Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Life "Pre-Uni"

Last week, in order to escape the dust and noise of the renovations, I travelled to Elba Island (which you may remember from a post last year) where I was lucky enough to stay with some friends of Lorenzo's cousins for a few nights.
I have to admit that it is a pretty hard life living on an Italian island... you have to wake up late, have breakfast, head to the beach, have a swim, have some  pizza on the beach, have a nap in the sun... have another swim, have a coffee, go home- shower and change... maybe another nap- head to a bar to have aperitivo, seafood dinner, out for drinks, stay out late, get to bed late... then start the process again.
You all sit there thinking it's so easy...

Considering there's been next to no rain in Italy for the last couple of months, needless to say I was graced with 4 days of hot, beautiful weather, coupled with crystal clear, blue water. Just stunning! Unlike Australian beaches, most of the beaches at Elba have stones rather than sand and have no waves so the water is placid and clear- perfect for snokling and exploring. To get to some of the nicer beaches you often have to 'treck' down the hillside, through shrubbery and dirt patches, which, when you reach the beach all hot and sweaty, makes it all the more worth it!

For at least 2 of the nights I was there I was the designated doll, and was dressed and made up accordingly by two friends; Elisa and Andrea, then smuggled in the car to our various destinations...

Giovani e Sorellina mia (Elisa)

Cristiana e Topi Topi

Andrea (Topi Topi) e Erika (Zia Paris)
Now I'm back in Florence (one of the hottest cities in Europe at the moment at 40 degrees) back to preparing for my italian exam and dreaming of going back to Elba!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ben tornata!

Oh hello there! Long time no.. see? Sorry for that! A few changes have come about since I last posted in January, and I think it could be a very interesting second half of 2012!

In February I headed back to Australia, where I was working and struggling to get a visa to come back to Italy, and finally after 6 months I am happy to say I am back in Florence with a study visa in my hot little passport!

I have enrolled at the Ag College at the University of Florence (much to my fathers joy that one of his offspring are following in his footsteps of Agriculture) to study Viticulture and Enologie, and presuming I pass my entry level Italian language test on the 3rd of September... it will provide me with a visa for the duration of the course (which, for one who doesn't have to repeat any subjects, is 3 years... no promises!) and allows me to work up to 20 hours a week. So presuming all goes well, I should be here for a little while!!

I've also moved out of the city in Florence and am temporarily living with Lorenzo and his parents about 5km out of the old city centre while they divide the house in two, essentially creating a little flat next door which we will hopefully be able to move into within a month.
I'll admit that I was somewhat dubious about moving a 20minute tram ride from the city (especially to live with someone else's parents!!), but after a week of living out here I feel so much more at home. There is a garden, a wood fired oven, markets around the corner, more locals, few tourists and it just feels like a more genuine version of Italy! Even if it is a little challenging sometimes ;)

So between now and the start of uni I am in holidays! Well deserved too- I worked for a good 6 months there you know!! Free to busk in the Tuscan sunshine as I see fit (if it can be called busking when the temperature reaches 38 degrees daily and you are cowering inside to escape the heat...) and study my Italian so I don't fail my entry test and get kicked out of the country!!