Buongiorno tutti! I have another (long) update on my wonderful experience in Italy. My weeks are full of school, activities, and exploring Siena. The weekends are left for seeing cities like Val d’Orcia, Florence, Bologna, and Cinque Terre. Each of these places are new and exciting, but in my opinion never better than my host city, Siena. Last weekend while in Florence, we visited the Duomo museum and had some of the best panini in the city. The day after, we explored a much larger and urban city, Bologna. Here we walked up several flights of stairs and feet of inclined to reach San Luca and see amazing views of the city.
The teacher of my Food as Medicine class is an archaeologist, so last week he took us to an archaeologic site called Cala dei Santi (Cave of the Saints). You would never expect a cave in the Mediterranean to be inhabited like the professionals have done here. They had multiple tents, bathrooms, a kitchen, and a dining room where we had a three-course lunch. We also had the opportunity to swim in their grotto and I don’t think the water could have been any clearer, I loved it!
A few days ago, our school arranged a cooking class for us. We made lots of fresh pasta including pici (Sienese specialty), spinach and ricotta ravioli, lasagna, and tagliatelle. We also helped make the sauces for our four-course pasta meal and obviously enjoyed eating it, the best part. I can’t wait to make pasta for my family when I come back to America! We also toured a winery in the Chianti region this week. Learning about the cellar and how different barrels change the taste was actually quite interesting.
This weekend, I took a trip to Cinque Terre with the four other students. We went on a very scenic (but exhausting and seemingly never ending) hike between a few of the towns, as well as visited the beach and swam in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The trip was our first introduction to how Italy’s slowness can become frustrating and definitely tested our patience/problem solving.
Time is flying by here. I have two more weeks in the beautiful place that makes me so happy. I cannot begin to thank and fully cherish the people that make this trip the time of my life.