Wow what a crazy start to the trip! We arrived in Florence with a few days to settle in and get over the jetlag. We had our first official 'family' dinner on Sunday and got to know the rest of the group. There are 13 of us, from all around Australia, ranging from Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.

There was a lot of food envy when all the dishes came out - there are not enough meals in the day to try all the Italian food!

1 group photo

We woke up early thanks to jetlag and decided to make the most of it by walking to the Piazzale Michelangelo which overlooks the whole of Florence. Hopefully all this walking is burning off the pasta! The view was definitely worth it, and going early meant we could beat the crowds. I am so excited to spend the next month here!

2 Piazzale Michaelangelo

Starting class was a bit surreal - it's not every day you get to sit in a classroom and see the Duomo out the window. (The view of our Italian tutors isn't too bad either.)

Our goal for the next month is to help the local brand My Vintage Academy (MVA) organise an event that will portray the company's messages and values. MVA's purpose is to serve as an archive of Italian Craftsmanship history, to show links between luxury & craftsmanship and to find the role of technology in supporting the craftsmanship.

3 Duomo

So far we've had the Branding and Fashion Commerce subjects; and I can't wait for the fashion-writing course, which we get to start next week. We've had our first group presentations and are well on our way to planning the event. Later in the week we got to experience a guided tour of both the Salvatore Ferragamo and Gucci museums right here in Florence. Walking through the past collections and seeing pieces such as Blake Lively's famous gold Gucci dress was incredible. The fashion side of the course is like nothing we've ever experienced at our own universities back in Australia; Italian's have a much more 'hands-on' approach as opposed to the more theoretical side of things.

4 Gucci

A few of us ventured outside Florence this weekend, stopping off at Pisa before spending a few nights in Cinque Terra. Pisa was an unforgettable experience, and taking a perfect photo is actually much harder than it looks (see below!)

5 Pisa

Cinque Terra was incredible and a great way to wind down after our first week of class. It included many hikes to the viewpoints, lots of gelato to cool down, and many many photos.

6 Overlooking town

7 town cliff photo

8 group photo on balcony

Our first week was one we won't be forgetting anytime soon, and it's safe to say we can tick a few experiences off our bucket list! Until next week, Sarah x