I spent one day of this week (3rd – 9th April) not with my family, it was so nice to spend so much time with them and get a break from the full on nature of my time in Florence so far.
My family were still here in Florence on Monday, and it was actually my brother’s 19th birthday! We decided to go on a day trip to Siena, which I was very excited about because I’d heard a lot about it and had had to miss the Erasmus trip there.
If you are ever travelling from Florence to Siena I would definitely recommend getting the bus, it took about an hour and a half and cost around €8 if I’m not mistaken. It also takes you directly into the city walls, unlike the train which requires a fair bit of walking once in Siena.
We saw the famous Piazza del Campo, a slanted square in which a renowned horse race is held twice a year.
We also checked out the Duomo di Siena, a beautiful cathedral. I was especially impressed by the inside; most of the cathedrals/churches I’ve seen in Italy have been fairly plain on the inside, but this was very different. The library in particular had an amazing ceiling. Definitely check it out if you go to Siena!
That evening we went to a restaurant in Santa Croce, where I got seafood pasta (little did I know it was soon to make another appearance later that night!). After dinner we decided to go for cocktails in a cocktail bar called Fuk, which my sister of course found hilarious!
It was funny seeing my family in a cocktail bar, I’m so used to us being children that it felt kinda overwhelming how much we have grown up.
That evening, about half an hour after I fell asleep, I came down with a nasty case of food poisoning!! I’m so glad my mum was there; whenever I’m abroad or at university and am ill I always wish she is there to look after me. She set me up a bed on the sofa and just generally made me feel very lucky to have her.
The next day, after saying goodbye to my family (was not too emotional seeing as I was going to see them again in two days time), I gingerly went to my lectures. It soon transpired that I could only attend one for fear of being sick again so I spent the rest of the day lying in bed attempting to sleep.
However, by the evening I was feeling quite a bit better, and went to a dinner party at my friend’s house. We had a roast dinner which was amaaazing and played some classic party games.
Wednesday saw us teach our second English lesson, which went a lot better than the first. We taught our students the present and simple past and by the end we could already see an improvement.
On Thursday, after my lectures and a speedy 10 minute packing situation, I headed home. My friend and I had booked the same flight so it was nice having someone to travel to Pisa with and hang out with when we inevitably arrived crazy early for our flight.
My fatigue from the previous month or so really hit when I got home, only managing to lie half asleep on the sofa before I got the energy to actually go upstairs to bed.
I was at home Thursday night to Monday and it was lovely. On Friday I mainly just lay in bed/watched the Medicis on Netflix on the sofa. It was so nice to just be able to mooch around without feeling like I should be doing something else.
I also had some quality time with my cats, I miss them so much when I’m abroad. With family and friends you can chat on FaceTime and catch up, but with cats seeing them walk around on video call just is not the same! I’m always shocked by how many endorphins seem to be released when you cuddle a cat.
On Saturday I met two of my friends for lunch, where we proceeded to spend four hours in the restaurant catching up! It was so fun to find out what had been going on in their lives and I really appreciated them coming to meet me, despite their final year exams soon approaching!
I finished the week at my grandparents’ house for their 60th anniversary. My french relatives came and it was good to catch up with them, and practise my French a bit (it has already become so rusty!). It was so nice to see everyone again, a lot of whom I had not seen since September!
Overall, the week was one of my favourite yet. I felt so much love and came back to Italy feeling completely rejuvenated and ready for the week ahead, which included a trip to Rome!!