MONDAY || We got up fairly early on Monday morning and had another delicious breakfast of fresh fruits, cheese from Pietragavina and Italian yogurt (which is so so so so so so good, especially the stracciatela kind). Anyway, so once again we packed our bags and headed down Amber’s 85 stairs — we were sweating and huffing and puffing by the time we finally made it down. By now we had gotten semi-used to them and were definitely in better shape than we had been on Thursday! We went to the train station and said our goodbyes to Amber and were glad to know that we would be back on Saturday, so it wasn’t really goodbye. We got on the train and were pretty wiped out — we weren’t really over our jet lag and we had had a pretty packed schedule all weekend. So, we…
Bekah eventually fell asleep too, we just didn’t take a blackmail picture of her sleeping…jk 🙂 The train ride is pretty long — about 5 hours plus another hour on a bus after you get off the train. Needless to say, Monday was a long day of travel and we were very glad to finally get to Sansepolcro. After arriving at the bus station in Sansepolcro, Bekah took us to the Palazzo where the Meredith program is based. She should us around and we relaxed a bit and then Patrizio came and picked us up for dinner at his house. We had a lovely evening with him, his wife Sara, and their three children.
Patrizio cooked us a wonderful meal of pesto pasta, cheese and prosciutto and this yummy salad that I can’t remember the name of — it’s tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese, bread and corn all mixed together. It was really good. Then we had gelato for dessert. After that we hung around and played with the kids. We watched “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in Italian and I played checkers with Leonardo which became a nightly tradition. Afterwards Patrizio drove us to Chiara’s (Sara’s sister) apartment where we were going to stay for the week. Chiara was so hospitable and kind to have Sarah and I stay in her home. She had just moved back to Sansepolcro from Milano and was so adorable and cute! Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of her…but Sarah got a couple of her apartment.
TUESDAY || The next day we spent a nice, low-key day exploring Sansepolcro and Anghiari, a nearby town. We decided to sleep in a little and get some much needed rest. Bekah and Vivian came over Tuesday morning after breakfast and then we wandered around the town. Oh, Vivian is a Meredith Alum — the class of ’74, I think. Anyway, she had come to help write a guidebook for future study abroad students. She tagged along with us for the week.
**NOTE: Thanks to Rachel M. for letting me borrow her jacket and messenger bag. Both were lifesavers. I debated on whether or not I would need a jacket since the weather was supposed to be in the 70’s the whole time. Good thing I brought it. It was freezing and I even had to buy some long sleeves while I was there. Italians don’t really heat their houses (kind of like my dad haha, jk, wait it’s true…) so, at night Sarah and I got really cold! And the messenger bag was perfect for traveling, not too big, easy to carry and not too small. Thanks again friend!
Notice the cobblestone streets, aren’t they beautiful? Well, they might be pretty, but boy were they hard to walk on. By the end of the day my feet and back were pretty sore!
After walking around Sansepolcro we went back to the Palazzo for lunch with the Meredith girls and faculty. This is John Rose, Dr. Webb’s (the woman who runs the program) husband. He is very British and very funny. He also loves the English language in it’s pure, unadulterated, correct, British form. He also loves food, however, he has already had one major heart surgery and is supposed to watch what he eats. The girls try their very best to police him, but sometimes he is very stubborn and gets what he wants. He was very funny. He also is the seating director for every meal. He assigns seats and says that American’s have no idea how important a seating plan really is to the success of a meal. I had the extreme pleasure of being seated next to him for my one meal at the Palazzo. The food was delicious thanks to their wonderful chef, Margherita. After lunch we headed to Anghiari, by bus it is only about 15 minutes away from Sansepolcro.
Anghiari was the most beautiful and picturesque town that we went to that week. It was a tiny little town built on a hill and enclosed by a medieval wall. There was color and quaintness everywhere. Every time I turned around there was something beautiful to look at. We went in the afternoon during the lunch break, so most everything was closed and we went back before 4pm, so everything was still closed…but it was enough to just walk around the town and enjoy the views.
After walking around the town we decided to get some coffee.
Yummy! The coffee was really good — they got some delicious chocolate drinks. I was boring and got a shot of espresso, but it was still really good! We sat out there and visited for a while until it was time for us to go catch our bus.
Later that night we went to Sara and Patrizio’s again for dinner and Chiara came too. We had pizza first and then we had finochio (fennel), and salad with a fried egg on top (which I wasn’t too sure about at first, but turned out to be pretty good!) and then cookies for dessert. Then we went back to Chiara’s and visited with her for a little while and looked at some of her pictures from her recent trip to Sicily. They were absolutely gorgeous! I hope to get back to Italy soon and explore more of the Amalfi Coast and the islands off of Italy. I will find it hard to stay away from Tuscany and Milano though — they definitely won me over and found a special place in my heart! 🙂
Firenze — here we come! The David Statue, Ponte Vecchio, etc! Stay tuned! Ciao for now! Haha, that rhymes! I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it!!!