/who’s who stuff, my roommate, Adam, and I went grocery shopping. I’ve never really been in a place where I’ve had to constantly cook for myself, and I was in heaven walking into that market. For lunch we just made ourselves a very simple bruschetta with a baguette topped with pesto, fresh mozzarella, and a balsamic glaze. The perfect thing to tide us over until dinner.
There is nothing more calming then standing over a stove and having the starchy smell of boiling pasta fill the room. This is what I came here for. Food, and also the sense of peace it brings me. We made a very simple pesto pici. Pici is a type of pasta similar to spaghetti, but thicker. I poached some eggs to throw on top, as well as some parmigiano reggiano. The egg yolk oozes over the pasta, thickening the sauce, giving it a bit more body. There’s nothing like a perfectly runny yolk. The basil pesto, even though we didn’t make it ourselves, tasted so fresh and was absorbed wonderfully by the pici. Oh, and of course there was a bit of red wine throughout the cooking/eating process.
Gelato was an obvious after dinner go-to. Oh, and we were right outside the Duomo (see featured image) while we indulged.
Even though it’s only been a day and a half living in Firenze, I really think I’m going to like it here. It’s going to be a pretty delicious semester to say the least.
Alla Prossima! Ciao!