So this past weekend I traveled to Florence on Friday with my History of Italian Foods class and to Siena on Saturday with my Contemporary Italy class. Both experiences were amazing! Friday we walked around Florence just taking in the sights, yet again for myself, and then we proceeded to go to a chocolate tasting. Easily some of the best chocolate I’ve had in my life! We tried 4 different kinds of chocolate ranging from dark chocolate to creamy chocolate with a slight peanut butter taste. Afterwards we went to Chef Alessi’s restaurant for a 5-course meal centered around old Italian dishes that are not prepared very often in the present day. We enjoy a pasta with walnuts and ginger, which had a very different taste but nevertheless enjoyable. Next was a dish that consisted of potatoes cut up to look like small pieces of pasta (an attempt to get Italians to eat potatoes, which were the ‘poor people’s food’ during the renaissance). The sauce that coupled the potato dish was fantastic! So creamy and just full of flavor! This was our classes favorite dish. The third course was the first of two boar dishes, the first having a chocolate-based sauce, and the second having a peppercorn-based sauce. The first boar dish was amazing! The meat was so tender and everything worked together in harmony. The second boar dish was excellent in my opinion, which was rather opposite of most of my classmates, who do not enjoy strong pepper like I do. The last dish was dessert, which was a small piece of pie coupled with a dollop of pudding. This dessert was so light and airy, but still sweet and filling. It had the perfect balance of flavors and textures and really helped close to an amazing meal.
Saturday I had to get up early and catch a train to Siena so I could meet with my Contemporary Italy class. We visited the chuch of San Domenico and saw the severed finger and head of Saint Catherine, which isn’t the most pleasant sight first thing during the visit. We then learned about the different contradas of Siena and the Palio, which is a huge horse race held every summer between the contradas. It basically represents who is the best contrada and gives the winner bragging rights for the year, however it is taken extremely seriously within Siena. We visited the museum of the eagle contrada and learned of their specific history, which was an amazing feeling to be apart of something that is so entwined into their culture. The rest of our time in Siena was spent just soaking in the sights of the city and seeing how important the Palio is to each contrada (Please my pictures on my facebook page. The pictures from Siena truely represent how important the Palio is to the residents of Siena).
Sunday was spent doing homework, washing clothes and dishes, and making lunch. I was lucky enough to have a friend make dinner for me while we streamed the NFL network from her laptop I miss not being able to watch football on a decent TV. The week has gotten off to a good start and I have my Italian midterm exam Thursday. This means that I will have my eyes deep within the pages of my notes going over yet again all the verbs, grammer, nouns, and rules that have been haunting my dreams since I arrived (Haha!). Wish me luck!
Till next time!