Florence, a global epicentre of art, statues and architecture and the birthplace of Renaissance embraced us this week with her warm Florentine hospitality and ambient culture.
Wednesday, after our flight from Barcelona, we settled into our hotel in the San Ambrosia district and then to a fine meal at the San Ambrosia restaurant. Our 18th-century hotel, with its tall frescoed ceilings and French windows, swung open to views below of narrow, cobblestone streets and the sounds of clinking glasses and laughter in outdoor cafés, was within a short walk of Florence’s main attractions.
On Thursday, classes resumed in the nearby library terrace overlooking the Duomo di Firenze. After our period 1 class, we stopped by the Canadian School in Florence, established by Blyth Academy in 2017, for a midday visit. Later that afternoon, a guided tour of the historic center of Florence by our very own Nic Catania, preceded supper in the San Niccolo district. We marvelled at the Church of Santa Maria Novella and gazed in awe at the outdoor statues in Piazza Della Signoria snapping countless photos. Students admired the hustle and bustle of shopkeepers selling art and jewelry on the oldest streets of Florence.
Friday’s photography class stepped out to capture the spectacular view at the Piazzale Michelangelo. Following afternoon classes, many students made a beeline for the local laundry mat while others explored the streets and open-air markets for thin-crust pizzas, local snacks and souvenirs. Friday evening, we dined on bocconcini and tomato salad, followed by a selection of homemade pasta. The next day, several students joined the optional tour of Pisa and climbed the city’s infamous leaning tower before ending the day with a shopping spree on the main promenade. Other students spent the day exploring Florence in small groups; some combing for bargains in the leather market. Our final Florentine dinner on Saturday was in the lively and cosmopolitan Piazza Santo Spirito. That evening, for one final time, students strolled the cobblestone streets and over the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge arching over the Arno river and laden with shops, before slowly making their way back to our hotel.
We arrived by coach late Sunday afternoon and are excited to be in our final destination in Italy. There is much to look forward to in the coming 11 days as the capital and largest city, Rome, awaits us.
Head of School