And it’s the weekend again! Quite a few people are going to Venice this weekend. As much as I would love to see Venice, I really don’t feel like spending the amount of money to go there. Well, it’s a good reason to come back to Italy then (hopefully before Venezia disappears). So today I actually woke at at 10:30 am, which is normally when I wake up in weekends back in the US or Taiwan. I was planning to go to San Gimignano, a nearby town. But since I woke up late enough to start preparing lunch, I decided to save that for tomorrow.
Now, I will be going to another study abroad program in Fez, Morocco after this one. But since there is one week in between the two programs, I have to find places to live by myself. So far, I have found a family-run hotel in Rome, where I will be staying for 3 days before flying to Casablanca, Morocco. I haven’t been able to confirm a place in Morocco just yet, as the place I contacted in Rabat is pretty much full during time I want to be there, and the two places I contacted in Fez haven’t responded yet, so fingers cross. I spent the morning in the bookstore across the street from my apartment trying find an English travel guide for Morocco. Not a wise choice to not bringing one from Minnesota, but I didn’t have that much room in my luggage anyway. Good thing most bigger Italian bookstores sell English books. I found what I needed without too much hassle.
Back to the apartment, I ate lunch, took a nap, and then went out to walk around the city. I felt like I really haven’t been to the smaller corners of the city, farther away from the central touristy area. It was a pretty hot day, so I went to get a gelato first. I have to say, strawberry mousse and coffee mousse aren’t my favorite flavors, as they are way too much like mousse that eating them is like eating cream. They were just too creamy and didn’t have the kind of consistency ice cream has. Other than that, the flavor of the two balanced pretty well, with the sweetness of the strawberry and bitterness of coffee.
I started to walk off the larger streets into the smaller ones, and wandered into shops along the way. I was delighted to find t-shirts that only cost 3 euros. The cheapest I was able to find before was 5 euros, and there weren’t that many choices. Continue with my wandering, I went into an church/abbey, walked past a big government building that looked like a castle, and went into what seemed like a public library. One thing I noticed about buildings in Italy: they all have really tall, huge. heavy doors. Maybe it was the trend a few centuries ago when the buildings were built?
Slowly, tourists just disappeared, and for once I was standing in a cross road where no other human beings and moving cars could be found. It was a little scary to think that there could be someone watching me, who obviously looked like a tourist that has no idea where he’s going,, but I thought that it’s normal to feel this way when facing something not so familiar. So humming the tiger song from the movie Hangover, I continued to walk on. Soon I reached the Arno River, and I immediately found out where I was – not too far from the Uffizi. But I wasn’t done with my wandering yet, so I picked another small alley and started walking again. Somehow I managed to end up in front of Basilica di Santa Croce, where a lot of famous Italians (such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi) are buried here. I wasn’t able to go inside to look since it was closed, but I will definitely come explore in the next few days.
As the day started to get dark, I started walking towards my apartment, obeying the “no-one-walks-alone-after-dark” policy set by the professor. I made dinner (scramble egg with an entire plant of what I think is garlic, spaghetti alla aglio olio (spaghetti with garlic in oil), and chicken leg), finished some homework, and watched the group of people break dancing in front of my apartment building from my window on the sixth floor (seventh floor in American sense, as ground floor usually doesn’t count in Europe). I feel so relax right now I could just fall asleep…