So my first month here is coming to a close. I have one more week of class in Level 2, and then I move on to Level 3. I am sad to see some of my friends go, but excited to learn more Italian and meet new people. Luckily one friend, Andre, is staying, so I won’t have to start from scratch. I am also trying to meet an Italian language partner through a language tandem program, but it is difficult to find the right person. For example, today I met a nice Italian boy, but he was not very thoughtful in the way he spoke to me in Italian. When I spoke to him in English I spoke slowly and carefully, but he spoke to me as if he was speaking to his friends, very quickly and with a lot of colloquialisms. He also has a slight lisp, which made it difficult to understand what he was saying, not to mention the fact that we had nothing in common and the conversation did not flow naturally. I think I will resubmit my request and see if I can get a different partner. It is a great program nonetheless, and I am lucky to be a native English speaker because everyone wants to improve their English. I feel sorry for the Finnish girls in my class!
I treated myself to a gym membership yesterday. I am so glad I did! I am used to being able to go to the gym everyday, and I was getting a little down because I didn’t have a place to go here. I visited a few others, but didn’t like them enough to join. This one, however, is AWESOME! It is a little expensive, but I figured that my health and happiness are worth it. There is a really nice, modern workout area with lots of treadmills, each of which has its own screen for watching TV or movies. They have every other machine you could possibly imagine, plus a really nice room for classes. There is also a really nice patio where I can jump rope, but the best part of all is the spa. Yes, there is a spa in my gym!!! They have a sauna, steam room with a pool of cool water inside, plus a whirlpool. I tell you, I am going to be one spoiled girl! The only problem is that it is close to school, which is a bit of a walk from my house. Also, I feel pretty guilty being in the gym in the afternoon, when I can be out and about exploring the city. They open at 8:30 and I have class at 9:00, so mornings are a no-go. That means that the only time I can feel good about going is in the evening after dinner. That puts me home around 11:00 at night, which is quite late. Also, the idea of working out after dinner is not exactly appealing…. So we will see. Sunday was my first day, and I tell you, it felt so good to finally break a sweat! It has been quite cold the last few days, so it was nice to be warm again, and then to go relax in the sauna and whirlpool.
Slowly but surely I am discovering all of the wonderful places to go in Florence. I know where to go for the best gelato, depending on what flavor and/or experience I am looking for. I haven’t eaten out at many restaurants for dinner, but I know where to go when I am looking for a good panino (sandwich) at lunchtime. I also have my favorite cafe, where I have a coffee every morning, and know a good place to get a glass of wine with friends. It is slowly starting to feel like a city in which I actually live, which is nice. Ahh, what a good life I lead!