Updated: Nov 2
This week was very eventful. It includes scheduling my time here, grocery shopping for the first time, first week of classes and my first real travel experience.
It was the day before classes so I wanted to make sure I was ahead of things. I put a load of clothes in and sat down at my desk with my computer, iPad and my planner. The very first thing that I put in my calendar was the dates, times and opponents for the Buffalo Bills.
One thing to know about me is that I LOVE the Buffalo Bills. I have only been to one game and it was the best you could go to. The weather was not too cold, not too snowy and best of all, the Bills won and won the AFC East division title for the second year in a row.
After all of that, I logged into my classes and wrote down assignment deadlines as well as the locations that I would have to report to for my walking class. After all that was done, I started to write about my first week here. I continued to do more laundry and ended up doing 5 loads. Our washer has a very small drum, and in Italy, or at least my apartment, there is no dryer so you hang everything up to dry, the old-fashioned way.
Later on, I picked out my clothes for the next day because it was my last first day of school ever since I am a senior in college. It was a little sad to think that it’s my last year, but it makes me excited for the future.
It is the first day of school! I finally get to walk to my classes for the first time and sit in an Italian classroom and be able to say, “I have been taught around the world.” My day started with 20th Century Poetry and we are going to first start out talking about Robert Frost, one of the only poets I know and love. After that my next class didn’t start until 4:30 pm and it was only 11:15 am, so I walked to the grocery store and then home.
Ever since being here, I have really loved eating cantaloupe, it’s my favorite type of melon so I was glad to know that they taste sweeter here than they do in the states. That is probably only because there are no added preservatives to the food here in Italy. I also found Pepsi here which made me really happy because I am a Pepsi girl and it has been killing me to drink Coca-Cola here. Don’t get me wrong, Cola is good, I was just raised on Pepsi.
During my 5 hour break, I met with my friends Alyssa and Emily and we planned a trip for the weekend. We decided that we are going to Nice, France! After hanging out with them and planning, I went home and organized my clothes, mopped my apartment, ate some melon, and watched Friend’s on Netflix. One thing that I am grateful for is that I can watch a whole mess of shows here on Netflix that I can’t at home like The Office (my absolute favorite show, ask anyone), Friends, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Gossip Girl and so many more.
Then I went to my next class, Contemporary Italian Society, which is in the same classroom that my first class is in. That will get aggravating to me very soon, think about having to be in a room for an hour and fifteen minutes, have a five hour break just to sit in the same classroom again for another hour and fifteen minutes. The class was great and I am excited to learn about the society that I will be living in for the next three months.
After class, I raced to my apartment to drop my bag off and then I met up with Emily and Alyssa to get dinner at la Scaletta. I got a four cheese pizza, caesar salad and creme brulee.
My day didn’t start until 1:30 pm so I slept in as late as I could and took my time getting ready for the day. I made a little lunch for myself which was just noodles and a lemon butter sauce. One thing sad to know about me is that I am allergic to tomatoes. I have been asked by many waiters and waitresses, “Why are you in Italy then?”, and the only thing I say is that it is beautiful and I have always wanted to come.
I walk everywhere I go. Last week when we went to the beach, we walked from my apartment to the train station which is just a 20 minute walk, 15 if you zip past everyone. My walk to each campus however is 25 minutes, so I leave 30 minutes before class starts and end up getting there 10 minutes early, and I still don’t know if I walk fast or if everyone here walks slow. My theory on attendance is if you are on time to class, you are actually late, and if you are 10 minutes early you are actually on time.
My first class is called Classical Mythology and I decided to take the course because it is not something you can learn so deeply in Fredonia. We will be learning about the Greek gods and goddesses as well as their lineage and how they relate to current cultures of today. I have always been fascinated by mythical culture and I think it stems from watching and reading the Percy Jackson series when I was younger. I still to this day wish that they made the third movie from the series, Titan’s Curse. Good news is that now it's going to be a tv show on Disney +.
Right after that class was done, I had about 15 minutes to get to another campus that is about a 8-10 minute walk from where I was already. Since I had only been in Italy for a week already, I heavily relied on using my maps. I did learn that using Google Maps would give you more accurate directions to where you need to go. It would also give me short arrival times.
The class that I headed to is called the American Experience. In that class we get to learn what American public schools don’t teach. This class focuses on the origins of America, and I am not talking about Columbus or John Smith, I am talking about the Native Americans who were the original inhabitants of America. Later on in the semester, we talk about the systemic racism that has been seen throughout American history and how it has been since it “started” to current day.
After that class was over, I was walking home and decided to do more grocery shopping and got some turkey, provolone, mayo, mustard, butter, and bread so I can make my yummy turkey sammies. I also grabbed some cleaning supplies so I could mop the floor in my apartment because it gets so dirty so quickly. After dinner, I watched a movie and hit the hay .
Today was just like Monday, same class schedule and I did more laundry, took a nap and planned for my trip this weekend. I really focused on making sure that whatever I did today during my break would allow me to not bring my laptop or iPad to France if I didn’t have to because we were only bringing bookbags as our luggage.
I had to get up early today because my class started at 9:15 am, or at least that's when the class time is supposed to be and when I got to campus I was told that it actually started at 8:30 am so when I walked in all I could do was apologize to my professor. Thankfully he understood because the majority of the class was sitting outside of the classroom and got there at the same time I did.
After we got let out, I rushed back to my apartment and made sure that the clothes I wanted to bring with me were rolled and put into the packing bags and that all I had to do when my last class was over was empty out my bag and shove everything in it.
That is exactly what I did too. My last class let us out 30 minutes early so I ran home, dumped out my bag, repacked it, cleaned up my space, made a quick little snack and ran to the taxi stand where my friends were. We got a taxi to the airport and thankfully since we didn’t have any checked bags so we breezed right through security and grabbed a bite to eat and sat down at our gate until we boarded.
After we landed, we went to the hotel, which was depressing to say the least. It was not what we booked and it just did not make us feel the greatest. As soon as we got dressed for dinner, we booked an Uber and immediately tried to find a new hotel. By the end of the night we found something so that made us feel good.
For dinner, we went to the Hyatt Regency in Nice, and I had a sea bass with a lemon tart for dessert. When we were done we walked to the center city and joined the nightlife and then went back to our small room in our hotel and did our best to sleep.
To start off our long day, we checked out of our hotel and got an uber straight to our new one. Then we went to breakfast at Maison Margaux. I got a slice of french toast and it was anything I could have ever dreamed of. We also all ordered bottles of water each because we hadn’t had any water and were certainly parched. The waitress gave us some weird looks that we definitely deserved.
After breakfast, we walked around Place Messena and then went to a beach club called Bocca Mar and relaxed in the sun on the beach for hours. I can confirm that the water in Nice, it’s gatorade blue. Everyone that I have talked to says it is but you need to see it for yourself. We also got some lunch while we were there so I had a salmon avocado toast and it was huge. I also enjoyed a mojito too!
After the beach, we walked back through Place Messena and did some shopping and we stopped at L’Atelier d’Amaya and I got a matching necklace and ring that I had oogled over earlier that day. I was very close to asking if they had earrings and a bracelet but decided to get that stuff somewhere else. After that, we went back to our hotel, showered and rested before we went back out to find dinner, which was difficult to find especially by the ports. The ports are where all of the yachts get docked and it was strange to not find any restaurants whose kitchens were still open past 9:00 pm. We ended up going to a brazilian BBQ place where Alyssa ate a chicken heart and right as she was putting it in her mouth, the waiter had said that she was eating “Elizabeth”.
Afterwards we walked to the club that we had heard so much about, High Club, and that club was so fancy that we were making plans about what would happen if we didn’t get through, we did though so it was fine. The whole night was awesome, the club put on a show while we were all drinking and dancing. I definitely recommend going if you like clubbing.
We woke up in the new hotel, got some breakfast and walked ourselves to the train station to go to a new destination for the day. We bought our tickets, walked onto the train and 30 mins later, I was in Monte Carlo. I felt like Selena Gomez walking around there.
We first just took pictures everywhere and went to the main square where the Paris Hotel and the Monte Carlo Casino was and figured out our next plans. We walked for a little bit and then eventually went to lunch at Gaia Monaco and I had truffle pasta for the first time. Alyssa and I were feeling very sleepy at lunch and we felt bad but it was because we took motion sickness medication that made us drowsy, so she took an espresso shot and I had a cola with a lemon, best thing EVER. I am a Pepsi girl all the way, but since Coca- Cola is universal, that is what I order everywhere and I always ask for a lemon because it just makes it so refreshing.
After lunch, we walked down to Hercules Port where all of the big fancy yachts are and I was utterly amazed. I love looking at the boats and just thinking about how I could get on one, just to tour it obviously because I know I can’t even afford to have lunch there. Then we walked around Monte Carlo for just a little bit more before heading back to the train station so we could get back to France.
One thing to know about the trains that are going from Nice to Monte Carlo, or Monte Carlo to Nice, is that you are one lucky duckling if you get to sit in a seat. These trains are packed so much that when you are holding onto the railings, people are holding onto you so they don’t fall. You get absolutely no personal space.
When we arrived, we went to dinner immediately so we could actually get food and we ate at Le Libertea and I got a salmon rice bowl, if you haven’t realized already, I enjoy fish. Then we walked back to the hotel, rested and showered before we enjoyed one last night in Nice. We went to the same club and had just as much fun as we did the night before.
I am adding this day because it was the last day of our travels and we were still in France.
We packed up our stuff, ate some breakfast and then went to the airport to go back home to Rome. As we drove to the airport, you could see the cyclists who were competing in the Ironman World Championships.I was hoping to get a picture of the water before we left but unfortunately I didn’t.
When we got to our gate, we did the girl math we needed and figured out how much each of us owed each other for the weekend. It was an easy flight back and an easier train ride to Piazza Trilussa where we got slices of pizza and sat on the steps and rehashed our weekend. Afterwards, I did my walk back to my apartment, and settled right into a new can of Pepsi that was waiting for me and ended my night with laundry and Friends on Netflix
This was quite the weekend and I apologize that it took me so long to write. I just wanted to make sure I had factual information as well as enough information that explained our experience.
If you ever think about going to Nice or Monte Carlo, I have so many suggestions of places for you that I didn’t include in this article. There is just so much to do there so please write me if you want to plan your trip so I can give you recommendations on accommodations, restaurants, night life, pictures, and so much more. I hope you enjoyed reading about my 1st week of classes as well as my 2nd week studying abroad.
This was the picture that I sent Casey when he wanted to see my room and I was writing in my planner.
The creme brulee from La Scaletta.
This is my version of "backpacking" through Europe, we were only allowed a carry on item for our flight so all of my stuff had to be shoved into my Adidas bag.
The view of the Hyatt Regency where we ate dinner
The gatorade blue waters of Nice, I felt like it deserved a larger photo because of its serentiy and beauty.
The Paris Hotel in Monte Carlo where Selena Gomez climbed out of a window in her movie, Monte Carlo.