A Sunday well spent

I have explored, shopped, wined and dined in Florence, Italy for seven days, and living here still doesn’t feel real.

Some culture shock and my university’s whirlwind orientation are causing this week to be a bit of a blur, but so far I’ve been lost, pick-pocketed and food-poisoned by accidentally eating raw salami. I also had my first bar experience — American or Italian. (First free drink, too!) In essence, I fit the local American stereotype to a tee. I’ll work this semester to change that.

Today I dropped €160 on some necessities and a beautiful mahogany leather bag for school. I’ll be studying culture, art and international media with about 100 other Kent State students, among 4,000 American college students in a city of 100,000+.

The Kent State “campus” in Florence is actually a medieval palace in the heart of the city — the Palazzo dei Cerchi. The building and frescos on its walls are about 500 years older than the U.S. The Palazzo also sits on top of O’Vesuvio Pizzeria, where the “Jersey Shore” filmed its fourth season (and obviously didn’t help Americans’ reputations).

Like in any big city, there are equal numbers of acceptors and judgers or friends and creepers. I’ve already experienced all of the above. My goal is to change the perception of at least one judger and immerse myself in the company and culture of new friends.

My roommate Kate and I hiked to the Piazzale Michelangelo to overlook Florence at sunset.

Welcome to my life for the next four months!

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