I can’t believe I’ve been in Italy for 2 weeks already! On one hand it feels like a month, and on the other 2 weeks is a long time. I am pleasantly surprised at how much progress I am making in Italian due to my intensive classes and being fully immersed.
After some travel to Venezia and Firenze it is very obvious that Siena is an absolute jewel of a place to be. The bigger cities are great with many wonderful things to see, but as far as a place to be a student Siena has a small town feel, with lots of history and Italian chic-ness.
A few of the bigger highlights for me this past week and a half have been:
Visiting Venice: such a beautiful city with a completely different feel. I visited the church where Vivaldi did much of his work and had many of his compositions performed.
Cooking school: homemade gnocchi with gorganzola sauch!!!!!! there are now words so I shall just cook for you when I get home. We also made an incredible Tuscan soup and another kind of homemade pasta and almond cookies.
Bottini: we got to tour the underground aquaduct system on Siena which is how the city received its water until the middle of the 20th C. I am so impressed with the engineering capabilities these people had in the 1300′s with really nothing but brains and shovels.
Uffizi Gallery: we visited the Uffizi Gallery in Firenze with our art history professor on Thursday. It was stunning to see things like Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus in actual real life.
Siena Duomo: In music history we are learning about Gregorian chant so for one of our classes we visited the music library in the Siena Duomo Cathedral where we got to see original Gregorian chant manuscripts! The church is exquisite! Every available surface, including the floor has some sort of art on it.