This morning (Wednesday), we were up bright and early for our first class. The morning started off with breakfast and coffee on the terrace, before we walked over to the annex for class. We are studying the rise and fall of the Roman empire and how the town grew from a small, Mediterranean coast village to the expansive and powerful empire it came to be.
After class, we toured the Gaius Cilnius Maecenas National Archaeological Museum and Roman Amphitheater, a museum built around an ancient Roman amphitheater. Our guide informed us about much of Arezzo’s history- during the height of the Roman empire, it was considered to be a very powerful town because it was home to large factories that made pots, which the ancient Romans used for a variety of purposes in their every day life. We also saw coins, jewelry, and other remains from second century Rome.
The guide was very, very excited about these pots and their different sizes, functions and the way that each one was individually created. Some of her facts and stories went a little over our heads and I can’t say that many of us shared her excitement for the pots, but the amphitheater was beautiful and we enjoyed our time there, nonetheless.
For lunch, we ate at a delicious little restaurant called Dietro lo Quinte. Our restaurant experiences have all proved to be delicious, but we never know what exactly we will encounter while we are there. Thankfully, there is almost always one employee who speaks enough English to take our order/understand our pointing fingers. At this place, it was another family owned restaurant and the cutest older lady you have ever seen and her three adult daughters were working behind the counter. You know me, I am a talker and so of course want to ask questions or how these people are doing or how long their family has owned this restaurant, that type of thing, but with the language barrier, there is really no way to do this. The ladies here were precious and treated us very kindly- plus their food was stellar. We wanted to clearly thank them so badly, but thankfully a big smile and wave go a long way and are a universal way to express gratitude/friendliness so it had to do.
After lunch, we had free time and shopped around Arezzo before returning to the monastery for PASTA MAKING! Ahh! It was so much fun. Llucio is an Arezzo native who works in Student Affairs here at OU Arezzo and is the nicest/most patient guy you will ever meet. He taught us how to make three kinds of pasta from scratch, and let me tell you, they were all delicious. It was a beautiful day, so we opened the windows of the dining room and played some fancy Italian music (like you would here in a movie or restaurant) to really get into the mood of the pasta-making. By the end, we were all singing at the top of our lungs to Frank Sinatra music as we cleaned up our giant mess.
IMG_9241 (click here for a video of our pasta making)
This has been my favorite experience so far because it was just so fun and different from my normal routine. We ate our pasta before heading out to explore the town again before dinner. We dined on an outdoor patio and had a fabulous creme puff dessert. After dinner, we all retired to the back patio and sat under the stars taking in this dream of a trip. I still can’t believe I am here!
Off to class now– more to come later! Ciao!