I have now lived in Florence for a little over one month, and up until now, I have never seen any of my neighbors. I knew we had neighbors because I could smell the food they were cooking and hear their TV or talking as I walked up the stairs sometimes, but I had never run into any of them. My apartment building almost seemed like a "Where's Waldo" book for the Italian people living below me. The only Italian living in a residence nearby that I had seen was the old man that lives in the apartment directly across the street from us with his wife. From time to time, when we'll be sitting at our table and he's sitting at his, we will catch each other's eye and wave.
I just so happened to be out of the apartment earlier than usual last Thursday when the neighbor spotting occurred. I was on my way back from getting registered with the Florence police, and it was around 10 a.m. when I got back to my apartment. I started walking up the stairs, when suddenly there was another woman walking on the opposite side down the stairs. I was a bit startled - enough that I wasn't able to say anything to the woman. I was able to see that she was a bit older and had brown hair and glasses, and she was shorter than average. Basically, she looked at me like I had two heads and continued walking. It made me wonder: do the neighbors ever know that there are Americans living in the top apartment? It definitely is not the first semester that there have been Americans in my apartment.
Since that sighting, I have seen one more neighbor: a man who always leaves his bicycle in the entrance of our building. I was with Liz, and he seemed a bit startled when we entered through the door right behind him, but we greeted him with "Buona sera" and "Grazie" and continued on. I still have no idea who lives where. I guess my Italian neighbors will remain a bit of a mystery for a bit longer.
If you have any questions about my study abroad experience in Italy or about my life as a student at St. Michael's College in general, please do not hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tweet me (LittleLizzie33) or ask me a question on Formspring (lizmurray3).