Buon Lunedi, Amici! Another fabulous weekend, another long blog, and here we go!
June 11th, 2012
Another slower day the the JFRC, filled with homework and lameness, but I had one of the best talks with my art history professor. I will spare you the details, but I left feeling so reenergized and ready to take advantage of my last two weeks! That night we head to Fluid for an appertivo. An appertivo is happy hour where you buy one drink for about 8 euro, but then get all the food you can eat. Granted, it’s finger food, but it is still to die for! Major thanks to Sara for telling us to go there! When we walked in people thought I was nuts for dragging them there but we all absolutely loved it! So yummy!
June 12th, 2012
Another busy class day. Not too much happened, two lectures and a short trip to the Pantheon. We decided to hit the town at night, it was really cool and a lot of fun! Delicious food and drink and a great time had by all! One of the benefits of being in a smaller program is that I feel like I really got to know a lot of people and we have a lot of fun together! This is definitely where I am supposed to be right now!
June 13th, 2012
We are off to Minturno! Minturno is a gorgeous coastal town south ofRome. This trip was a study trip which meant it was all planned by the school and I am so glad I went on this trip! The day started with an early train ride to the town, but when we arrived we were greeted with a breathtaking ocean front view with a private beach. Everyone hit the beach right away and I am always reminded of how relaxing just laying in the sun is…and how easy it is for me to burn. So later that night I found some lovely and extremely awkward sunburn. I do not understand why sunburn can’t just burn your skin evenly. It looks like part of my stomach was half-attacked by some wild animal and the rest is still its pasty self. We then took a tour of someone’s house; literally this woman owns the house and property that has the original gates, mills, sundials and mosaics of the ancient city! The property was absolutely gorgeous, like a scene from secret garden filled with lush greenery and stonework. I still cannot get over that a woman just owns that house and maintains it and allows people to tour it!
Pretty much everything we ate this weekend was delicious! Seriously, I think the only bad taste in my mouth was sand. The best part about traveling with the school is that the food is absolutely delicious! My only gripe is that I have gotten allergic reactions to shrimp in the past (it’s not every time and my windpipe does close or I don’t die), so on this trip I was not allowed to have any fish. I completely understand why the school wouldn’t let me, but I still would have loved to try all the different types of food! My favorite part of the first meal was the dessert, hands-down! It tasted like a creamy, pie version of an almond crescent! My mouth is salivating just thinking about it!
June 14th, 2012
We started the day bright, early and cheesy. We toured a deli/cheese factory where we got to see how Mozzarella cheese balls are made. They are all overItaly, they look like eggs in various sizes but are made completely of delicious cheese! The process is bizarre, but they literally make a giant ball (like the size of a giant beer cooler or laundry tub) and then break off smaller balls and they even braided some of it. It was really funny because the owners pulled out a giant braided Mozzarella and held it up like proud parents holding up their child. It was really funny seeing how excited and happy they were and the cheese was so good! I am not cheese’s number one fan, but I absolutely loved loved loved this cheese! I wish I could bring it back!
We then headed back to the beach and laid out a bit more and had a picnic lunch with fresh bread, prosciutto and, of course, mozzarella cheese! It was one of the best sandwiches I have ever ever had! When we headed back to the beach, some friends wanted to go paddle boating and I felt brave so I went with! I know this seems stupid but I am not the best swimmer and have a huge fear of open water but I am really proud of myself for actually going in the ocean on a boat! I didn’t swim in the super deep part, but I can still say I was on a boat in theMediterranean!
I got a bit more sunburn during my paddle boating adventure, so I went back inside and got ready for another delicious meal and awesome tour! Our guide was bizarre, but really funny! We saw all of these original balconies, frescos, archways and roads. It’s weird to think that people built everything beforeAmericawas even thought of! We walked past this gorgeous, ancient church and we saw a wedding! It was weird because most of the guests were wearing black but it was cool that the couple drove away in a BMW with bows all over it! I asked our guide, Cesare about typical Italian weddings and what was common and their traditions, it was really cool to learn about the similarities and differences all while speaking Italian! It was by far the longest conversation I had in Italian while here, but I felt super accomplished! We then headed to dinner and OMG it was so good! I had spaghetti which was so good. I’m sorry Mom, but this spaghetti was the best I have ever eaten in my entire life ever! But while I was eating, Cesare came up to me, took my fork and taught me how to properly twirl pasta! I freaked out because it was so cool! Seriously, learning how to twirl pasta was on my list of things to learn while here and while it was not by the attractive Italian man I would eventually marry, it was still so cool! I then learned from Mike, our director of student services who translated for us the entire trip, that Cesare was watching me from across the table and couldn’t help himself, I guess my American-pasta eating ways were too much for him and he couldn’t help himself! It was so cool! I am still geeking out with excitement over it! We also had one of the most delicious white wines and penna cotta I have had here. Penna cotta is a creamy, jello-like dessert that is covered with fruit, caramel or chocolate and this penna cotta tasted like vanilla ice cream, it was the best I have had inItalyso far!
June 15th, 2012
We started our day with a tour of the ancient ruins of Minturnae. It was really super impressive how advanced ancient peoples were, with their heating and cooling systems, ability to build giant theatres, arches and resourcefulness. I will spare you the gross and disgusting details, which they really learned how to utilize their resources, even the nasty ones. We then headed to lunch at one of the top 50 Vineyards in the World, Villa Matilde. It was so picturesque with flowers, roses, olives and grapes everywhere. Of course the wine was absolutely delicious but I was most surprised by a concoction of a honey and cheese. They mixed grapes and honey to make this gelatin and then poured it on ricotta cheese. It sounds absolutely awful, but it was so good! The rest of the meal was delicious and we raced to the train station to sadly end our trip. The rest of the night was spent cleaning and getting work done.
Off to find Aloe Vera and get some homework done!