Life Lately

In Italy by Amanda B.3 Comments

Ciao, ragazzi!

I’m kicking myself because I know I’ve been completely slacking on my blog posts, but at the same time, I’m glad I’m so busy because it means I’m having a blast!

 I’m currently relaxing at my kitchen table and drinking some green tea and I just love how much it feels like home here. It’s always funny to me when I go somewhere for the whole day or the weekend and when I return to Florence, I get so comforted and just think “home sweet home!”. My real home is 6,000 miles away but Florence has become my second home – an amazing one, at that.

I love Florence and I fall in love with it even more when I visit other places. Of course I’m biased because I currently live here but I’ll stand pretty firm by my belief that Florence IS one the BEST places. There’s so much to do and I find new things everyday. Yet, despite the abundance of museums, people, buildings, statues, shops, restaurants, and endless things to do, it has an extremely cozy feel. I love being able to walk anywhere, which is something that hit me when I visited Rome and Paris (HUGE! although, of course I loved them!) I run into people I know frequently and I’ve gotten to know tons of local restaurant owners. Big cities are nice too but I love the way I can go out and do endless activities and see things from thousands of years back, and then return home and my small-town girl inside feels at peace when I walk down the adorable little streets. It just has that charm.

Especially when I’m drinking thick hot chocolate with my friends in front of the carousel in beautiful Piazza Della Republicca. Things like this just light up my soul.

FYI, hot chocolate is actual hot chocolate over here in Europe. They would laugh and scoff at our powder + water idea of hot coco. Even if it’s more “gourmet”,  it’s so watery compared to this. The hot chocolate is quite literally HOT melted chocolate. Simple as that! I probably drank the equivalent to 5 chocolate bars. Delicious, but I was dying for some milk….

I spent the past weekend in Florence because I was exhausted from my Paris adventures (tough life, I know) and felt like doing some more Florence-y things. We went to an awesome cheese, meat and chocolate market in one of the church piazzas. I won’t pretend we weren’t initially lured there because of the mention of “samples everywhere”, but I’m absolutely always down for some cheese, meat, and chocolate anyways. And wine. Add some fruit in the mix and that’s basically all I need in life.

All of the vendors there were local artisans and ohhhhhh my, you could definitely tell from the quality of the food. There were endless stands and I ate so many samples that I was actually stuffed!!

Then, on the other side, it was all handmade crafts – everything from handmade wood products, beautiful knives, topspins, and murano glass!

Gosh, I love Florence.

After, we went to the Palantine Gallery, which I’ve already been to. My friend had not been however, and I would go in here a million times over so I was glad to go again! The Palantine Gallery is some of the Medici family’s old apartments.

Quick tidbit of history for y’all: The Medicis ruled Florence for around 200 years and had a major influence on Italian Renaissance.

So when I say “some old apartments”, I actually mean the most flipping GRAND, BEAUTIFUL “casual” rooms EVER. I just love this place. Here’s just a few of the rooms. Man, what it would be like for this to be your bedroom or your reading room…..

Here’s another thing that I got a kick out of this week. We visited Leonardo Da Vinci’s machine museum for my film class. Everything was really interesting because his machines were the first experiments with movement and mechanisms, but his weight machine fascinated me!

It even has a tricep pull-down!

Its November 24th today and that both terrifies me and excites me. I come back on December 19th. The days are ticking away and I can’t wait to be home but I’m dreading having to leave this place. Right now I’m in denial so I’ll save all these mixed, crazy emotions for another blog post, haha! Brace yourselves….

Thursday is Thanksgiving and I’m sad that I won’t be gorging on 2 giant thanksgiving feasts with my family and the Hollanders, but I can’t be too sad because I’ll be spending Thanksgiving traveling to SWITZERLAND! I almost convinced myself out of going due to money, but I’m so happy I didn’t let myself do that because it’s been on my top to-visit list since day 1. I CANNOT WAIT. AHHHHHH. But, I’m going to try to go to one of the Thanksgiving Dinners around town, or make a semi-thanksgiving early dinner with friends before we leave for Switz!

I’ll try to update again before I leave on Thursday!

I love you all.

Amanda B.Life Lately


  1. Mom

    OMG… WHERE O WHERE DO I BEGIN! I loved this blog post because i know EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT FLORENCE! I remember feeling that same way about it when we returned from Sicily and Rome…. It is so quaint and homey feeling there! Not that all the places we went weren’t amazing…… it just felt like home when we returned back to Florence. It is a BIG CITY in comparison to Alpine ha ha ha..but it is easy to feel comfortable and like you BELONG, when you are there! I LOVE YOU AND I MISS OUR DAILY ADVENTURES THERE IN FLORENCE! Visiting ITALY was one of the most incredible things I have ever done! and I am a changed person because of it! Keep enjoying every day to the fullest until you come home to your family who misses you SO MUCH! But dont worry – we WILL BE BACK TO ITALY – its just going to be a PART OF US NOW! And Lindsay still needs to experience it so we gotta go back soon! oh and BTW – I cant WAIT to see your Switz pics and hear all about it! I was there TWICE (At the airport) but it seemed SO AWESOME! LOVE YOU! Ciao!

  2. Carrolyn S Brookshire

    I am so very proud of you, it is so nice to hear you talk about how at home you feel there in Florence and making all the new friends, not only other students but shop and restaurant owners. It is totally awesome to see you enjoy everything. Love you and enjoy this next trip as much as possible. Looking forward to having you here for Christmas because you will be missed on Thanksgiving.

  3. Samantha

    Love love love reading your blogs. So happy that you are experiencing life to the fullest!

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