Friday, June 16th

Today we left at 7:30 am from the Loyola Center in Rome- not on mass transit, but by a charter bus.  It was pretty serendipitous that our trip was scheduled to Florence for this weekend because we found out late Thursday night that there was going to be a mass transit strike today.  We wouldn't have been able to get anywhere at all.  It took us roughly 3-4 hours to get to Florence where we started by stopping at the overlook of the city.  Please see those pictures on the AP Studio Art tab.  It was a rude awakening when we got off the bus to 90 degree heat and barely a cloud in the sky. The view was wonderful.  It is pretty warm here in Florence.  But at least we have air conditioning!

Andrea (my roommate) and I had a conversation on Thursday night about how we were both ready to go home.  We knew Florence and Siena would be great, but we both miss our families, friends and ice cubes!

Once we got here it was pretty nonstop.  We started by going to the Galleria di Accademia where the David statue by Michelangelo is on display (all 17 ft. of him).  I have had the opportunity to see him once before, but the second time is no less impressive.  The statue was carved out of a single block of marble that had been left by previous artists.  It is one of the most iconic images in the art world and the world in general.  We had the unique opportunity to draw from the statue for quite awhile.  The one side down side was that the gallery is not air conditioned and there were A LOT of people in that space.  I'm pretty sure I sweated out every last bit of fluid in that hour.  Does this give you an idea why I hate riding the bus so much?

After we left the Accademia we visited the markets located near the Duomo.  There are areas around the city that are set up as "temporary" stores for leather goods, Murano glass, souvenirs and all sorts of other things- think of Trader's World, just international.  I'm not a huge fan of it.  I'm not someone who likes to haggle on prices.  I like to know what things cost and not make a guess and then see where it goes.  I would be a HORRIBLE gambler.  I will say there were a number of the girls from Xavier who were loving the back and forth of it.  If you like to talk people down for prices, go to the markets in Florence.  If you're like me, go to a nice little cafe and have a spritz and watch the craziness happen.  It does pay to be a young blond girl in the markets though...

Shannon graciously made dinner reservations at a restaurant in Florence called Osteria Santo Spirito.  Shannon, Andrea, Calvin and I made the 30 minute trek across Florence to get there in time.  Calvin and I were having issues because we were looking for more CLET street art on traffic signs in the city.  We were lagging behind.  To say that the walk was worth it would be an understatement.  We all ordered Gnocchi with cheese and pepper.  Think of the most decadent mac and cheese you have ever eaten...  When they brought our plates out to us they were still bubbling hot.  I think I burned off half of my taste buds because I couldn't wait to eat.  It was SO good!  However, I did feel like I was oozing cheese out of my pores, but I was ok with that.  That's why we do the 30 minute walks to dinner.

Mileage by Andrea:  9.1 miles (Not bad for a day when we spent nearly 4 hours in a bus)