Fun Fact: I don't like wine very much.
Today was our first full day in Florence. Something that was interesting was the fact that even though the nine of us were split into three different apartments, every single one of us had trouble sleeping the previous night. We all woke up at about three am (8pm in Illinois) and had trouble going back to sleep.
Anyway, we all met up at Santa Croce that morning and walked to all of the different locations that we would see throughout the next two weeks-Il Duomo, the Arno, and a few piazzas. It was amazing to see things that I had seen in pictures and movies, in real life.
For example, the Piazza della Signoria because in the book/movie Hannibal, that's the location of one of the murders. There were a bunch of statues there as well, including a replica of Michelangelo's David.
Another thing I noticed about Italian culture is how much healthier their options are. Instead of having a McDonald's on every corner, there was a sandwhich shop. And while most American's go to the grocery store and buy enough food to last two weeks, Italians usually go shopping multiple times a week, buying enough food to last for a day or two.
Their pizza was different too. It's a lot thinner and and has much less sauce. And the toppings are very interesting. For example, when we all went to dinner that night at a restaurant, I ordered a pizza with fries on top. There was also pizza with tuna, hotdogs, and other things that I wasn't used to.
I prefer the way European money works over American dollars. In Italy, there aren't any sales taxes. So you never have to fumble around your wallet to pay a $5.87 bill because everything ends in a multiple of ten. The only downside to that is the taxes are taken in other ways. You actually have to pay to use public restrooms, along with paying for water at restaurants, which is very different in America.