Well, it’s been a few days since we’ve been in Siena and so far it has been wonderful! The six of us are all living in convenient apartments close to Piazza del Campo, ours being the closest. We have also had two days of classes, which have gone wonderfully so far. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are enjoying learning Italian in Italy with wonderful teachers and anxious to go on field study trips in our “History and Culture of Food in Italy and Tuscany” class. The trip I am looking forward to the most when we get to see where they make Pecorino di Pienza cheese, which happens to be sheep’s milk cheese–something lactose intolerants like myself get excited about!
So far, we have had some pretty delicious food! The first night, we met our RA’s and Veronica, the director of the program, to have aperitivo. This is an Italian sort of “snack” in the early evening in which you order drinks (ours happened to be a classic Italian spritzer, prosecco and some sort of juice) and you receive small amounts of different foods (pizza, fries, vegetables, bruschetta, etc). I unfortunately did not get a picture of this meal, but it was a wonderful way to start our trip off with good, new friends and a beautiful view right on the Piazza. However, it was very very hot that day. That night, we got our first round of gelato, which I was unable to have since there was no sorbet.
The next day we had some more time to walk around Siena and found some nice areas to explore later. We also got the first picture of all six of us!
We were also lucky to wander during a break into a delicious bar (where Italians can get anything from panninis to beer to pizza to gelato) in search of gelato. Luckily, this place had sorbet! This being my first gelato and the other’s second, it was quite delicious and refreshing for a blazing hot day (somewhere between 94 and 98 degrees).
That night we had our own version of an aperitivo on the Piazza with cheese, crackers, and a drink.
That night we went to a restaurant recommended by one of the RAs, Nancy, that was right outside of Laura and Olivia’s apartment. It seemed to be more of a typical Italian restaurant but unfortunately had a lot of other English speakers. Nonetheless, the food was delicious. For an appetizer, we ordered prosciutto with melon and bruschetta. Then, for my main course, I had a simple pasta with red sauce and pancetta. It was a great, simple Italian meal for a low price! We also made a friend out of our waiter which made the meal more of an event.
The next day was our first day of classes. After four hours of class from 9am-1pm, we went to find lunch. Colin, Rachel, Amy, and Olivia had their first piece of on-the-go pizza while Laura and I ate sandwiches.
After learning about the Palio that afternoon from a video and a visit to the headquarters, museum, and church of the aquila (eagle) contada which happens to be our contada, we enjoyed gelato from a new and classy place called Grom. This place is similar to the gelato I am used to getting in Maine at the Gelato Fiasco with at least 6 or 7 sorbet flavors including dark chocolate–this really excited me. We have already gone back and probably will at least twice a week. For dinner that night, my roommates and I enjoyed a delicious and simple meal cooked by our RA.
Our second day of classes were today and since we had been eating out so often, we decided to have lunch at our apartments today. Therefore, Rachel, Amy, Colin, and I decided to make Italian sandwiches on our own. My sandwich had prosciutto, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, and balsamic while the rest had nearly the same but instead mozzarella cheese and regular tomatoes. They were delicious concoctions and I cannot wait to enjoy lunch many more times with these cheap yet fresh ingredients.
Who knows what the next few days will hold for us!! Siena is beautiful, the people are wonderful, and I am thoroughly enjoying the food!!! Ciao per ora!!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Ciao!! I’m a rising senior from Bowdoin College in Maine studying Psychology and Education. Even though I go to school in a small town, I’m from the big city of Chicago, but I am ecstatic to explore yet another beautiful small town, Siena! Starting in high school and continuing onto college, I have blogged about the various delicious desserts that I have been lucky enough to enjoy. This has been my way of expressing my sweet tooth for all to see and try. It has also allowed me the privilege and opportunity to try things that I never would have otherwise, such as a wide range of cuisines in various “local” areas that I may never have ventured to. For me, trying a new dessert—or food in general—is not only about how it tastes but also who you are with, what the atmosphere is like, and how you feel about the food. I aim to convey these experiences to my readers through photographs and short descriptions. I am anxious and open to try all that Italy offers to add onto my delectable list!</span></p>