I’ve been wildly busy; my days are filled with schoolwork, friends, food, some sleep, skyping my mom and boyfriend, photography and blogging, weekend trips, and Florence. I’ve finished blogging about Rome! I have Switzerland left, Vinci, Bologna and Prague, as well as the second soccer game, San Gimignano and Siena. I pour my heart and hours of time into my blog, which is why the posts are flowing s l o w and steady.
Anyway, today I had my second cooking class! So much fun!! Here’s the link to my first cooking class.
- Definitely take one!
- Don’t wear black/clothes you’re worried about getting dirty. It’s unlikely, but it could happen.
- Don’t walk home alone afterward if it ends late in the evening!!! Have someone walk you. I walked with some AIFS girls that live near my house this time.
- Bring a jacket for when it gets cold on the way home.
I signed up to take the Italian cooking class offered through my study abroad program, AIFS!
Ponte Vecchio = Old Bridge.
We met on the Ponte Vecchio and were led to the kitchen of the restaurant “In Tavola” across the bridge by an AIFS staff member. I let AIFS know before hand that I’m gluten free so that they could inform the restaurant and make adjustments for me.
We entered the kitchen through a back street, put on plastic aprons, and right after that the lead chef yelled out “who is my gluten-free?!” I yelled back “me!” and immediately got put in charge of stirring panna cotta on the stove top.
- Ravioli di spinaci e ricotta (Spinach and ricotta ravioli).
- Sformato di verdure (An artichoke soufflé).
- Panna Cotta (A cold, Italian custard).
- Sign up for one!
- Don’t wear black — the flour can go everywhere.
- If you don’t get a booklet of recipes, write everything down!
- If your class ends in the evening, make sure someone walks you home! A classmate walked me home and it was great to not walk back in the dark alone!
The Travel Orientation was this morning — there as a lot of useful travel tips about buses, trains, flights and exploring, and suggestions on where to travel. I think I’d like to visit the Island of Elba for a day, which was one of the suggestions. I really enjoyed it, and it gave me quite a few ideas on where I’d like to visit. The orientation made me realize just how much help the AIFS office can be with planning trips.
Side note: There’s a train ride to Sicily (an Italian island) from Florence. When the train reaches the water, it is dismantled and put onto a ferry boat, shipped over the water to Sicily, and put back together on the island; all the while the passengers remain onboard!
After the orientation we stopped by an electronics store; it’s interesting how small all of the shops in Italy are. In America we’re accustomed to rows and rows of large, glass windows filled with displays and exposing the interior of the shop. In Italy, it is easy to accidentally pass the shop you are looking for, because the stores here are very small, with perhaps one window and the entrance door. There also aren’t any glaring neon signs — I had to pay more attention to shops I am looking for.
We stopped by a pastry shop, and I bought a cute small heart-shaped frozen pastry (I had to wait at least 20 minutes before eating it).
I had my first class today, Italian Renaissance Art. What interested me most was an introduction into the subject of iconography in art, the use of symbols in artwork. It was getting very cold out, so after class my roommate Kat and I ran home and grabbed extra coats, then went to meet everyone from the program for the Welcome Dinner.
My meal was pretty good, and it was made vegetarian and gluten-free for me 🙂
I recommend letting the AIFS staff know of any special dietary needs as soon as possible, which is what I did. I also learned the words “Vegetariana” and “Senza glutine,” which means ‘Vegetarian’ and ‘Gluten-free,” which I used to communicate to the waiters tonight.
Kat, Elizabeth and Shelby at dinner.
The whole place was just filled with the students and faculty from the program. (There are about 90 students).
Creeper photo of our waiter. A lot of the Italian guys here have this type of haircut, where the sides are shaved and the top is long. There are more extreme versions of this haircut I’ve seen already.
My roommates Kat and Elizabeth and I were pretty tired by the time dinner was over, so we walked home, passing the Piazza Santa Croce (“Kro-Chey”) on the way home.
It’s nice not to need a map when we walk home anymore! We’ve nearly gotten lost about 3 times now. More on that later!
Side note: There are about 5,000 study abroad students in Florence at any given time.
I Skyped my dog Leonard in the evening too: