I think I’m finally settling in. It’s taken a LONG time, but it took me this one weekend to realize it.
About 30 SUF students (29 of whom were girls) boarded a pullman at 10:30am and headed to the southern Tuscan region of Chianti, in between Florence and Siena. When people usually say “I want to go to Tuscany!!”, this region of Chianti is usually the area to which they are referring to (NOTE: FLORENCE IS IN TUSCANY, too, YO.) It was green, beautiful, and the autumn leaves could not have been more perfect. There, we got a tour of the winery, which finally ended with the dining area, where we got served 4 small glasses of four different kinds of red wine, fatty meats, bruschetta, cheese and balsamico (not vinegar, but rather a think, syrup like liquid). DELICIOUS is an understatement. Our meal ended with biscotto, a sweeter wine (who’s name I don’t remember) and, of course, coffee (which Americans call espresso).
Good food, even better company. It was Toscana at it’s finest.
That night, Ruth invited me to dinner with her italian friend/classmate. His friends from his hometown of Verona were driving down for the weekend, so they were all getting a traditional Florentine meal for dinner: Bistecca Fiorentina. A t-bone cooked rare, and it’s 200x more delicious than it sounds (di solito, i don’t like rare meat!). A couple pitchers of wine later, we headed to to Fiesole, “la citta che non dorma mai” (the city that never sleeps), as one of the Veronians sarcastically exclaimed about the dead little town on the hill overlooking the city. But I guess we got in a mini passeggiata to burn of the steak? and the vino? lol
In the end though, it was just so nice hanging out with italians our age. Nice, normal, hilarious italians who were easy to talk to, and who accepted us regardless of our broken language.
I took the bus to Piazza Michelangelo and walked down the hill on Via Michelangiolo, which is officially the MOST BEAUTIFUL street on the face of the planet. it winds down the hill for about a 15-20 minute walk, and the entire road is lined with trees. So you can imagine how photo-crazy I went, what with all the autumn colors and whatnot :)
That afternoon, Becky and I made chocolate chip cookies in our kitchen, which came out surprisingly well (SO. GOOD. I might have stolen a pic of Becky’s mom’s recipe… hehe).
After, I headed to Kayee’s, where along with Ruth and Jane, we made banana pancakes and bacon-wrapped sausages for the Cena Regionale that Ruth’s Veronian friend Francesco was hosting (same guy we had dinner with the night before).
Side note: it was so so nice hanging out with usc girls that night. somehow I was just really comfortable, and they we were really easy to be around.
At the cena, we ate italian foods from different parts of the country, made by various italian students studying at the Università, drank more wine, sung to Elvis, danced to the Beach Boys, and really had a great time.
About 8 of us mat up outside our apartment for GAMEDAY. We got some street food from a vendor down rode on the other side of the stadium, then headed in to find our seats for the game. Fiorentina crushed Atalanta 4-1. It was quite anticlimactic, but still . VIVA VIOLA!! VIVA FIORENTINA!!!!
This weekend was full on Italian, Tuscan, and Florentine. I’m now even more glad that I’m here for all the december weekends. This finesettimana, I’m going to the Torino Film Festival with my cinema class, which is going to be BOMB, but then I’m happy to be able to stay in Firenze and just do more day trips if i feel like it for the rest of my time.
It’s taken a long time, but I’m finally getting there. Yesterday I stayed home from school because of a sore throat and dizzy head. My host mom made me orzo soup for lunch, and told me to rest up and forget about going back to my afternoon classes.
Today is November 20th, which marks exactly one month until I leave for Iran. the bitterness is coming along, and I know by the time I get back to America, I’ll be even more cynical than I was before.
Hope things are going well across the world. I will be back stateside in 6 weeks, and I’m met with confused feelings of ‘I CANT WAIT TO SEE YOU ALL!!!!!’ and ‘WHY DO I HAVE TO GO BACK TO AMERICA?!’
CIAO AMICI, a presto!