The Tuscan Countryside

Anastasia Hernando
April 11, 2022
Tuscan countryside

This past weekend I went to Tuscany on an IES Abroad Fieldtrip. I will include some photos this time so you can get a taste of its magic.

We started our trip Friday morning, leaving IES Abroad Rome early in order to bus to the Tuscan region. Since it was about three hours away, I got a good dose of sleep and contemplation. Although I love Rome, it was nice to leave the city for once. The rolling hills and lush landscape provided a breath of fresh air to the city that I didn’t know I needed. 

Later, we arrived in San Gimignano, where we had a historical tour of the town. We got very lucky with clear skies and cool weather as we strolled along the steep cobblestone streets. The town is known for its towers because of its origins to medieval times. Along with the architecture, we experienced a beautiful view of the Tuscan landscape. Additionally, before our visit ended, we were able to have delicious food. We first ate at a cafe where I chose a warm margarita e bufala pizza. 

Then, we stopped in a world famous gelateria, where I had a cone of blackberry lavender and saffron almond honey gelato. Our guide informed us that saffron was typical of the region, so most of my other friends went for a similar combination. The flowery sweetness with the tart blackberry was unforgettable. At first skeptical of the flavor of saffron gelato, I was happily surprised that I enjoyed it so much. 

Then, after driving an extra hour, we arrived at a villa on a Tuscan vineyard. The bathroom overlooked the villa with a white wooden window frame. The fixed showerhead along with the ornate wallpaper made me feel like I was living a fantasy. We promptly had a tour of the villa, along with a wine tasting and pasta making class. Then, my friends and I befriended some Tuscan cats during our free time. Later, we had dinner, eating the pasta we had made and drinking the wine we learned about earlier. 

The next day, we left early to visit Siena on our way home. We got a tour of the city, learning the history about the different neighborhood rivalries that were portrayed in the horse races. These horse races take place biannually in the Piazza, which is angled at a slope. I was also able to see the inside of the Duomo of Siena, where I got to see Nicola Pisano’s Pulpit, a renaissance art piece that I learned about in my Art History class. Later, we had a delicious three-course lunch before heading back to Rome. 

Lastly, I have included some great photos that capture the essence of my trip. 

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Anastasia Hernando

<p>Anastasia Hernando is a student at the University of Michigan, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She is currently working on writing her Political Science thesis on labor rights of the textile industry. Her passion&nbsp;for human rights motivates her to learn more about government and philosophy while studying abroad in Rome, Italy during Spring 2022. Additionally, her interest in social media and business excite her about her opportunity to share her experiences as a IDEA Correspondent.</p>

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Home University:
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Miami, FL
Political Science
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