On Thursday last week, me and my friend Liega (who is also in Italy on a placement) briefly discussed going to Florence this weekend to see our friend Sian who is working there. Nothing was official and I called her the next day, “Let’s do it!” we said so I packed my bag and looked for cheap hotels/hostels. I found a few and wrote the addresses down.
The following morning, we boarded the train and met some lovely guys from South Africa in our booth. We chatted about cultural differences, language, accents, free time and our plans. They were really friendly and keen to know why we were in Italy.
We arrived in Florence around noon and we were shortly greeted by Sian, I was so happy to see her and gave her a massive hug. Myself and Sian lived together for two weeks during our language course, after that we were placed in different accommodation. Our priority was to then find a room for Liega and myself for the night. We walked around for just shy of an hour but found a really cheap one star place, it was only 30 euros and included breakfast so we were very happy. We literally dumped our stuff in the room and Sian lead us out into Florence.
I took over five hundred photographs and I realised that I’d really benefit from getting a better camera. Mine is decent but I think when I next have money I’ll get myself a better model. From my photographs, I will draw and maybe even create some letter stationary designs. I feel extremely inspired and I am thoroughly enjoying my freedom here.
After we had browsed the delights of the city for a good few hours, we decided that a rest was in order but said we’d meet later for drinks. Myself and Liega were very tired so we made our way back to our room and slept for a short while. After we had rested, we made our way to a pizza place and ate in the Piazza by the Duomo – which really blew my mind. Even in the night it looks amazing and glows, I was able to get good photographs even in the dark. Again, wow.
After pizza, we made our way over to the steps of the Duomo and chatted for a while. We got chatting to three new people, Kristin from Canada, Ryan from America and Issac from Australia – they were all friendly and they had each only met each other recently at the hostel they were staying in. When Sian joined us we all had drinks in an Irish bar. Maria, Sian’s Spanish room mate also joined us, she was very friendly and spoke brilliant Italian.
After an hour or so, myself, Liega and Sian said goodbye to our new friends and we swapped email addresses and Facebook names. We joined Maria in another bar and I met some more people, it was so much fun and we danced until 3am. I was glad to get in bed afterwards but found it difficult to sleep with fresh memories of my visit flooding through my head.
In the morning Liega and myself decided to do our own thing for the rest of the day. I had another wander around Florence and amazingly didn’t get lost, I was very proud of myself. I found a wonderful little jewellery shop, everything was handmade and I bought a necklace. It’s a cute little skull and I haven’t taken it off since. I had a broken but good conversation with the shop owner/jewellery maker, told him what I was doing in Italy and that I studied Italian for two weeks but would like to study more – he was very impressed and said that considering I’d only studied for two weeks my Italian was good. It gave me a real confidence boost and when I’m back in the UK I think I will look into learning Italian properly while it’s fresh in my head. Being in Italy has really rekindled my love and passion for language and I may also start studying French again.
My thoughts before I came here were to do my placement, enjoy Italy, get a design job afterwards and move out but I feel differently now. I don’t feel like I’m ready to fully grow up just yet, I want to travel. I’d like a real job still of course, where I can design and be creative but I think I will save up and go travelling for a few months within the next year. I’ve seen so much during just two months of being here and I know for a fact that there’s tonnes more of the world that I am yet to see. I do want to move out but I am sure I can manage staying at home for a year longer so I can go travelling, it will be worth it and from the experience I can learn more about myself and experience things that build character.
I have a lot of thinking to do but for now, I’m going to continue enjoying myself and hopefully visit Rome and Cinque Terre soon. I also visited Verona yesterday, another post to follow shortly.