Thursday, October 22, 2009


It has been over a week since my last blog post or picture upload. Things sure haven't stopped moving at a million miles a minute since I last stopped and took a breath to update you on my amazing adventures. The transition between midterms and fall break happened so suddenly I was on a bus to the Pisa airport at three a.m. last Friday night before I knew it!

We received an entire weeks break after midterms(which I am still enjoying). I chose to spend the first five days in a beautiful island off the coast of Italy known as Sardegna. This island has a much warmer climate year round than that of Firenze and I was able to enjoy the miles upon miles of white beaches and crystal, teal waters. Sardegna has a wide mix of Italian and Catalan influences in their food, culture, and in their language. When arriving at the Bed and Breakfast in the heart of the Old Town of Alghero it was not an uncommon theme to hear the owner talking to guests in an almost hybrid of the two languages! I have been studying and improving my Italian in Florence for over a month now and it was getting pretty good, so I was extremely blindsided when the owner greeted me by saying, "Hola!"

My boyfriend Scott, an '08 Alum from JMU, was lucky enough to excort me on my journey to this picturesque island and was reminded many, many times that his girlfriend was a photographer when I threw him before the camera exclaiming, "Come on! You'll love to have this picture" It sure was fun to have a friendly model at your disposal in such a gorgeous place.

We saw so many things over the last five days and I don't want to leave anything out so I will try to fill you in on some of the more exciting experiences. Our first few hours in the old town were filled with a nap and a stroll around the city that lead us into some of the most beautiful places in the world. Alghero is surround by sixty foot high walls rising out of the sea shooting salty sprays high into the air when the waves finally collide. The sunset past the remains of the protective walls and giant watch towers throughout the city were breathtaking. After a long walk and soaking in the beautiful sites it was definitely time to catch some Z's. We grabbed a local pizza, bottle of Sardinian wine, and tryed to find the most entertaining thing on the television that provided us with a hearty stew of the world's languages. We settled on watching Dirty Dancing, in German of course.

Our first full day at the beach consisted more of a two to three hour walk to Maria Pia that is known for its clean, white sand and wall of pine trees surrounding all edges. I discovered my favorite smell that day- a mix of fresh, salty seawater and the deep, hot smell of pine trees baking in the sun. I could have stayed there for hours, but this was the coldest day of the trip so we had only enough courage to stay for a short visit.

On Monday, we were able to visit some of the world's most famous sea grottoes- Grotta di Nettuno. Neptune's Grotto was not unlike Virginia's local caverns while inside. Stalactites and stalagmites gripped the cave in every direction. The only huge and diversifying differences would have to be the mouth of the cave that looked over an endless sea, the warm sunshine pouring into that same entrance, and the six hundred stair descent down the cliffs of Capo Caccia that hosted some more of these insanely beautiful views I know you can't be tired of hearing about! It was an amazing place that I am so glad we were able to visit.

The next two days consisted of shopping the local markets, eating the biggest sweet red plum I have ever seen, tasting some wine out of a local man's enormous stainless steel wine tanks, soaking in the Sardinian sun for hours on end, swimming in the clear waters and jumping over hundreds of sea urchins that lined the beaches, tasting some of the local cuisine consisting of everything from crab filled hush puppies to full-bodied shrimp, followed by main courses of crab spaghetti and fresh calamari! Being young and on a budget we only ate at a restaurant two of the nights, but we ate like kings both times for a reasonable price! The rest of the time we visited the market right across the street from our Bed and Breakfast and tried lots of the local meats, breads, and cheeses or we would go to a great little Pizzeria down the street and pair it with a Sardinian red! Mmm, getting a mix of the Italian and Catalan foods all in one beautiful little town was something I never expected to experience and am so glad I did!

In the end I left Alghero with an appreciation for the intertwining of cultures and languages, a bit more color in my cheeks, and a camera card full of memories and pictures I can't wait to share with everyone here in Florence and back in the USA. Alghero, Sardegna was an awesome place to visit and leaving Florence for so many days(five feels like a lifetime in Italy, soaking in so many new things sure does extend time) really made me miss the place! This study abroad experience just keeps getting better and better, and to know that traveling just a measly three hours can expose me to a whole new world continues to enhance my appreciation for my time here.

1 comment:

  1. da best blog in town, DA BEST. love ya angiepoo i'm glad you're having so much fun and that nurse scotty did too!