After nearly thirty hours of travelling, almost walking into a prayer room instead of the bathroom in Dubai, watching random movies and getting Italian lessons from a one and a half year old, we arrived in rainy Florence! We were greeted by Marco our AIM Overseas driver and were met by Michelle from the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) at our beautiful, old and surprisingly roomy apartments to give us the key and welcome us to Firenze. After the three floor trek carrying our heavy suitcases we stumbled into our apartments, we dropped off our bags and headed straight out for our first pizza and wine party with some of the other students.

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On our first day in Firenze (which was on Wednesday) we went exploring and ran into the Feast of the Epiphany Parade which reminded me of the Adelaide Christmas Pageant back home only better and with medieval costumes, flag twirlers, owls and horses. After the parade we wandered along the shopping strip eyeing off pieces in the likes of Dior and Louis Vuitton. Later that night we headed out for a bite to eat (pizza obviously) and excitedly predicted what to expect when we had our orientation the next day.

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The first thing I noticed about one of my lecturers was his similar taste in shoes (Adidas trend represent!) Gabrielle, along with other faculty members welcomed us to IED and gave us a quick overview of the course and what to expect. That night we decided to be domesticated and made vegetarian burgers with sweet potato fries and wine.

Come the end of the week on Friday, we were at IED nice and early Friday morning for our first class, where we focused on the evolution of Italian fashion including the emergence of new and established brands. We discussed editorials and each chose one to study in groups. Instantly I knew we should do Steven Meisel's, 'The Power of Glamour' from Vogue Italia 2011 and so we spent half an hour admiring images from said editorial high fiving ourselves for picking a subject, which allowed us to do this.

After sleeping in on Saturday morning, missing the bus by five minutes and laughing at the novelty postcards in the bus station's café, we visited The Mall in Tuscany and shopped up a storm amongst the designer brands on offer. I walked away with two pairs of Alexander McQueen trousers while others found love in Burberry, La Perla, Coach and Armani. After an exhausting day of shopping we couldn't even be bothered to eat out and cracked open the packet pasta from our gifted emergency kit! However, the next day, we decided to return to the Pitti Palace after walking around the exterior on the Epiphany Holiday. We were blown away by the detail in the paintings, architecture and especially the jewelry and fashion on display. We got lost, (literally) in the grand gardens but only because we wandered off taking outfit photos (darling we're bloggers)! After finding a four Euro shop outside our apartment we stumbled back inside and up the stairs to enjoy a delicious cheese and olive platter complimented by wine and great company.

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During our first week we took as many pictures as we did eat pizza. But just sitting around our apartment dining tables, eating, drinking wine and socializing has become one of my favourite parts of the day and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such a great group of people. Without the early morning and late night tea parties and family meals I would probably feel quite homesick. Instead I am excited to see where this course takes us and to become even closer with my group of friends.

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