Today was the start of my travel to Florence. I arrived in Milan-Linate airport at 10:30am via a 7:40am flight from London Heathrow, and from the airport I took the bus to the train station. Right after I exited the bus it was a struggle dragging my two roller suitcases up the stairs, but thankfully the station had an elevator to get to the departures.
The train situation was a bit confusing since I couldn’t find my train – apparently, the destination was Naples (specifically Napoli Centrale) which was the reason for my confusion. While waiting for the train to arrive I decided to check out the vending machines, and like I thought, they were selling the small Coca-Cola cans! I prefer softdrinks in Europe because they use actual sugar, which greatly affects the taste.
The train ride to Florence (specifically, the Santa Maria Novella station) was really relaxing. I was treated to an executive seat in Coach 1 (thanks parental unit!), which meant quiet and a free drink and snack. I also really appreciated the larger leg room because I was able to stretch out. Unfortunately there are only a certain number of seats with space beneath them for large items of luggage, so I had to place my small carry-on suitcase underneath my feet.
When I arrived in Firenze (gotta start using the Italian names), it was a bit nerve-racking getting off the train. I was almost immediately approached by several men, all asking if I needed help with my bags, or where I was planning on going. Luckily the train attendant blew her whistle and told them to leave me alone, and showed me how to walk to Linguaviva (where we’d be studying for the rest of the semester, and our hotel for 2 days). She also told me to never take my eyes off of my things, using the age old fingers in V-formation, points to eyes, and points to person/thing gesture. I was able to make it to the hotel without any trouble, and luckily it had an elevator (although it is the old kind where you have to close the door before it starts working, and there is a three-person limit).
The 5pm orientation started a bit later than planned to give everyone else enough time to arrive and drop off their things, and we were given all our identification cards (student ID, museum pass, and theatre card). We were also signed up for subscriptions to Florentine Weekly! The next item on our itinerary was one we all approved of – dinner!