Cinque Terre

Today is the most beautiful day I have had in Florence! Just absolutely perfect weather! I feel so lucky to be here and glad I could share the start of spring with my sister.

A couple of days ago me, her and Justin went to Cinque Terre! It’s a place on the western coast of Italy that is made up of 5 small towns all close together – so close that you can hike from one town to the next in about an hour or two. We woke up early for a 8am train from Florence to Pisa then Pisa to La Spezia then La Spezia to the first town in Cinque: Riomaggiore. It was a lot of travelling but we made it there by 11:30ish. Of course it was a beautiful morning with sunshine and blue skies, which quickly changed as soon as we stepped off the train. Even though it was overcast all day, it actually made for some pretty pictures and we were lucky it never rained! There are a couple hiking trails that run through the towns, but the easy, scenic route by the coast was closed due to landslides. We were pretty bummed but decided we’d spend time in the towns then take the 2 minute train rides in between.

Riomaggiore was exactly what I pictured it to be! So many colorful boats lined up on the coast, huge cliffs and rocky shores. The water was a beautiful acqua color with random rocks and sandbars all around. Me and Jill had a little photoshoot before we got on the next train to the third city. We decided to skip the second because we knew there was a lot to do in the 3rd, 4th and 5th towns! The third town is called Corniglia and was less than a 5 minute train ride form Riomaggiore – I told you they were close!! There was a huge crowd getting off the train and we kind of got swept up with all the people walking up the hill on the road. It seemed like there was no where else to go so we just followed until people started dispersing to different restaurants for lunch. We didn’t want to stop yet so we continued to walk until we found the path that was closed off. There was man there who told us we could “go at our own risk” and we figured if they even said that then it couldn’t be too bad. So we went down the forbidden path! Such rebels.

The hike was amazzzingggg!!! Probably one of the best things I’ve done here. It was manmade, which was good because I was expecting to be like in the dirt on the side of a mountain, and pretty difficult. We were definitely sweating at times and was glad the weather wasn’t any warmer than 60s. There were cute bridges and lots of flowers and streams and it was just really nice to be in nature. Oh and there were of course awesome views!! It took us about 2 hours to get from Corniglia to Vernazza (4th town) where we stopped for lunch outside on the water. I got a sandwich, Jill had some gnocchi, and Justin a pizza. Then we took the train from there to Monterosso where we were staying for the night. We were in a really cute B&B right in the center of town! Once we got there and put all our things down it was around 4 and we figured we should spend the last few hours of daylight exploring this last town. We went on a few paths up cliffs and saw an old church and statues and little shops in town. Everything was very quaint and pretty and I would definitely go back there!

For dinner we went to a tiny restaurant right next to where we were staying. The town was really quiet at night and we figured it was beacuse it was a Thursday so not many people stay over on week nights, and it’s not really the season to visit there yet – the summer months are probably more popular. So there was basically just us and locals eating in this tiny restaurant. I have been on a seafood kick and wanting to try all these new foods so we ordered muscles to start. I’ve never had muscles before but I’ve served them and know they come in a garlicy buttery juice…these didn’t! They were just so fresh and still had barnacles on the shells! I thought they were delicious and Jill and Justin said they were the best and freshest they’ve ever had. So now I might be let down every where else I have them in the states but you can’t really go wrong with garlic and butter anyways. Then for dinner we all ordered seafood again. I got gnocchi with clams and a local white fish in a tomato cream sauce and it was no lie the best thing I’ve EVER eaten. Beats everything even in my food & wine class! (maybe) Jillian got some spaghetti scampi that she was a little scared of because the crawfish were fully intact with their heads on and she made Justin take the meat out for her…and Justin got grilled swordfish! We all agreed it was the best meal we’d had in a long time! And basically now I’m on a seafood binge but it’s hard because I can’t really make it here in my apartment 😦 So sad.

Some pics from the trip:

 

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Tuscany Bike Tour

Jill & Justin are here! It’s been great seeing family faces and in the last 3 days I’ve had some new and delicious foods/wines/experiences!! Saturday, I picked them up at the train station and we went to see the apartment they are staying at – so pretty! It’s bigger than what they expected and has this awesome deck that’s HUGE and overlooks Palazzo Pitti! That night we went to a small restaurant (for those in Florence, 4 Leoni) that is known for their pear ravioli so me and Jill both ordered it and Justin got a beef stew that he really liked. The bruschetta there was also delish! It wasn’t really ravioli as much as just stuffed pasta in random shapes and had such a unique flavor! The portion was tiny (only about 5 pastas) but worth it because it was so tasty! After dinner we headed over to Golden View Open Bar which is right on the fiume Arno (Arno River) and had amazing views of Florence all lit-up at night!

Sunday we walked around most of the day and tried (and failed) to get bargains at the leather market. Some guy told us the leather jackets were FREE so of course we tried them on and were convinced he was giving them to us but then as we were about to leave he said “240 euro” so we were like “BYE!” I took them up to Piazzale Michelangelo that has a gorgeous views of the city and then we got dinner at a cute place in Piazza San Spirito. Jill had gnocchi in a truffle and cheese sauce, I got rigatoni (which is ziti here) with tomato sauce and cheeses and then Justin got TRIPE! As in stomach liner. He said it was good but me and Jill were both a little queasy looking at it.

Yesterday we did a Tuscan Bike Tour with a really great tour guide. The forecast said 57 and sunny but it was probably low fifties and rainy/grey all day…of course until the minute the biking was over! We met in the city at 9:30 and took a van all the way out to the countryside to a medieval castle that is still run by a count and countess. The family produces wines and olive oils and we got to tour the winery and taste some wine and oil! Both were really good and even though it was rainy and gross out everyone was perfectly happy. After about an hour tour of the castle we started the biking. It wasn’t a hard route, despite the very first hill that was steep and left me out of breath. We rode through the countryside and saw vineyards and gardens and basically exactly what you picture when thinking of Tuscany. Half-way through the ride we stopped for lunch at a small local restaurant. There were five pastas to choose from and me, Jill and Justin all got the pasta ragu. First time I’ve had ragu sauce since I’ve been here actually now that I think of it! Ragu sauce is just meat sauce by the way. It’s about the same as bolognese sauce and then theres pomodoro (tomato) sauce. Back to the meal..it was great and a nice touch to have authentic homemade Italian food out in the hills of Chianti. The second half of the bike tour started out in a torrential downpour that thankfully didn’t last long. There was a point of a really big hill and just about everyone decided not to bike up it but get in the van that was following us for a lift up haha! At the top of the hill we got back on our bikes for the last 15 minutes of biking. The tour was so scenic and I had an amazing time! The tour guide was from Dublin, Ireland and hilarious!

Jill got better pictures on her camera but here are a few from the day!

Spring Break Part 2

I promised you part 2 yesterday but I am just getting around to it now! Sorry! Tuesdays are my busiest days! We made THE BEST 3 courses in food & wine last night and I was in a food coma when I came home and had to just relax in bed. So the adventure continues…!

The next stop on our trip was Krakow, Poland. Let me just tell you I have never tried a perogie before and I’m not sure if it really matters because everyone said they aren’t even half as good in the USA but I will probably still go to the grocery store and buy them frozen as soon as I get back! I’m obsessed! The first night we got there was Tuesday and we had a pub crawl scheduled. So we quickly got changed and ready and went out to grab dinner before leaving for the night! The people at the hostel were really nice and recommended a traditional polish place. It was TINY, only 5 or 6 tables, and had all different kinds of perogies. We got 3 plates of the traditional (potato and cottage cheese) called “ruskie” and were served more than enough perogies. They also had sour cream to dip them in so you really can’t have a bad meal when sour cream is involved! We had so much extra that we brought some home for later that night (it was a late-night snack!). The next morning we woke up for our freezing cold tour! Our tour guide was really into his job and made it more bearable because of his enthusiasm. The city of Krakow didn’t have much to see (dare I say that?) and we spent most of our time up at the castle. There are many myths involving dragons and magic with the castle which were interesting. The tour ended in the city square that was beautiful! Probably my favorite city square based on just looks. We shopped at a little market afterwards, but like I said it was freezing so we stopped for lunch at a cute spot. All we wanted were perogies but THE PLACE WAS ALL OUT! Apparently they had a big group dinner the night before and hadn’t had time to make more. Devastating. We almost left but were too cold and hungry so Ashley and Erin got this traditional soup in bread bowls and me and Hannah split Kielbasa. So good! I already knew it was one of my favorites but Hannah had never tried it and fell in love (much like me and perogies!) so it was a good experience for her! Luckily the kielbasa tastes just about the same in America just maybe not cooked with as much love as the natives.

That night we were went on a group dinner to a Mexican place because everyone was kind of tired of the heavy eastern food (I wasn’t…) and our tour guide knew an owner. I got a chicken quesadilla that hit the spot so I’m not complaining. We were advised not to go out drinking that night because in the morning we were leaving for Aushwitz and you don’t want to be hungover/miserable for that…because it makes you pretty miserable anyways. So we left bright and early and drove about an hour to Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkensau. Surprisingly we could take pictures but I think it might be rude to post them online so I’ll have to show people once I’m home. You can imagine the place was somber and chilling and for once I actually forgot about how cold I was…

Aushwitz I reminded me of the Phillips Exeter campus. Weird? It is just a bunch of brick buildings that look like dorms, and they’re now transformed into museums. Each room has these huge displays of things left behind. For example, there is a room of baby shoes, suitcases, hair, glasses etc. And it was piles on piles on piles of everything. I got really choked up at everything but especially the suitcases because they had names and addresses on them and we were told that the Nazi’s would tell the prisoners that they were going to go home after the camp and they would send their stuff back for them, but they would be sent to the gas chambers. We went in one of the gas chambers and I almost threw up. I’m going to stop here because it’s hard to think/write about.

From there we went to Prague and I’m glad because it really cheered everyone up! Prague IS AMAZING! Definitely my favorite place in the world! The only down side is that people smoke more than they breathe. The first night we went to a bar and you couldn’t even see clearly because of all the smoke and now, a week later, my clothes still reek after being washed! We stayed because it was the only close place serving food past midnight and we hadn’t eaten dinner!! In the morning we did the normal tour, saw so much beautiful architecture and then we dipped on the tour once we got to the market (which we found out was the best decision because it went on for 3 more hours and was boring!) The Old Town Square is what sold me on Prague. There are tons of vendors selling everything and they have amazing street food. I realized that is the one thing I don’t like about Florence – no street food! Yes, pizza, pasta, gelato are amazing but I want a sausage or fried dough on the go sometimes! I got cute trinkets/souvenirs and we loved the square so much we went back the next day! They had the same desserts as in Budapest but smaller and filled with Nutella..YES PLEASE! Prague is also home to the John Lennon wall, the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle. All beautiful! The John Lennon wall was a sight to see and it is really cool how basically every week it looks completely different because people are constantly spray painting new things. If you don’t know the history it is just a wall dedicated to Lennon/The Beatles and people just write Beatles quotes all over it. I really wanted to write my parent’s wedding song “Here, There and Everywhere” on the wall but we went to a couple stores around and none of them sold sharpies/markers! Annoying! But at least now they know I wanted to – love you mom & dad!

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The bus ride home was 12 hours on Easter Sunday but there was nothing I could do about it. We watched a lot of movies and I read a whole book! (The new Emily Giffin). I got home that night and got to see my roommates for the first time in 11 days and we talked all about our trips! We had Monday off for observation of the national holiday Easter Monday (beats me) and I got to relax and adjust to being home! Albums of spring break to come soon!!

Spring Break Part 1

So happy to be home!! Thankfully, today is a national holiday so we didn’t have classes and had the day to recuperate and relax. Me and my roommates walked around in the nice weather and ended up at the pizza place where the Jersey Shore worked when they were here. The pizzas were awesome and we ate them outside in Piazza Republica. But that doesn’t matter so let me explain my spring break!

For my break I went on an organized trip called the Eastern Loop. I went with my friends Hannah, Ashley and Erin and there were only 37 of us on the whole trip! We left Thursday night from Florence at 9 pm and drove through the night to Ljubljana, (pronounced “Lubiana”) Slovenia. We got to our hostel, which used to be an old jail, at 3:30 am. There were cell bars in the rooms behind our doors it was cool!

Hostel in Slovenia

Hostel in Slovenia

Friday morning we had a tour of the city and our tour guide was so cute! We learned a lot about the history of the city and how they have lots of myths about dragons. The city was very small and had lots of cute restaurants and shops running along both sides of a river. We got lucky because it was in the 60s and sunny so I got some color while walking around. After the tour we got lunch and sat outside by the river, it was the first time in Europe that I had a salad with actual salad dressing! As in not just olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is something I really do miss about the U.S. Then we walked up a steep (a lot steeper than I had anticipated) hill to a castle with amazing views of the Swiss Alps. Our tour guide encouraged us to go up there for the view because it had just snowed on the Alps the day before.

View from the castle

View from the castle

That night our whole group went out for a traditional Slovenian dinner. It wasn’t really anything I haven’t had before. It was four courses, consisting of salad, soup, main course and dessert. The soup was really good, some time of beef broth with asian noodles, the main course was a huge chicken cutlet with vegetables and rice and then dessert was an apple pie-type pastry. It just wasn’t in the shape of a normal pie piece and definitely had other fruit in it, but it was called ‘apple pie’. Everything was delicious and I had a glass of the white wine, which Slovenia is famous for. I loved the city because it was so cute and reminded me of home, or more like downtown Newburyport by the water. In retrospect it isn’t anything like home, but when I haven’t been home in so long random things bring me back.

The next morning, Saturday, we woke up and checked out of the hostel to depart for Lake Bled. Apparently, it is one of the top-rated wake-boarding lakes in the world! It was beautiful but didn’t compare to the beauty of the lakes in Switzerland. However, the surroundings were much nicer. There was another castle at the top of a hill in the background that many people on the trip walked up to, but we chose not to. We walked around the lake, it took about an hour or so, and then got the famous pastry, Kremsnita, at a cafe with gorgeous water views. It was a custard/vanilla/flaky pastry that was DELICIOUS!! I also got a piece of carrot cake 🙂 We left the lake mid-afternoon for Budapest, Hungary.

Kremsnita

Kremsnita

BUDAPEST IS AMAZING!! I am aware I need to come up with better adjectives than “awesome”, “amazing” and “beautiful” but I can’t think of any right now. Anyways, I really am obsessed with Budapest (but not as much as Prague so just wait til I get there!). The city is so unique in that it is actually two cities – Buda and Pest – separated by the Danube river that runs through. The Buda side is more suburban and smaller, but we stayed in the Pest side which is the urban, city part. The Chain Bridge, along with many other bridges, is the most famous that connects the two sides. We made it to Budapest around 10pm and immediately showered and went out on the town! The four of us, and some girls we made friends with on the trip, went to an underground club that was insane! It was so big and had tons of graffiti and writings on the walls and was just a really cool atmosphere. They also served food late and had these amazing hot sandwiches that were about a foot long and hit the spot after a long day of being on the bus.

The next morning we woke up for a walking tour of the city that ended up being FREEZING COLD! I knew it was going to be colder on this trip, but was not ready for temperatures in the teens and snow! I only had my leather boots and my feet froze. The tour was enjoyable for the first half and then once it got too cold we kind of just stopped and got lunch and warmed up. That day we went to these markets outside (once we had revived ourselves in a warm cafe) and found t0-die-for dessert. They were these cylinders of dough that are cooked over coal and then rolled in cinnamon and sugar. AMAZING! They also had these in Prague but they were smaller there 😦 BUT the Prague ones had Nutella inside :)!!!!!

Delicious!

Delicious!

Back to Budapest, from the markets we navigated the metro system to the House of Terror. I wasn’t a fan of going there, but I figured its part of history and I should learn more about history and the war etc. So for those who don’t know what this place is, it’s basically where the secret police operated in Hungary during World War 2. It has exhibits dedicated to fascist and communist dictator regimes during that time. It was a really somber and depressing place to go, but I am glad I saw it and it definitely prepared me for my trip to Auschwitz.

On Monday we made it to the famous THERMAL BATHS! Basically, the best part of the whole trip hands down! Before we went there though, we had to check out the Grand Central Market, the largest in Budapest. We shopped around and I finally got some gloves that are cute and knitted and Hannah and Ashley got this amazing looing lango (I think that’s what it was called). It was just a fried dough circle but with toppings and they got Nutella (obv) and bananas! Wish I had some but for once in my life it was too early for me to eat sweets. After the market we headed to the thermal baths! There are a couple different places to go, but the one we went to was called Szechenyi. It’s a spa that has about 15 pools, some inside and some outside, that are heated naturally by two thermal springs. There is a lot of sulphate in the water and so the inside pools smelt of sulfur and were kind of gross to be in. Outside though, was, wait for it, AMAZING! (someone get me a thesaurus) The first outside pool we went in had a lazy river and bubblers but wasn’t has warm as we’d liked, especially because it was SNOWING! Yes, I was outside in the a bathing suit in a pool in March in a snow storm!! After about 30 minutes in that first pool we decided the other pool looked better. The only bad thing was that you had to get out of one pool and run to the other – in bare feet in the snow! But we managed and that second pool was soo incredible. We just sat there on the steps of the pool, submerged to our necks, absolutely relaxed. We had made massage appointments and so only had about an hour to stay in that pool, which was fine considering the recommended time was 20 minutes in the pool, but I would have actually stayed there all day. Before getting our massages we hopped around from pool to pool inside, but like I said they smelled gross and were filled with old people in speedos and bikinis. Ok now let me get to the massage! UGH! So good! It was an hour and I was just soo relaxed I fell asleep at one point. At another point I burst out laughing but oh well. After the massages we left (around 7 pm) and had to trek back in the snow to the hostel. But it wasn’t far! That night we got dinner at a local place that was really cute with live music. And we treated ourselves to 2 desserts!

Thermal Baths at night in the snow!

Thermal Baths at night in the snow!

I’m going to stop here for now because I need to make sure I do my Italian homework due tomorrow! I have to write a journal of every day’s activities on break! I’ll probably finish the trip later tonight or if not, tomorrow! OH and of course, more pictures to come!

Midterms

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged! I’m just about done with midterms (thank goodness) and will be leaving for Spring Break tomorrow night! I just have to get through my Italian midterm first. It shouldn’t be too hard, I feel like I know more than I think I do. We have been reviewing all week but nothing can prepare me for the listening part because the Italians talk so fast and it’s impossible to hear through the little speaker that my teacher plays it through. Oh well. My other three midterms were easier than I thought, and a lot shorter. Basically just 10 short answers. The teachers here really want you to pass because they know everyone is studying abroad and doesn’t care much about schoolwork while we’re here.

Last weekend was my first weekend staying here in Florence for a month, and boy was it relaxing! So nice not to have to wake up really early and get on a bus then a plane then a train etc. and we didn’t have to go out to eat every night and actually made our first “family meal” since we’ve been here! Me, Michelle and Hannah made chicken cutlets, steamed broccoli, and a new pasta dish I found on Pinterest – it was all so good! And we had leftover so we could eat it the next day too. Sunday was St. Patrick’s day and even in Florence it’s crazy! We did a bar crawl during the day and all got green shirts that have The David on them with a clover and wig on they’re cute.

Yesterday in my food & wine midterm my teacher made food for us after we finished the test and it was just this saffron risotto that was amazing!!! I had never had risotto before and I’m glad I got too, because that’s probably not something I would order out at a restaurant. I’m all about the homemade pastas. And pizza. And seafood.

Even though midterms are over tomorrow I’m actually depressed that it means we’re halfway through the semester. Tomorrow I leave for Spring Break and will be gone TEN DAYS and miss Easter 😦 and then it’s APRIL. I’m excited because I have visitors coming in April but it scares me how close this is to over. I refuse to leave! This will probably be my last blog until I come home, unless I have some time to blog from my phone while I’m travelling but I can’t promise anything!

Eastern Europe awaits!

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Volunteering

Today was the start of my volunteering!! I signed up to volunteer back in the beginning of February but it just got started this week. Every Wednesday morning from 8:30-10:30 I get to help out in an elementary class during their English lessons! I woke up early this morning to make sure I was there on time (it’s a 35 minute walk) and was surprised when I showed up that barely any adults at the school spoke English. I finally found a really nice old teacher who knew a little and he brought me to the classroom. As we were walking he told me that he used to get coffee with an American and he would speak English while the American spoke Italian to him (I should look into that). He was really cute saying how he missed those times.

The teacher of my class didn’t speak much English either so I got to use some of the Italian I know. It was surprising that once I was forced to use the language I didn’t realize how much I knew! The third graders came in soon after I got there and they were all so cute! Little kids speaking foreign languages is like the cutest thing ever I think. So then the English teacher came in (beautiful/totally stylish/really nice) and I introduced myself to the students in English. I told them my name, age, what I liked and where I was from and they understood it all! Then each of them stood up and said “My name is ___. I’m (their age). I like ___ (usually pizza).” Then the teacher gave me the textbook and told me I was in charge of the lesson! They were learning activity words and it started with me reading them and then them repeating the word. Then they had to match pictures with sentences that rhymed. For example, “I play tennis with Dennis”. I was amazed at how smart they all were and all very quiet. No one shouted out and they all politely raised their hands to answer. So sweet!

After that the teacher wrote “can” and “can’t” on the board and they had to say if they could or couldn’t dance, ski, play the trumpet or ride a bike. So each would stand up and come to the front of the room and say something. It was adorable because they would say something like, “I can ply thu trumpe” and the teacher would say “ask Rosie how to say it” so then I would repeat the correct order and pronunciation a couple of times until they got it. It was really cute because after two of them went they would just come up and only face me and like whisper to me what they could and couldn’t do. Some of them were really good and would get it on their first try! We’re talking 7-year-olds. I’m 20 and can’t say the majority of things i’m learning in Italian and I have it for an hour and a half 4 times a week…

We finished up with a matching game and after just a couple of hours I really fell in love with the children and just the fact that they were learning another language. Yes, I started learning Spanish in first grade but I couldn’t tell you anything about it now. Here, you’re considered ignorant if you can’t speak English! If only that were the case in America with other languages! So naturally (if you know me you know I want to have every profession ever created and always change my mind on what I want to do) as I left the school I decided I want to get another degree once I graduate in Italian language and be a teacher.

I can’t wait to see the kids next week!!

Padova & Venezia

Last weekend I traveled to Padua and Venice with my program! It seemed like the longest weekend ever even though we were only gone from Saturday to Sunday. I had a hard time packing because it was forecasted to rain all weekend long and I didn’t want to wear my boots and ruin them, so I chose to wear sneakers. Also, my raincoat isn’t that warm so I had to wear a lot of layers under it.

We left Saturday morning at 8:30 and I mistakenly led my roomies to the wrong bus stop..oops! Two busses meet at one place and the other two meet at another. Luckily, they let us on one of the busses because there was room. It took about 3 hours to get to this little organic farm in Padua (Padova in Italian) for our first stop. It wasn’t raining out just extremely gross like foggy, cloudy and humid. We couldn’t walk too far into the farm because it had been raining all week and the ground was disgusting, but we did get to see some cows and chickens. They all smelled so bad EW! Then we went inside and had a homemade organic meal fresh from the farm! The first course was pasta with a meat sauce that was really amazing! Then they gave us fresh cheeses, sausage and polenta (a Padovian specialty), and then finally homemade cookies and cake! Lunch was great and then we got back on the bus to head to the center of town for a tour. The tour was really interesting and we learned about how Galileo studied at the University of Padua, which is where he discovered the Milky Way. We also went into the Basilica of Saint Anthony where there was sooo much old stuff. We couldn’t take pictures inside the church and that was kind of annoying. Inside the church there was a statue of the first female graduate ever from Univ of Padua. That night we went out to dinner with a big group and had a lot of fun then went out to this bar where like all of our program was so I got to meet a lot of new people.

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Galileo (with a bird on his head)

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The next day we woke up early and drove an hour to Venice. The city is made of 118 islands with 400 bridges WOW! We parked our bus and then had to take a 30 minute water taxi to the main island and saw the BEST views of Venice. We got off the boat and met for a tour where we saw the majority of the city. It was cold and wet and I was starving the whole time so right after the tour we ate lunch! Then went shopping. I got some Murano glass that is made only in Venice and then we just window shopped and walked around the rest of the day. Venice was extremely beautiful but I feel like all my pictures came out bad because the sky was gray and gloomy.

Finally this coming weekend I’m staying in Florence! It’ll be my first weekend in over a month here and I can’t wait to have so much more time to explore. We plan on climbing the over 400 stairs to the top of the Duomo tomorrow!

Breakfast

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This is my breakfast this morning! I figure why not! I was starving and knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with only the two eggs I have in the fridge. I also found out my pesti goes bad after 5 or 6 days so I was basically forced to make this gnocchi for breakfast. So delish!

Spring?

It’s raining today..and has been since Tuesday..and will continue to until next Thursday! I guess that’s normal for around here during the change into spring. So at least that’s good, spring is coming! It was nice enough to layout and get a tan on Monday, which I guess was just a tease. I had my yoga class this morning and our teacher told us it sometimes will rain the whole month of March. Yuck!! We are going to Padua & Venice this weekend with our program and Venice is already a wet-enough city! I don’t have rainboots here with me so I’m a little curious as to how this weekend is going to turn out. None of us have heard of Padua but apparently it’s a “hidden gem” or Northeast Italy. Sounds exciting!

Tonight we’re going out to eat with a big group of girls to this place called Dante’s where students get free wine and big groups usually get a lot of free food we’ve heard, and then going to a DMB cover band!! We have class tomorrow (on a FRIDAY!) because apparently schools in Italy think it is necessary to make up class time that we have off for Holidays!? For example, tomorrow we have a Monday schedule day for when we miss class Monday, April 1 for Easter Monday! I also didn’t know there was an Easter Monday in addition to Easter Sunday. Hmm…

Let’s hope the rain lets up before my trip to Venice!

Pictures from Spain!