Hey strangers! Unfortunately, my time here in Italy is winding down. I know this is heartbreaking for those of you who have received 14 snapchats from me daily, or for those of you who have been living vicariously through me. Do not fear! Since I didn’t post anything last week, this one will contain short summaries of what I have been doing here for the past TWO weeks. THAT’S DOUBLE THE ADVENTURE! Lucky for you, I have some pretty cool things to share.
I’ll start off by talking about two weeks ago when we went to a ballet. I was really excited about this seeing as I had never been to one before and had no idea what to expect. The story starts out with an old hag who comes knocking on this guys door because she’s poor, and cold, and old. The guy rejects her and the hag, or witch, begins to plot her revenge (we will get back to the witch later). Meanwhile, the guy I referred to is engaged to a young girl. However, he meets a ghost and falls in love with her which then leads to a breaking off of the engagement. So while the guy is flirting and dancing around in his tights with the “ghost girl” he is trying to win her love. The witch comes back into the picture and tells the guy that if he puts this certain scarf around the “ghost girls” neck, she will fall in love with him. Long story short, he puts the scarf on the ghosts neck and she dies which was the witch’s revenge. I’m still unsure of how a ghost dies when it is already dead but this girl did so that’s magical! The guy ends up dying as well and the audience just ends up depressed. But the ballet and orchestra were both great!
Now moving on to two weekends ago when we went to Florence, which was pretty amazing. We got there Friday and did some walking around, shopping, etc. That night was one of the highlights of my trip because it involved one of my favorite things which is….. italian food! Bet you couldn’t guess that one. We headed to a cooking school in Florence and were guided through how to make an Italian meal which consisted of some appetizer that I am unsure of the name, spaghetti, ravioli, and a dessert. The Italian chef that helped us cook was quite the jokester and a lot of fun. We actually made the stuff inside of the ravioli, rolled it in a ball, and made the noodles which was really cool. We then got to make the spaghetti by rolling out the dough and sending it through this other thing which I am also unsure of the name (whatever, it makes noodles so who cares.) The dessert was a teramisu type pudding with chocolate on top stirred by none other than the culinary sensation herself,…..Corley. We had a lot of fun chopping tomatoes and what not until Michael Hooper cut his finger while vigorously chopping some onions. Needless to say, the chef made him put on a rubber glove after that and told him to proceed with caution. So that was a good time, seeing Michael teary-eyed from the onions just a-choppin away with his rubber glove on. Sorry that I don’t have pictures of that for y’all. After we finished cooking, we ate the food and it was pretty good for us amatuer chefs.
The next morning, we woke up and went shopping in the leather markets. As I was trying to bargain with one of the little men selling leather purses at a booth, I had gotten him down to 40 euro but decided to see if I can do any better. I suggested 35 and he shushed me and started to whisper something into my ear all secretive-like. I thought I heard him offer it for 30 euro but I was unsure so I simply said, “30 euro?” He replied with, “NO! GO AWAY!” So it’s still a mystery to me what exactly took place in that little rendez-vous but Randi and I thought it was pretty funny considering his English was awful yet he knew exactly how to say “NO! GO AWAY!” He seemed pretty angry. Oh well.
After I got yelled at by a leather-selling man, we took a short bus ride to the Castle of Verrazzano for a tour of the wine cellars and a wine tasting. The place was magical and the view was magnificent! Luckily, I have some pictures…..
Fun fact about this next photo. This tiny door is actually there so that someone can crawl inside of the barrel and clean it out when the wine is being changed. It’s a microscopic door but we were told that they entered arm and shoulder first, then head, etc. It’s important that the insides are cleaned out sufficiently or else the taste of the wine could be tainted. Gasp!
This is post-meal and post-wine tasting. We tried four different wines. My personal favorite was a Rose’ and my personal LEAST favorite was the dessert wine that you dipped cookies into. The cookies were good though 🙂
After the wine tasting, we headed back and did some more shopping (sorry mom). The next day, we headed to the Uffizi Gallery which is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world. This place was huge and we were pressed for time so we had to hurry through which was a bummer. However, I had high expectations and it’s safe to say that they were exceeded! We saw paintings from artists like Giotto, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Carravaggio…do any of these ring a bell? Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” did not disappoint. I thought it might be pointless to post a picture of it on here considering you’ve all probably studied it at one point or another. Just know it was beautiful.
After the Uffizi Gallery we met up with everyone else and went on a tour of a couple of museums and then visited the Boboli Gardens which is pretty much a massive garden that is like a maze. It rained on us while we were there but it was still very pretty. Before heading back to Rome, we made a brief stop in Florence at the medieval, hilltop church of San Miniato and Piazzale Michelangelo for a beautiful view of the city skyline.
Now moving on to this past week. Last Tuesday, Me, Michael and Randi went to the Killers concert in Roma and it was AMAZING. They were better than I could’ve imagined live and I loved singing in unison with all of the Italian voices. Just picture an open field on a warm night, the Killers rocking out to Miss Atomic Bomb, confetti flying, and a sea of italians singing, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone, you’re gonna miss me when I’m gooooone” in their cute little accents. (Download “Miss Atomic Bomb” and “Bones” right now and you’ll be singing them for days on end.) Also picture me screaming the lyrics and jumping up and down like a crazy person. That night was one I would do over and over again, and being in Italy seeing one of my favorite bands perform live, with my best friend by my side, was something I’ll never forget.
Now fast forward to that weekend which was this past weekend when we went to Tarquinia for the day. We went on a bike ride through Tarquinia which is outside of Rome. The sights were beautiful and I discovered just how out of shape I was on that day. OH YEAH AND MICHAEL FELL OVER ON HIS BIKE AND IT WAS HILARIOUS. After our bike ride we went to a hotel/resort type place and had a wonderful lunch and yet ANOTHER wine tasting. We tasted three wines this time and of course, they were all good. After lunch we got to hang out by the pool for a couple of hours which was so nice because it was a scorcher that day.
The next day, which was a Saturday, we went to Venice for a short trip. We only stayed one night But Venice was beautiful and really, really hot. We shopped around, ate some good food, and went for a gondola ride at night. It was so peaceful and Venice looked lovely at night. Before the gondola ride, when we were walking around trying to find the grand canal, we heard some music so we followed it and found a little concert. They were playing all kinds of fun American music so we stayed a while before heading to the gondola!
The next day Randi and I got up and got some lunch at a cute little restaurant beside the grand canal. We sat REALLY close to this old lady who ordered a bottle of wine for herself and only drank like one glass of wine and left the rest of the bottle on the table and left. We figured this was an invitation to drink the rest of it before the waiter came back and poured it out so we poured our self a glass. When Randi questioned me for pouring us a glass I justified this action by saying, “If something has already been paid for, then it’s not stealing.” Right after I said this I realized that it in fact is stealing if something has already been paid for because, undoubtedly, things that are stolen are paid for by the person that they were stolen from, making my statement really dumb and inaccurate. But…… I had already drank the glass of wine so there was no going back. Randi was ashamed, but she had a glass too so she’s not as innocent as she seems. Here’s the ladies wine on HER table…and then here’s the ladies wine on OUR table, in Randi and mines glasses.
So that’s the short version of what I’ve been doing for the past two weeks! Sadly, the trip is coming to an end and I will be back in Yazoo in just a few days. That being said, the week is only beginning and a lot can happen in four days 🙂 I’ll end this post by letting you view this little gem that I have no reason for posting other than the fact that it’s just hilarious. This was a statue that we saw in Venice. Over and out friends!