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February2008

25 Feb | Jackie Batanglo | No Comments

Monday, February 25, 2008 | Florence, Italy

Hey Readers,
Italy is treating me very well. Classes have been good especially since I only have them three days a week.

My History of Italian Cuisine class is my favorite! We made Gnocchi with pesto sauce, this really awesome zucchini torte, and some really good olive bread. My teacher is amazing and is very knowledgeable.

My Studio course is alright except I’m doing practically the same thing as last semester and designing a high fashion boutique.

My Italian Language class is somewhat intimidating because my teacher refuses to speak an ounce of english and I leave feeling like a deer with headlights in its eyes. haha

This weekend we layed low and only did a day trip to Lucca, which was fantastic and a lot of fun. I definitely advise going there and renting bicycles and riding along the city walls. It was the best 2.50 euro I’ve ever spent and it brought us back to feeling like kids again. We had a blast and the sun was shining and great considering my family told me they had gotten a huge snowstorm back at home.

Until next week, Ciao!
Jackie

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18 Feb | Jackie Batanglo | No Comments

Monday, February 18, 2008 | Florence, Italy

Hey Readers,
Sorry I’m a little late on this blog but internet access isn’t the easiest. It’s actually quite crazy how you can get used to not having the internet when in the US we are so used to having it at our fingertips.

This past weekend my roommates and I traveled to Rome! It was AMAZING!! Word of the wise to those who want to see the Colosseum… go to the Palantino first and buy a ticket that gets you in there and the Colosseum.

Get up early and go to the Palantino, its really beautiful and full of ancient ruins and gardens. Then afterwards you can cut the whole line since you already bought your ticket for the Colosseum. It’s the greatest feeling to cut a mile long line and walk right in.

Make sure you go inside the Colosseum, it was great.

Sunday we went to the Vatican and to go in the Basilica is free and is absolutely breathtaking. The marble and frescos are something everyone should experience. The Sistine Chapel was closed unfortunately so I’m planning on going back some other time, but we did get to see the Pope give a prayer and speech out his little window – apparently he does that every Sunday at 12 noon.

I had a little mishap of course and got my wallet stolen which really was frustrating because then I had to rely on everyone else for food and my train ticket back, but at least I didn’t get my passport stolen. Never carry your original with you! Always have a copy!!

The weekend was great, we had awesome weather, but a little chilly. Rome is a must see.

Ciao!
Jackie

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11 Feb | Jackie Batanglo | No Comments

Monday, February 11, 2008 | Florence, Italy

Hey Readers,
Studying abroad has been awesome so far. I have finally had all my classes and they seem pretty interesting so far.

I love the cooking class that I’m taking because I get a mixture of the history behind the food as well as cooking it. Expect to pay quite a bit in lab fees though because you are paying for the food you cook and the class trips. I am going to end up paying about 225 euro for everything, but it will be well worth the experience.

My roommates and I took a day trip to Pisa to see the leaning tower on Friday and then went to Bologna on Saturday. The weather was great and sunny, a little chilly.

Pisa was great and we just walked around the city and the train was only 5 euro each way (for the slow train). Bologna wasn’t the most exciting but they have a ton of outdoor flee-market-like stands and everything there is much cheaper because not a lot of tourists go there. It was more on the hippy/ punk rock style if you’re more into that then try it out.

That train was long but was the same amount but we had to stop and take another train. Word of the wise – make sure you validate your train tickets before you get on the train because a guy doesn’t come around stamping your tickets after you’ve left like most do in america.

I fully believe that you will have the best experience abroad if you try and talk with the Italians and take in their culture. As the saying goes, “Do as the Romans do” definitely applies.

Ciao!
Jackie Batanglo

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5 Feb | Jackie Batanglo | No Comments

Tuesday, February 5, 2008 | Florence, Italy

Hello,
Let me start off by telling you a little about myself. My name is Jackie Batanglo and I am from the Berkshires in MA. I go to Endicott College for Interior Design and am currently a junior.

I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy at the Lorenzo de’ Medici school and so far it has been quite the ride! I am still trying to get used to the time differences which makes it hard to sleep at night, but overall it has been amazing!

I live on Via Faenza street which is really close to the school and in the center of everything. Right down the street from me is the Duomo and the piazza where the copy of the statue of David is found. The city itself is breath-taking!

The best part so far is just walking around the streets, being careful not to get hit by a scooter of course, and getting lost in all the commotion going on. When I first came here, it was nerve-racking not to have a cell phone, but we went to one of the Internet stops and we got one right away.

The apartments won’t have internet, so forget going on Facebook 24/7 like most do at home. Most places will only take cash so make sure you have a decent amount of Euro before you come.

We had the first weekend to relax and mingle with the locals, so my friends and I met up and went out to dinner and went to a couple bars. Italians can spot Americans out with no problem. Take my advice and don’t go crazy just because you are in a different country. Drunk and loud Americans are embarrassing!!

Definitely take any advantages that come your way with an open mind and try to be observant with their mannerisms and language. The only excursions that my roommates and I have done so far has been walking over the Ponte Vecchio bridge which was beautiful.

Plan ahead for trips because they have strange hours and most of the time you need to get tickets ahead of time. Have fun, Florence is awesome!!

Ciao!
Jackie

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