Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mamma Mia!

Wow. Last week was so jam full of awesome that I forgot to blog :) I'll try to fit everything in without making everyone quit halfway through! First, we have midterms next week-so imagine all of this excitement happening with papers coming back to me, classes, and reading galore.

This week we had the pleasure of attending I Ristoranti d'Italia and I Vini d'Italia with our world renowned professor Diletta Frescobaldi. Well maybe she is not world renowned but her family sure is. They have been making wine for 700 years. In the family's archives they have letters from kings asking to try their wines! The cool thing is that this isn't even the story I am trying to tell you right now!

So we go to this giant event in an old Florentine building. The building has ceilings five stories high, old bricks poking out of the arches that go all the way down the what was currently serving as a lecture hall and presentation ground for Italy's top 100 wines and Restaurants. We got to try all of the wines. :) Of course, we 'tasted' them. On the first day of class Diletta reminded us that 'tasting' and 'drinking' are two very different things. We had the chance to taste wines most of us will never have had the chance to try if it wasn't for this class! Studying abroad in Florence gives us so many oppurtunities! Just being abroad in general is a life changing experience, but getting to go to events like this one is something I had never even dreamed of. The tasting was amazing. We were all armed with a notebook and pen to take notes on these wines-hints of cinnamon, high tannon, dark ruby color! What did you think...we were just drinking the day away!? No way, we were there for class...this was our homework! I love Italy.

That was a great day. Now I will tell you about my very first vespa experiene. My dear friend Sophia{blog shout out: What up girl! :) } sent me a package a few weeks ago for my birthday. It had not arrived and I was geting a little concerned so I asked Claire-the nicest woman in the whole wide world- about why it was taking so long. Turns we were supposed to send out packages to the Palazzo Caponi(our school) instead of our homestays or the package would end up kilometers away and we may never see it! Well...that happened. When the package finally arrived Mama Lo found the post notification on the ground near the mail box and saw the address was a more than an hour walk away from the house, but only fifteen minutes by motorino! Mama Lo volunteered to drive me there- 'if I was brave enough'. Hell yeah I was brave enough! Was she kidding?! A chance to fly through the streets of Italy on the back of a motorino! This birthday package turned out to be way more exciting than Sophia had ever planned. We flew through the Florence, weaving in and out of cars(everyone drives Mercedes Benz around here, even the buses are Mercedes Benz-madness!) flying down the opposite lane when no cars are coming. The driving laws are a little different here, polizia didn't even turn their heads! It was thrilling.

When we returned home we saw the door was open into the beautiful courtyard of the building directly across from ours. Whenever the thirty foot high, gorgeous wooden doors are open you can see beautiful plants, flowers, and statues everywhere. Well at this moment the doors were open-guarded by two police. Mama Lo speaks fluent Italian and asked them what was going on. It turns out one of Italy's most famous antique dealers had passed away and this was the auction of his estate. We were allowed in. We walked through this mansion with masterpiece ceilings, long hallways of some of the most beautiful architecture I have seen in Florence- and THIS was just the building. There were giant paintings and statues, leathers and fabrics, even a little hyrbrid carriage-bicycle for a child pulled by a bronze dragon. It was like visiting a private museum right across the street from our house!

Well now I need to get back to reading some Art History before my midterms next week-maybe I'll read about a piece that is just across the street!


  1. Hi Angel! I just came across your blog at work and as a JMU Study Abroad Florence Alumn [Fall 2005 :)] I feel like tearing up. My time in Florence was most amazing. I met some of my best friends and my boyfriend and I think about Florence and wish I was there every single day!

    Please say hello to Alessandro and Claire for me and continue having a great time!

    Caitlin Regan