Mosaic Maker

I finally got a phone today! It seems pretty nice. I can’t tell if it’s charging, so hopefully I can turn it on and everything works fine. We went to a general meeting at school where they introduced us to our Preparatory Language Program (PLP) professors. They also began the process of paperwork that we need to fill out for our “permesso di soggiornio,” or our resident’s permit for living in Italy. We also got a list of supplies that we need for our life drawing class. Lot’s to do in the next few days! PLP classes start tomorrow! I can’t wait to start being able to know what and how to say things in Italian.

After our general meeting, we basically had the day to ourselves. We started wandering down some streets in the general area of Santa Croce and happened upon this workshop and school for artisans who make mosaics. I had never seen how they made mosaics and had never given a thought as to how they cut the stone. We got to see this guy cutting a piece out with this arced piece of wood with a wire strung between the two sides; he kept the wire lubricated with a sand and water mixture. There were lots of beautifully colored stones (unpolished but still neat) and even petrified redwood and sequoia all the way from California. The work inside was so beautiful. If you stood at a distance you would think it was a painting. They also had antiques with a similar style of mosaic that were very beautiful. I really liked the ones that looked like watercolors or paintings and I also liked the ones that weren’t so ornate but were still detailed and looked more old fashioned. We will definitely have to go back.

Our whole group was starving after we were through at the mosaic maker’s shop and we forgot to ask if they recommended anywhere to eat nearby so we made our way down some streets and found a restaurant with some tables under some shade on a street. We all picked different things and shared. Laura got a cheese ravioli with a pesto cream sauce and pine nuts, Amy got a quatro formaggio pizza, this kid named Jake got cheese ravioli with a tomato cream sauce, and I picked the salad which had arugula, pear, raisins, and cheese! I loved every item we picked, especially the raviolis (duh) and the salad (because it had cheese!) And what is a day without gelato? We then embarked on a quest to find some gelato and came to the Via Isola di Stinche (which we renamed the Stinky Island because Isola = island and Stinche sounds like stinky). We came upon this place called Vivola that had amazing gelato (and it’s right around the corner from our apartment). They were a little bit pricey and the portions were a little small but it was so yummy! I had melone which was cantaloupe flavor and it was so delicious! It tasted just like a cantaloupe – I even found a seed in it. There are two stores by the same owner, Vivola and Gelato d’Neri, both of which are within minutes of our apartment and Santa Croce.

We spent the rest of the day in and out of leather shops looking for a leather (or canvas) messenger bag for Amy, but we didn’t really find anything. So we went to an American bookstore called the Paperback Exchange where I got the Best of Europe book by Rick Steves’ and another little book on certain legends of Florence, which I’ll post periodically because they are really fun. Amy and I then went home and hung out and napped until dinner time. It feels so nice to just hang out at the end of the day; especially when you are so sore and tired of walking.

Words/Phrases I learned Today
Che tempo fa? = What time is it?
Come ci si va? = How do I get there?