The students arrived last weekend, fresh, exuberant and disoriented, both culturally and meteorologically.  We’ve had light snow for the past few days, and today the temperature will dip into the teens and soar into the mid twenties — Fahrenheit.  Over the past week Florence has been consistently colder than South Lake Tahoe.  I’m loving it, although those who imagined Italia as a sub-tropical paradise are deeply bewildered.  Yesterday we tagged along with the students on a guided walking tour of Florence with temperatures sinking into the low 20’s, and there was a  this-is-not-what-we-signed-up-for  look in their eyes.  We are always trying to help our students understand cultural differences between Italy and America, and it’s satisfying to know that our students now deeply understand and appreciate the reason why so many Italians wear scarves  — it’s freaking cold!

A view from our Florence apartment window across neighboring rooftops a few evenings ago.

Lois has been training to run a 10k in Florence in April, and I’ve been providing moral support, tagging along behind her.  Our main running venue is Cascine Park, one of the largest city parks in all of Europe — 2/3 the size of Central Park, NYC.  (See Lois’ recent post about Cascine Market, which is set up every Tuesday in Cascine Park.)  Having an irrational fondness for snow, I was snapping photos while we were running in the snow — one of the many eccentricities of mine that Lois is forced to endure during our travels.

In December 2010  Florence received over a foot of snow, and snowboarders were bombing down the hill from the David at Piazzale Michelangelo and even down the steps of the monuments….dude.  I’m hoping for the same.  Frigid temperatures and intermittent snow are supposed to be with us for another week, and I’m…like…totally stoked, at least as much as a 60+ year old can be stoked.  My colleagues here in Florence have been humoring me about this, but I think this sort of thing may be getting on their nerves. They’re sniffling a lot.



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