Monday, February 4, 2013

Week #4: Jan. 28- Feb. 3

Another week has flown by in the wonderful city of Florence.
It started out as a rough week trying to figure out where my financial aid is but things were solved so there is nothing to stress about anymore. Probably was nothing to stress about in the first place. Moving on from that topic... Some of the highlights of my week:

I made my first successful print in photography class. Although, that doesn't sound super exciting to most, for someone like myself who is passionate about the subject it was quite the accomplishment. For anyone who has ever had to go out and take the pictures (keeping in mind you need to adjust the aperture and shutter speed to get the right image), develop the film, and having to actually print the image, knows how hard it is. It is so time consuming. I really feel like I am learning a lot in the class. The negatives I had weren't horrible but they weren't good. I was taking pictures with a lot of white backgrounds which confuses the camera into thinking that the image is too bright. So I would change the aperture or shutter speed to what the camera said and most of my images turned out gray with little contrast. That was another downer on the beginning of the week.


Three words... Food as Culture. Sometimes I think I am in a dream when I go to this class, it is just too good to be true. Three credits to learn about food and to eat, I am totally down with that. We had to meet at our teacher's house at 9:30 am for class. Originally we were going to make pasta and custard but plans changed so instead of custard it was apple crumb and decided we were going to make pasta another day. We made a delicious meat sauce, apple crumb, crostini with salsa verde, and a salad with fennel and oranges. By the way, I have the recipes for all of these fantastic foods so send me an email at if you would like them. They are all super easy. Along with making these different dishes, the previous week we had bought five kinds of olives at the Market Centrale. Tina, the teacher, had also bought five kinds of proscuitto and cheese. The five kinds of proscuitto were: Proscuitto crudo, Mortadella, Proscuitto cotto, Salame Toscano, and Sbriciolona/ Finocchiona. The five cheeses were: Goats cheese, Taleggio, Pecorino, Asiago, and Provola Affumicata. The unfortunate part was that I forgot to take notes on which one I liked best, but the good part was that I really enjoyed all of the different proscuitto and cheese. There was one proscuitto that was just too raw and gooey for me though, it was the texture that grossed me out. There were two different breads we had also, Pane cotto a Legna (cooked in wood oven without salt) and the Schiacciata. We were in the kitchen preparing the food from 10ish to noon, so by the time we had set the food out we were like hawks swarming the table ready to eat. I was so focused on the cheese that I never tried the olives, shame on me. I'm not a big olive fan, but I am in Italy so I NEED to try as many as I can

For Italian Renaissance we met at the Duomo and looked at the doors of the Battistero di San Giovanni since we have been studying them in class. We also went inside the Duomo and saw the tomb of Filippo Brunelleschi, the man who designed and made the Dome. The cathedral is so massive. One of these nicer days I am going to go to the top of the dome. A few people in my class have done it and said it was breathtaking. After the Duomo we went to the Orsanmichele Church. This building was originally a grain market and when walking into the church you can tell because of it's wide open space like the markets I have been to in Florence. You can also see on the walls where they had the grain come down from the top floor. It's hard to explain and I wasn't allowed to take pictures. I took some pictures of the outsides of the building though. 

Friday I went to the Uffizi Museum with my my roommate and a friend. Before we got there we were super hungry so we stopped for some food at the Gli Stuzzichini del Corso. I got a sandwich with proscuitto and mozzarella. It was amazing. Then we enjoyed our food at the Palazzo Vecchio. The Uffizi is so big, we actually didn't make it through the whole museum because we decided we were going to go to the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens as well. By the time we had gotten to the the Pitti Palace to get our tickets they had stopped selling tickets. My roommate brought us to this tea shop called Tealicious where there are a ton of flavors of tea. I am not a tea drinker but some of these teas smelled amazing. 
Saturday was rain all day so I got my normal run in and did homework and relaxed. 


I woke up early and got my run in like every other morning, and then decided I was going to adventure on my own to the Boboli Gardens at the Pitti Palace. I have so many pictures from the gardens, I fell in love. I actually didn't make it through the whole thing, so I am going to try and go their every week. I get in free so why not? :) After a couple hours of walking around I headed back home, skyped family, did homework, and called it a night. We had another "Family Dinner" last night at our place, the food was really great like usual. I had eaten before it though so I didn't have much. Plus I had more Italian homework I needed to get done. 

The days really do just keep getting better and better. I am planning a few trips with some friends. The destinations are to Verona/ Lake Garda, Cinque Terre, and Venice. They are all day trips but to places I really want to go. The only other one I HAVE to plan is Rome. I must see the colosseum! :) I am anxious for my Aunt Margaret and Uncle Mark to get here at the end of this month! I can't wait to explore Italy with them, and they picked out some great places to travel! Can't wait! 


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