I arrive at the airport in Florence around 11am on a Sunday. Day 1. I had planned ahead to have a day Florence before students arrive and I spent most of it wandering the streets eating gelato and drinking wine. I've visited this city enough that this visit feels like shaking hands with an old friend. At the airport, I find another friend I'm looking for: Lisa Statkus. Lisa (of "Lisa's Gryphon" fame) runs the logistics and hospitality on these tours and she's there to welcome me with open arms. As I grab a tea, our first student Jocelyn arrives and we're ready to head into the Tuscan countryside.
Today will be a slow day. Most of us are still recovering from jet lag, and it's nice to have time to settle. On a short tour of the village, we meet a few locals and I am ecstatic to practice my (extremely limited) Duolingo Italian on each and every one of them. "Buonasera."