Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 3: Welcome to the palace

Today was extremely extremely exciting. We were able to move into our beautiful, incredible, unbelievable apartment. We were like salmon swimming up river trying to line up luggage, but it ended up being pretty methodical and everyone got out pretty quickly. We took a bus through the streets right up to our apartment door (Which we became acquainted with yesterday). The streets are so narrow, that the bus stopping to let us remove our luggage caused a traffic jam on the entire street. This would be quite the conundrum in the United States, but the Italians were definitely rocking with it.

We all somehow managed to get our luggage up about five flights of stairs (that vary in size), and were absolutely thrilled to see our apartment. I had expected the worst, from all the poor reviews I've heard about the apartments in Florence (and the shower mishap I experienced personally). Not that I even really cared what the apartment looked like, seeing how beautiful the city is. But we really lucked out, we have more than enough space for only four of us. Here's an abbreviated tour of our lovely nest:

Michelle and Kelli's bedroom; this view shows their beds but on the opposite wall there are two full closets and tons of storage

entrance to the living room

dining room


Our bedroom, this picture really doesn't do it justice, its  massive. And theres a huge chandelier in it to boot.... 

Orange trees in the palace across the way

the balcony

our closet

washing machine




View from the apartment living room window, this is actually the palazzo Medici Riccardi...where the president of Italy comes to stay when he visits Florence!!!

After checking out the apartment, and doing some squealing with excitement, we decided to head out to lunch. This ended up being a huge success as well. We went to Trattoria San Lorenzo, which is a quiet and clean restaurant actually only about a block away from our apartment. We were all already in a great mood, and the food only improved it. I ordered Tagliata di petto di pollo con peperoni dolce, which means "cut chicken breast with sweet peppers". Sounds simple enough right?? The chef grilled the chicken, put it over fresh arugula and olive oil. He then topped it with grilled sweet peppers. These few simple ingredients ended up being so wonderful together. My favorite meal this far by a longshot.
For dessert, there were two cakes, and these huge pastry like, chocolate covered things. We decided we all would share a desserts, and ended up choosing the pastry. It ended up being a cooked pear, covered in pastry, and smothered in chocolate. I never thought of a pear being served this way, but this too ended up being so wonderful.

Full and blissful, we headed back to the apartment to wait for the landlord. He ended up being extremely nice, a father to two daughters, and even printed us out a map of where to take the trash, the best place to get bedding, the best supermarkets, and so on. After he left, we began to unpack but certainly didn't get very far, because we decided to do some more exploring of the area. Lucky for me, we ended up finding a super funky vintage shop:

We headed down the street, past many of the bakeries, shops, and churches, in search of an H&M. Very touristy I know. With no luck finding it, we ended up in a store, asking where to go. The woman actually left the store to go outside and point us in the right direction. This is something else that I would never expect to happen in the US, and was actually something that made me fall even more in love with my new home. We also went shopping at Zara, before tackling the next big adventure: Buying groceries.

Give you a ten if you can identify any of those things....
I went into it with a pretty good attitude; a grocery store is a grocery store is a grocery store, how different can it be? Well the answer here is, very. Literally close to nothing looked the same, besides the produce. After settling for celery, apples, some juice, three huge water bottles shampoo, conditioner, and some yogurt, I also came upon another surprise. They don't bag your groceries, which normally I wouldn't mind, but I had alot of stuff! Luckily we were only right down the street but that is definitely something I wont forget.

We brought our parcels home, and decided to get dinner at Pizzeria O'Vesuvio: home of the Jersey Shore Cast when they came to Italy. As tacky as it is it was fun to see. I ordered a red green and white pizza, which was supposed to have tomatoes, arugula, and mozzarella. Sounds amazing right? Well, turns out they ran out of arugula. And Basil. And Spinach. And just about every other thing I would have replaced the arugula with. So I didn't love my meal but we had fun anyways.

The Jersey Shore Cast's stuff

After dinner, we went to a club called "21", where the people there legitimately were probably my brother Danny's age. But it was still really fun to people watch and hang with the roomies. Overall a good time!

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