During our first two weeks in Rome we spent a lot of time getting used to our surroundings. My apartment in Rome is in Prati right near a main shopping street. Our first weekend here my roommates and I decided to go shopping. We found a cute store where all the clothes were hand sewn. Then on Saturday a group of us went to Ostia beach which is a beach not too far from Rome. The water was a clear  blue and now we can all say that we were in the Mediterranean Sea!  On Sunday we went to the Vatican at noon to see the Pope give a blessing. Being Catholic, it was a great experience to be there to see the Pope give a blessing. The following weekend was a weekend trip to Florence which was a part of the AIFS program. It was absolutely beautiful. The trip was a Friday morning to Saturday afternoon and we got to do a couple tours. We got to see the Duomo and also the famous Statue of David. Of course we had free time to shop for leather and I couldn’t leave without getting a leather bag and black leather gloves. It was nice to be able to see another town in Italy because it was a little different than Rome. I had a great time in Florence but by late Saturday afternoon we were ready to board the train to go back to Rome!