Hi friends! I have exactly one week left in Italy as of the time of writing this. How crazy. This month has gone by so so so quickly and I caught myself so many different times looking up at the buildings / sky / whatever in tears thinking “I am so grateful to be in this beautiful city, what a crazy and beautiful and divine life.”
So here’s a few things I’ve been doing since I’ve last posted.
This Friday I will hopefully be getting my TEFL certification. It was a lot harder/more intense than I thought, especially because my last time studying in Italy was such a breeze (but I guess that’s the difference between a 3 month course and a 1 month course. Relearning English is weird and thinking about how much you use it without even thinking about it is even weirder. But teaching is fun and exciting and you get to go into a classroom and be excited and students (mostly) mimic your energy. That’s true with most things.
My writing is still messy and I still forget to switch up the colors (hence the first two steps being in black) but I am proud of it. I was really excited about my lesson and my students were really excited about it too and my only “real” student (the rest were other students in the class acting) spoke a lot with words that I taught her. At the end of the lesson the trainer asked us the one thing we want our students to know. Any day, any time, regardless of anything that’s happening, what would we want them to know to always be true? I want my students to know that I will always show up for them and that I will always show up excited and happy and honored to be their teacher.
The first Saturday we were here we went on a wine tasting. It was the Chianti Wine Tour and Safari through WalkAboutFlorence. It was more expensive than I’d like to spend but it was worth every euro cent!! Our tour guide was informative and funny and charming, each place we visited on the tour (3?) was so warm and welcoming and wanted to help us learn. I bought a bottle of sparkling rose which I sent an intention for (to open in my Italian apartment I get once I get a teaching job and a “settled” life).
My favorite place we went to is called Cantinetta di Rignana. It had such a breath-taking property and everyone was so friendly (I asked in Italian where the bathroom was and the owner pointed to the olive groves). AND! The food was the best I’ve ever had in my life, probably. I couldn’t eat either of the predetermined courses (because I’m a vegetarian and allergic to nuts) and they made me my own special meals (literally how sweet). We had a really simple homemade pasta and gravy dish which was truly incredible, followed by ravioli with truffles (pictured).
I did some things on my to-do list that I wrote before I came here: I climbed the Duomo (by mySELF…well, really the bell tower) and I saw the David again and I went to the Uffizi Gallery again (on free museum day too, saving that $$$). I did two out of these three things by myself too which I’m really excited about because although I don’t really have a problem going places by myself, sometimes I have less ambition to do so when that’s the case. But I climbed up all the one million stairs (give or take a few) by my lonesome in my long linen skirt (that reminds me of a Caryn outfit) (which I wouldn’t recommend. Please wear shorts.).
On Ferragosto (a religious holiday that happened last Tuesday that several sources are confused on the meaning of), my roommate, two good friends and I went up to Piazzale Michelangelo to watch the sunset and drink wine. It was gorgeous and breath-taking and one of those things where you think about how lucky you are when you see it. We laughed a lot, drank some wine and watched a couple got engaged. I thought a lot about love and being understood and how I hope that the person who proposes to me understands what kind of proposal I would want. The guy who proposed was wearing a backpack afterwards so I thought a lot about if he was wearing the backpack during the engagement as well. (Hope not).
Another time on our way home from our friends’ house, we sat on the Ponte Santa Trinita and looked at the moon and kept saying “how lucky are we… how is this real that we are here!?”. I feel a whole lot more grateful this time in Florence and I feel a whole lot more grateful for that (I feel less grateful this week but emotions come in waves).
In my TEFL course, we had a project where we had to find a private student. I had a lot of trouble finding one but finally I found a random Florentine man on Tinder (more about my Tinder research later lol) named Massimo who saved my certification. So shout out to Massimo and shout out to more really serendipitous meetings and to making yourself feel uncomfortable and (safely) scared in order to get shit done.
I’m terrified every time I climb up to that roof and every time I have to shimmy my way back down through the two by two sunroof and gracefully step onto the metal railing of her loft and leap onto the rickety chair that I am not sure will hold my body being rounder than I feel comfortable with, still, but every time, someone is there to help and guide me. And every time, it is worth it.
Ciao for Now,