Day 7

Posted by Whit Barringer , Monday, June 04, 2007 5:29 AM


CT 6:12
IT 1:12

Short Day.

Today was short. Why? We had no class. With no class, what do students do? That’s right. They sleep in. And I was so tired that I woke at - not 10, not 11, not even 12 – 1:00. Crazy, I know. I was exhausted and didn’t want to move. That means I ended up with about 10 or 11 hours of sleep after I finally went to bed last night. That said, I got up only because I needed a bath and I was hungry.

We (Rachel and I) had agreed to go over to our cohorts’ part of town and shop today, but it was raining when I got up. I called and asked them what they wanted to do, and Haley said that they were all still asleep. So I began fixing what was going to be steak and asparagus. But Katie, Teri, and Rachel wanted to go to the grocery store, and I couldn’t see any harm in going. So I put everything on the stove on hold and went to the grocery store.

I bought Nutella, wheat bread (which cost less than white bread), salami, goat cheese, six 1.5 L bottles of water for .33 Euro cents each (that’s a steal here), mayo, sandwich cheese, wurst, cereal, milk, pasta, and tomato sauce for 27 Euro (about $41). After a bit of a hold up (Katie’s groceries had gotten mixed in with the woman’s behind her), we went back to the apartment and stuffed our food into the refrigerator. I began cooking my lunch with a change of plans – instead of pork (the meat I’d bought at the market earlier this week), I was going to have pasta.

I boiled red, yellow, black, and green pasta shells, added my boiled asparagus, sliced off a little goat cheese and poured in the tomato sauce. It needed salt, but all in all it wasn’t bad. I had put every spice we had in the cabinet into the pasta to try and give it some flavor, but I ended up making it worse before it got better.

After that, I started reading Drugs, Sex, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman (awesome book). I got a call from Rachel saying that Haley had called back and everyone was up and ready. Rachel told me I could go ahead because she was busy at the internet shop, so I went ahead and headed across the Ponte Vecchio.

About 30 minutes later, I arrived. The apartment was stunned, considering I was the first person who had gotten there without getting lost. They had spoken too soon, as Rachel called soon after and said she was lost. We decided to launch a rescue mission to get her, but we couldn’t even figure out where she was. We finally found her (seeing a lost “gatta” sign along the way – made me sad), and began shopping. This actually didn’t last very long. There were places to shop, but nothing either in our price range or what we desperately wanted. I bought a cookie, and I think that was the highlight. We did get to see inside and old church, something about Jacopi, and read that the missionaries there, or monks, or whatever they are, have a certain name, but are called Barbetti because of their “goatee beards”. When I ducked inside the church, there was a Barbetto wandering around inside in a black robe. After we left, he came out, in regular clothes, and locked the gate to the church.

From there, we somehow ended up getting to the actual Ponte Vecchio (when I said Ponte Vecchio earlier, I was being extremely general – there are several bridges). We decided to walk ahead and see if there was anything of any interest to look at. We were looking at dining prices when we happened to see a huge staircase to our right. We all decided we should go for it and climbed up.

We turned one corner and realized we were far from done climbing. The street would go upwards, flatten, then go upwards again. We saw three or four churches along the way, all dating back before the 16th century and some as old as the 9th or 10th, and many houses. We eventually walked into a secluded area that was obviously rich, with high gated fences and high priced cars. Interestingly enough, the road wandered through these secluded villas and then into these regular homes. One mother put her young child up to the window and they both waved at us. We met a smiling woman and the two men who were with her, who only looked at us appraisingly. We were certainly an abnormality in their community, but they treated us with respect.

But then, we got lost.

We decided, as we ascended to one of the topmost points in Florence, that we should turn around before we got lost. We wandered in a few circles, finally deciding to go down the main road we had found. We ended up at an edge of Florence, I think. We walked for over a mile to the heart of the city near the Piazza Repubblica, where we met another girl who was here by herself. We ate Chinese, which was actually really good, and had a hellacious time paying for it. I have to admit, though I was set against eating Chinese in Italy, it was really good duck with orange sauce.

After we got out of there, we were walking through the Piazza Repubblica when we saw a man doing spraypaint art in the street. We watched him, utterly amazed, and I bought two of his paintings and Haley bought one, but got her picture taken with him and his email address (“for the picture,” he said). In a good mood, some of us went and bought illegal stuff from the venders. Haley and I got sunglasses, and Kim got a purse. Everyone else tried stuff on, but didn’t find anything in particular. I actually haggled, though! I got him down to 15 from 20. I could have gotten him down to 10 probably, but I was happy I actually made any headway at all.

From there, we went to Lexi’s apartment, chatted about our adventures, and then set out for our separate apartments.

We heard about Teri and Katie’s experiences today, and went ahead and got ready for bed. And here I am. And here I won’t stay. I’m going to Ravenna tomorrow, so expect a big journal entry.

1 Response to "Day 7"

Sarah Says:

"After that, I started reading Drugs, Sex, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman (awesome book)." Are you rereading it... or did you just never finish it? Oooh... :)

I love love love Ponte Vecchio. Did you know (cue shooting star) that it used to be all butchers shops? The rich that live nearby (whose homes you stumbled upon) hated the smell and thus ruled that only jewelry and such shops could be on the bridge from thence forth. That's power. But I love walking across it.

Getting lost is my favorite part of Europe. I hope you get lost many more times. :)

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