This weekend, I took a much needed trip to visit one of my favorite people in Florence. After an extremely long week and a grueling over night bus ride, nothing could have made me more excited than seeing my friend Elise’s smiling face waiting for me at the bus station.
Elise (and Olivia, another girl from our honors program at ETSU) is studying at SACI, and she spent the weekend giving me the true Italian tourist experience. We ate pasta, we ate pizza, and we ate gelato (multiple times). We climbed the stairs in the bell tower and in the Duomo. We wandered the alleys crowded with street vendors selling leather. We window shopped in places we could never dream of affording. We drank coffee in the cafe/bar directly beneath Elise’s flat.
The Duomo is definitely the masterpiece of Florence; for the weekend, it acted as a guide post for me. If I didn’t know where we were, I simply had to find the dome and the tower rising above the rest of the city to guide me. Climbing up the two was exhausting and very terrifying, but worth it. “Il Grande Museo Del Duomo Firenze” was an interesting addition to the weekend and a beautiful museum.
On Friday evening, I joined Elise and some of her friends from SACI for a traditional Jewish Shabbat dinner: good food and better people. I had forgotten how good a pot luck meal can be. Elise and I were also treated to midnight hairs cuts; one of her friends has a hidden talent for hair cutting and we all took advantage of it (thanks again Alina!).
On Saturday, we stumbled upon a chocolate festival, and it was definitely a delicious find. We think that the festival was used to reward the title of “the best chocolate in Florence” to one of the vendors, but I don’t think I could have chosen a favorite.
Not only did I get to explore a beautiful and historic city this weekend, I got to do it with my best friend, and I miss them both already.