Thursday, February 11, 2010

alaina's thursday top ten: the first edition.

I've decided to institute a weekly blog that I have entitled Alaina's Thursday Top Ten. I plan to use it in different ways, both to compliment the Italy that I have grown to love, as well as to complain about it's less-than-charming qualities. This week, since I'm probably still in the "honeymoon" phase of my trip abroad, I will give you the top ten things I love about Florence (so far).

[Disclaimer: these are not in any particular order.]

1. Piazzle Michaelangelo. This is a Piazza situated in the southeast corner of the city, across the Arno River. From it, you have the absolute best view of the entire city of Florence. It is quite a walk from my apartment (probably several kilometers), and requires climbing several deceptively steep stairs, but as you can see, the view on a beautiful day is quite worth it.

2. The food. Obviously. I think I have made all of you drool enough with my apparently torturous photos of the food here; you get the point. Everything from the pasta to the gelato to the chocolate to the fresh vegetables is DELICIOUS. Even when I've been disappointed at a restaurant, everything is still a far cry from the chemically infused substances that Americans call food. I think that this will be the biggest problem I have in coming back.
3. The coffee. Though technically this probably goes in the food category, I think that I'm drinking enough of it to give it its own number. I have had it in many forms here, cooked in my own apartment with the moka, in latte and capuccino form, and once, as pure espresso. I've yet to have a bad coffee experience (though the espresso was a bit much for me) and I'm proud to admit that I don't even miss Starbucks....yet.
4. Walking everywhere. Strangely, I love not having a car. I can get anywhere on foot, in a reasonable amount of time. Though I've gotten lost MANY times, with my trusty map in my bag, I can always get back to my apartment, or at least to il Duomo, from which point I can find most anything. It's a completely different experience to learn a city by foot, and plus, my pants are already fitting looser because I'm walking miles a day, just to do basic things. Score.
5. il Duomo. I go past it every day that I have class (or when I need to go anywhere, really) and it's always an awe-inspiring sight. It's crazy that I walk past this famous landmark and it is the only thing that makes the fact that I live in Florence real for me.
6. Going out to bars. Drinking here is more of a social activity than in America. They really don't drink to get drunk, which is more my style, I have realized. I love getting dressed up, going out with people, and having a drink or two. Even if the people I'm with drink a lot and I don't, I still have a good time just being out.
7. il Mercato Centrale. I love buying my groceries fresh every couple of days from a huge open-air market. Again, the freshness factor is the main reason, but it is always interesting and fun to go in there and see what crazy thing I'm going to see that day. Though it often grosses me out (cows heads and stomachs just laying around), it is always fascinating. Plus, where else can you get fresh pasta made in the south of Italy? Bread made that very day? Fresh mozzarella? Any kind of dried fruit avaliable? Oh, and it's mad cheap, too.
8. My roommates. We are all quite different, but we all get along (unlike a lot of people in the program that I've been hearing about). I feel like we have a good dynamic, and similar senses of humor. Not to mention that we're all English majors, so the chats about books and movies get pretty intense. Also, Sam just gave me a KinderEgg. Brownie points.
9. My classes. As you saw in my last couple of entries, my classes here are either a) teaching me how to make delicious treats or b) reinspiring passions I had thought to be long lost.
10. SNOW. It snowed here for about 10 or 20 minutes today, and though it didn't stick, anyone who was in my apartment will tell you that I went nuts. Here's hoping to seeing more snow in Venice this weekend!

Snow, not dandruff.

My "IT IS SNOWING!" face.


  1. love the snowing face it is a shame that you are in Washington DC cause the face would be

  2. i'm glad we share similar feelings about drinking. you make me feel more normal :) eggs=AMORE!

  3. "Snow, not dandruff."
    Haha. You crack me up.

  4. I laughed out loud at the snow nonsense. You truly are a Floridian, regardless of what you think ;]

    Also, KinderEgg's are AMAZING! Kelly used to bring them back from Japan. Yum.