So here I am, I’ve made it through one of the toughest weeks of my life! Here’s what I got up to during my first, rollercoaster ride of a week in Florence…
I arrived in Florence super nervous, and after having to wait half an hour for a bus and then being catcalled while trying to find the hostel laden with luggage, I was feeling pretty agitated.
However, when checking in to the hostel I met three really nice guys, two Canadian and one American, and we went for dinner together and for a drink in Red Carter in Santa Croce. It was such a nice welcome to the city, already meeting three new people and getting on so well with them.
The next day continued the optimism. I spent the day exploring. The weather was outstanding, and so of course I took about a million photos. I completely fell in love with Florence and couldn’t wait to live here.
However, as the week really began, my happiness, along with my health dramatically dropped.
I must have tried to contact over 50 people in those few days, with only about 8 even replying. I organised a total of five viewings, but most of them were either way too expensive, not available for a month or so, or were very very far out.
There was one not so fun incident when I looked around what seemed to be the perfect flat, right next to lectures and pretty cheap, only to be told that they won’t know for two weeks whether the bed will be available, because they were waiting on two other girls to get back to them. There was a moment there where I had to desperately hold back tears, sitting there in their living room.
It was really frustrating, compounded by my tonsillitis and the loneliness of being in a new city by myself. Living in the hostel was not ideal, the hostel itself was pretty nice but I had to live out of a suitcase all week, and deal with being woken up at all hours of the night which was great for my recovery haha.
On Thursday evening though, I finally had a breakthrough. I’d visited a really nice apartment, just outside the ring road. Although this is further away than I would have liked, I was really not in the position to be picky at this point. I contacted the landlord, telling him I’d love the room, and he got back to me within a few hours letting me know it was mine!
It’s funny, I had gone to dinner that evening and people had commented on how disastrously unwell I looked, but the next day, after having sorted the house, my illness dramatically disappeared!
From then on I could finally relax and actually enjoy myself and make friends. On Saturday I went on an Erasmus trip to Fiesole, a small town just outside of Florence that has a beautiful view over the city. Despite the bitterly cold winds it was lovely to experience this with other Erasmus students as I got to know them better.
That evening I went for a dinner party with my new landlord, his girlfriend and the girls currently living in the apartment. This was so so cute, it made me feel like I was amongst family. They made pesto lasagna, and upon hearing that I’m actually allergic to nuts, they made me a special pasta which was so lovely of them!
Obviously the food was insane, Italians can definitely cook!
And then Sunday I finally moved in. It felt so good to unpack and actually have a private room to myself. The apartment is so beautiful as well!
All in all, now that I am finally settled and am making friends, I’m feeling very optimistic for the next few months in this beautiful city.