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Report 679: A Student in Florence

By colleenk from MA, Spring 2004

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Page 3 of 16: A Student in Florence

photo by Colleen K.

Santa Croce Church

Monday, April 26, 2004

OK, so with my third full day behind me in Florence now I can admit it. It was a little scary and lonely here all by myself despite being in my beloved Italy. But today, with the start of my language class at the Koine school I am flying high. Not only do I love my teacher Marco, who is funny, stimulating and dedicated all rolled into one, but I understand a whole lot more Italian than I ever imagined!

Yeah, I did get placed in the beginnerís class despite my previous adult education classes at home but I feel comfortable and am being pushed to speak (and I really needed that push), but all 6 students are about on the same level, which is nice. There are 3 Germans, 1 Canadian and 2 Americans in my class. One of the German women is exactly my age and we have much in common. We lunched together at Antico Ristorante Il Sasso di Dante behind the Duomo and had terrific pasta dishes. I had tried to have lunch there on Sunday but it was filled with local families and I couldnít get a table. On the fun school tour of the city today, I met many more fascinating people and again understood more Italian than I could have imagined. If I had taken this course without any preparation I think I would have been lost, so I am in the right place.

Some of the group went to the restaurant Dante tonight in the Oltrano district, which was fun, filled with locals and inexpensive; I shared a grilled fish plate because I couldnít face the thought of more pasta or pizza and all those calories!

Last night I met Chandi (RedRedWine from the Slow Travel Message Board) and her husband Dave and had a very good meal at Trattorria da Ruggero on Via Senese, 89, another restaurant filled with locals. We had some very good pasta starters and shared a mixed grilled meat plate. The star of the evening however was the roasted potatoes. When Chandi complimented the waiter on how good they were, he brought us another plate, which we had, instead of desert!

Enough about food! Yesterday I went to the San Marco Museum and just loved the frescos in the monkís cells and revisited the Santa Croce Church where itís always daunting to be in the presence of such illustrious menís tombs. I have also done a lot of "pre-shopping" touring, scooping out exactly where I should buy the various things on my wish list.

So much to do and now it feels like so little time!

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