wooooah it's been a long time since my last post - i went to florence last weekend (as in like, 8 days ago)! 'twas fabulous! i didn't actually go into the uffizzi or the accademia, so i plan on returning to actually go into the museums. instead, i just wandered around the different piazzas. i saw the duomo (gorgeous), the statues outside of the uffizzi (stunning), strutted across the ponte vecchio and ate fantastic food. AND AND AND there was a chocolate fair going on! all of piazza santa croce was stuffed with chocolate things. there were shoes made of chocolate, tools made of chocolate, a chocolate kebab vendor, and anything dipped in melted chocolate that you can ever imagine. it was basically heaven. the only sad part about florence is that i brilliantly left my camera's memory card in my room in arezzo, so my camera was essentially useless. thus i have no pictures to show you of the chocolate or gorgeousness. florence, although fantastic, also helped me appreciate how much we are almost the only americans in arezzo. florence was stuffed to the gills with tourists and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it was nice to return to a place where we were the exceptions as americans and everyone gladly helped us practice italian.
last week was another fantastic week of classes, although i got pretty sick for the first half of it so i spent a good amount sitting in the corner in many layers of sweatshirts :( an italian doctor came to the villa though for all of us sick folk, and with the help of a translator he managed to diagnose me with something-or-other and i'm all better YAY! translating "post-nasal drip" was a challenge.
this most recent weekend i stayed around arezzo rather than trekking off to anywhere else in italy. saturday i strapped on my athletic self and went hiking with my friends stuart and maggiejo in the hills above arezzo. it was so so so gorgeous. beyond words gorgeous. i put some pictures below, but they don't really capture how fantastic it was. we were originally planning on hiking all the way to alghieri (spelling might be completely wrong) and then taking a bus back, but we got about 2 hours up the path that was supposedly leading us there, and it forked. not believing in things like maps, we had no clue which fork to take. we were, however, at a gorgeous mountaintop villa/gated estate, and so while we were half trying to figure out where we were and half gazing in awe at the gorgeous property, the owners drove up. of course we tried in our fluent (horribly broken) italian to ask them which fork to take. there was only one minor problem in that we couldn't remember the name of alghieri. oops. so we didn't even really know what we were asking for. despite our stupidity though, they took us through their gorgeous house so that their garden-keeper could attempt to tell us where to go. they were completely useless in showing us directions, but seeing their adorable and gorgeous property was fantastic nonetheless. and they were very enthusiastically useless.
we eventually made it back by way of an adorable town called san polo, from where we took a bus to arezzo. that was a very strangely constructed sentence. but regardless in san polo we stumbled upon a church that had sections dating back to the 4th century. so cool. once we got back to arezzo we ate lots of food, and this week we start intensive commedia classes! i promise to (try to) post more often!
gorgeousness from above arezzo
part of the estate thing on top of the hill.
stuart and me and pretty views
this was so pretty it looks fake.