Truly Madly Deeply


Well, my time in Italy has come to an end. As I reflect back on my time in Florence, I could not have dreamed of a better study abroad experience. For once in my life I lived in the moment. I never realized what effects traveling has on you until I lived in Florence. You get to know your true personality and characteristics that make you unique. I’m not saying that I was a complete stranger to myself, I had an idea of who I was. I guess in everyone’s life there comes a time where you see the person you are and the person you ought to be. The person that I ought to be is someone who takes in every moment, enjoys the little things, indulges in all things that make me happy and most importantly believe in myself. Now, I didn’t come to this reality by myself. Through my Italian self discovery I had some help along the way.


The first person that helped me was Jen or J Block as I now call her. When I first met J I was stranded outside the apartment, jet lagged and pretty disoriented. So disoriented that I thought she was my roommate Maddie’s friend. That next morning she was the first one to get up, since I had been up since 7 I figured that maybe she would join me for breakfast. We ended up leaving at 11 or so which was so bizarre for a breakfast time for me. Then we ended up getting lost and eating at around 1. I kept thinking to myself, “does she know that we are in the ghetto right now? I’m going to get abducted.” Little did I know that I was no where near the ghetto. After surviving that, we ended up hanging out for the rest of the day. I would say a mile stone in our friendship was when we were sharing our life stories over a bottle of vino at La Giostra. After that, we became more like sisters than friends. Jen is a true blue.Throughout these six weeks I probably wouldn’t have made it without her. I think she and I both came here with the goal of pushing ourselves to get outside of our bubbles and really get back to our centers of who we are. Jen is someone who is a goof troop who loves to laugh. I can’t tell you how many belly laughs she and I shared. Jen also taught me about being more conscientious of what I’m eating and what the best fabrics are. I don’t know many people that would give up their own bedroom in a ground floor apartment to move to a third floor apartment with no AC. My favorite memory she and I shared was at the Jack Johnson concert. We were in the stands and Jack was doing his thing and we were just dancing like idiots. Just living, which is how it should be. I’m excited to see what other adventures Jen and I share throughout our lives.

IMG_1511The second person is Ashlee. She and I first met outside a glass shop as we were waiting for the appertivo with SAI. The next day we realized we were in the same class. We first bonded over our love of croissants and all things Italian food. I think another key note of our friendship is the fact that we are extremely sarcastic. She and I could just volley back and forth with sarcastic comments. I once tried to match her eating abilities but failed miserably and was put into a food coma. She’s another good egg. She is extremely humble and down to earth. Even though she finds enjoyment in making fun of my accent. It’s okay though because she’s from Wis-cauhn-son. She may have a more distinct accent than I do. Something that Ashlee taught me was to just be myself.

IMG_1335I can also say that my roommates from the first three weeks shaped my experience as well. Jamie, Meg and Maddie are girls that live in the moment. They took advantage of every opportunity and ran with it. They put themselves out there and made friends which pushed me to do the same.

photo2(17)I also have to say that my teachers in the kitchen and classroom also taught me a lot about myself. The first is Ciccilia, the first three weeks she taught me Food, Culture and Society. For the remaining three weeks she was a chef in the kitchen. Ciccilia is a true Florentine. She was born here and has lived here for her entire life. She taught me so much about the culture of Italy. She was the first to introduce the idea of moderation to me. Well, the Italian version of moderation. She also taught me about picking the best quality of ingredients for cooking. She was probably one of the most friendliest professors I have ever had. Any questions that I had she was always happy to answer usually with the response “verbene….”


The second teacher or Chef was Victoria. She and I had a rocky start to say the least. During our first class I was in a terrible mood, which I shouldn’t have been, but she told me I needed to be nice. But you know when there is an extremely annoying girl in your class that you can’t stand and it’s just hard to push through it? Well, that was that day for me. So I left there with a bruised ego and not wanting to go back to that class for the life of me. However, I ended up going back because I had such a great first week experience with Sarroino. I am so glad that I did. I honestly think she taught me the most about the culinary arts. She taught me everything from the basics of cutting to nutritional value. She was actually a private chef on a yacht, but quit a few years ago to be around her grandchildren. She taught me to be open-minded about people. Our first impressions of each other were nothing pleasant. Now, it was hard to say our goodbyes. She also taught me to be mindful of what I put into my body. She believes sugar is a silent killer and it tears up your body, so every recipe she cuts the sugar by 2/3. I honestly felt like I was a sponge when I was around her, I soaked up everything I could.

The third teacher that made an impact on me was Mossimo. He taught me so much about wine that I could go on for days talking about it. He taught me more than just wine though. He taught me about living and thinking outside of the box. Each class he posed questions to the class about our thoughts on happiness, success and the difference in food and wine in the States and Italy. In sum, he doesn’t understand why Americans believe that they always have to be working more than they have to. Instead, he believes that you do what you have to and then take time to enjoy life with your family. He also thinks the types of wine a person drinks is a good way to read people. It tells a little something about their life. Mossimo also gave me hope in the idea that there are still men out there that know how to court women. He said that he remembered his first dinner party he hosted at 16. He remembers the menu and who he invited. He also told us about how he used to plan every aspect of the date he was going on. Whether it was the ambiance of a restaurant or a wine pairing for his meal he was preparing. He still practices this today and he is 55. He was telling us that he plans an activity for his wife to do every day so she doesn’t get bored. He was shocked when the class told him that guys in America really don’t know anything about wine, or put that much effort into planning a date.

All in all, I cannot wait to go back to Italy. I’m also looking forward to my future travels. Right now I’m going through a butter detox, but when I get done I will be practicing my recipes I learned. If you would like to keep up with my cooking or wine tasting, feel free to keep following!

photo6(7)Cheers to Italia!


The last day in Santorini


Well, Jen and I spent our last day lounging on a catamaran. We went to three different beaches and watched the sunset on the boat. There was a red, black and white beach. The water was so beautiful and clear. When we were swimming around we could see all of the fish underneath our feet. Pretty neat. We also did a little sun tanning while we were on the boat. Would y’all believe me if I told you I had a little tan? Well, I do. That night we had dinner on the boat. They made meatballs, grilled shrimp, greek salad, eggplant dip, taziki, chicken and corn. I’m tellin’ ya, it was a feast.


Captain/Chef? what a catch.

After we ate dinner, it was time to watch the sunset and head back in. This time I didn’t have to deal with tour groups shoving me around. Let me just say it was perfect! When Jen and I got back to Fira we hit the Greek 24 hour bakery. I don’t know if I have mentioned this but majority of the stores stay open until midnight or 11 o’clock during the season. The goal is to get as much revenue as possible. So once we went to the bakery and picked up a few things we walked back to the hotel. Santorini is very safe. I never once felt like I was going to get pick-pocketed while I was there.


How Jen sunbathes

Jen and I caught an early morning flight and witnessed the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. I think I may be a sunrise type of girl, or maybe just a Santorini sunrise/sunset person. Once we arrived in Rome, we got on the train to go back to the train station. We decided to grab lunch because we hadn’t eaten yet and it was about 1:30 at the time. Hangry was an understatement.


You remember how I said Jen and I had become train masters? Well, I’m about to eat my words. We planned on the 1:50 train so at about 1:45 we were scrambling to get our tickets. All of a sudden its 1:50 and we are sprinting for the train, trying to get to our car, and the train starts to leave. Do you know 1) how embarrassing it is to run past people waiting for the next train and 2) running towards a train that you can’t even catch. Well, that was rough. So we had to go to the help desk and get on the next train. I could tell the guy wanted to laugh at us. I’m sure he saw my excellent running skills.


We finally made it back to Florence and decided to grab dinner at Aqua al 2. This whole week is a YOLO week for Jen and I. So we got the pasta sampler and then we tried the strawberry risotto. Y’all, WOAH. It was so delicious. I’m still thinking about it. Then we had our blueberry and balsamic filets. I’m really going to miss that place.


Anyways, if you haven’t noticed I’ve been a little slow on my blog posts. Partially because I don’t want the experience to end and actually that may be the entire reason. A friend of mine told me that I have to eat at least two croissants a day plus gelato whenever I can before I get home. So, I’ve been busy I guess you could say.



Light as a Feather

photo5(6)Ciao lovelies!

So where was I? Ahh, day two of Santorini. As you can see life was tough hangin’ poolside. The day began with some breakfast in preparation for our wine tour and cooking class. If you did not know, Greeks were the first ones to produce wine. Our tour guide, George or Georgie, as I later called him picked us up and another couple. The other couple was from Belgium and they were on their honeymoon. I asked Georgie what the differences in wine production in Greece compared to Italy. He said they only water the plants when they are very young, the soil(volcanic rocks), and harvest time. Right now they are harvesting grapes when Italians usually do that mid October.


Once we arrived at the vineyard, we tried five different types of wine. Two whites one with a full body and one that was more weak with less flavor. We tried a red and two desert wines. I have decided that I prefer Italian wine to Greek wines. The quality of production is just so much better.


After the tasting it was time for our cooking class. On our way to the cooking class, Georgie got in his first wreck of the season. In Santorini, the roads look like one ways but are actually two ways. Anyways, a tourist was driving down and didn’t understand the rules of waiting so Georgie had to back up. When he did there was a motorcycle there and he backed into his tire. Luckily no one was hurt but I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation. Lord knows what that guy said to poor Georgie. When he got back in the car he was continually trying to reassure himself that it wasn’t entirely his fault. Although we all know that it was…


One wreck later, we arrived at our lesson and was greeted by a very nice chef and the owner of the restaurant. The cooking class took place outside overlooking the sea. Each one of us volunteered for a specific task. Jen made the Taziki sauce and I made the fried tomatoes. Is anyone else seeing a trend with the Southern girl doing the fried things? Well, our contributions turned out perfectly. The guy from the couple made the pork dish that was sauteed with cinnamon and bell peppers. It was really good surprisingly! The woman made her vegetarian dish that consisted of stuffed tomatoes and a bell pepper.

IMG_1664After a few cocktails and a smoke break, Georgie rejoined the group. We ate our lunch and chatted for a while with the chef. The most important fact that I took with me was the testing of EVOO. Sometimes places mix the extra virgin olive oil with regular oil. To test this, grab a few table spoons of EVOO and a drop of hydrogen peroxide. When you combine the two and your olive oil changes color–its mixed. Just a food for thought!

Once we got home, we went and got our suites on and hung out poolside. Jen conned me into getting in the pool but when I realized I left my hair clip it was too late. Rapunzel got her hair wet and then I figured what the heck so I just went for a little swim.


Prior to the hike.. How naive I was.

We took the shuttle to Oia but we were going to walk to a small marina to have some great fish. Well the driver said it’s a short walk, 10 minutes tops. All of a sudden I find myself hiking down a mountain. I kept repeating to Jen and myself “it’s a short walk they said…10 minutes tops they said…” Thirty minutes plus a body cramp later we made it down to the bottom. I told Jen that I will not be walking back up the mountain. I would have rather set up camp with the fish than do that. The food was great though. I guess I would say that the hike was worth it. I know I sound like a baby, but look at the picture below, see those people that look like ants that’s where we started out. I’m sure you can relate a little better now.


See the castle/ruins up at the very top–thats where we started.

Once we finished dinner, our shuttle came and picked us up from marina. WHAT A RELIEF. My prayers were answered that night. After that hike it was a shower and an early bed time for me. Alls I can say is the hills beat me again.





Long time no see, right? Well, I just got back from Santorini and can I say that it was amazing?! It was definitely worth getting up at 4 a.m. to catch a flight for. Jen and I scrambled to get our stuff together and out the door on Thursday to catch a train by 4. Well I don’t know if you know this, but Jen and I have become train masters, pretty much conductors at this point. We arrive in Roma and have to take a train to the airport. Yet again, there was another gypsy there waiting at the validation stand. It’s not so much a safety risk more of an annoyance. We dodge her and hop on the train to the airport.

We wanted to go back into Roma for the Frida exhibit but we didn’t have enough time. Instead we went into this little town that is close to the seaside/airport to have dinner. At this restaurant we indulged in some great food. Actually when we first got there there was only one table–us. So I was a little sketched out plus the fact that the restaurant was in an ally was a little sketchy too. After dinner we headed back to the hotel and crashed for about four hours.

If any of you have ever traveled through or to Rome airport then I think you can join me when I say that that airport is pure CHAOS. Checking into that mess was some kind of deal. The way you find your check in gate is by a departure board and then you get in line wherever it tells you to go. After that you get in the line for security, where you don’t even have to take off your shoes, fyi. Fortunately for us there was a bar open at 5 so we grabbed a quick coffee and headed to our gate. That was probably the first airport that I’ve seen a Gucci in casually. Forget magazines, I’ll take a handbag for my flight.


Everyone waiting to see the sunset.

Once we arrived to Santorini, we grabbed a quick breakfast at our hotel The Majestic Hotel. For any of you who plan on going it is an awesome hotel and very accommodating! Plus it’s maybe 50 ft outside of Fira which is the capital of the island. There are also two swimming pools one for adults and the other for kids. Which means no splashing Wesley while she attempts to sunbathe. Anyways, our view of the island was majestic. There’s really no other word to describe it but majestic.

IMG_1632After we got settled, we caught the shuttle to Oia to watch the sunset. Everyone on the island migrates to Oia for this occasion. Anywhere you can find a seat you take it. I found a seat around the edge but after the second round of tour groups, we could no longer see the sun. So Jen went to scope out the seating situation, all of a sudden I hear my name, and she had ended up on a totally different level from me. After much debate, we packed up and move to a new spot right in the nick of time. Needless to say the pushing and shoving was worth it.

IMG_1642Once we escaped the packs of tour groups, we had dinner at a restaurant called Floga. The view was amazing and the food was delicious. We had tomato dumplings which to me were the equivalent of fried green tomatoes. At first I thought to myself, I came to Greece for a southern staple? Then with a little Taziki it was a different ball game. For our entrees, Jen had salmon with a lavender sauce I want to say and I had the beef tenderloin. All of which was great. After we ate we had to make a bee line straight for the shuttle. Day one of Santorini–CHECK!photo6(4)

Dreaming Tree


Well, my final morning/afternoon in Roma was very relaxing. We decided to have brunch at a place I had read about called The Bakery House. Jen ordered a bagel with salmon, scrambled eggs and avocado on top of it. She fell in love with it, however thats not really my style. I ordered the prosciutto e formaggio omelet inside a bagel. It was SO good. I think it’s best to not count the calories that I ingested. Do me a favor and put down your calculators, please.

photo3(8)After brunch we were going to go to two different exhibits: Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo. Jen loves Frida’s work so that was her pick and mine was Andy. Unfortunately Frida was closed until four so we were unable to go. Upon arrival I was told to not take any pictures so I don’t really have any cool pictures to show. My favorite Warhol piece was Jackie O but now my favorite is Diamond Dust Shoes. I would give my left arm to have that piece hanging in my house. Maybe even my right leg too. The whole exhibit was fabulous and I could have sat there for hours listening to the music and watching the videos. That is my era for sure. I’m pretty sure I was born in the wrong generation.

photo2(9)After the exhibit we wondered back to the hotel and grabbed our stuff and hit the train station. I purchased probably the best thing I could have ever given myself–tennis shoes. I literally feel like I’m walking on clouds now. When I was purchasing my ticket for the train a guy came up to me and closed out all of my stuff. I looked at him like he had lost his mind because clearly he had. He said, “here, let me help you let me help you.” I said “what’s your problem? NO!” I had to get a little forceful with him because I knew what he was going to do–which was pickpocket me. I think before this trip I wouldn’t have ever been able to stand my ground like I can now. I don’t want you to think I was weak before this, but usually I am very quiet and shy. Now, I guess it’s the confidence that makes me strong enough to stand up for myself.

All in all, Rome was great. A little overwhelming but it was great. My heart belongs to Firenze though. The town is smaller, people are more friendly and things aren’t as expensive.



Roma Due


So on Saturday morning Jen and I had an early tour of Vatican City. We arrived at 7:45 and were let in at 8 o’clock. Usually the general public is allowed in at 9 so we were able to skip out on a huge crowd. We went to the Sistine Chapel first before a lot of tours had gotten there. I think there may have been twenty other people in there when we were looking around. Which is amazing because when we went back through at 10:15ish you could hardly get through the crowd. The Sistine Chapel was so beautiful. My favorite part was God giving life to Adam with Eve under his arm. It is so simple but has so much meaning behind it. I can’t imagine how patient Michelangelo was when he was doing both paintings.

After about 30 minutes we headed out to tour the Vatican Museum. I’m going to be honest here, I was blown away by the collection of artifacts, tapestries, paintings, sculptures, etc. that the museum had. If I remember correctly our guide said that the entire Museum is a total of 10 miles. It was absolutely amazing. I would like to say, due to my current conditions, that I have been dreaming of a bath in a bathtub. So my favorite piece was a giant jacuzzi.


I also thought the maps the museum had were very interesting. Especially when it came to the Americas because it was the New World and they didn’t know what it actually looked like. To them it was just a cluster with no defining lines.


Map of Italia

After the Vatican Museum, we ventured over to St. Peter’s Basilica. This is where there was a mob of people because by this time the general public had been let in. I’m sure most of you know that St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world. They actually have a place in the center where you can see the measurements of other churches that have tried to beat it. The second largest church is in L.A. This place was ah-mazing. Every “painting” in there is actually a mosaic. I can’t just pick one thing that I loved so I have a top three:

1. Michelangelo’s Pieta. He first sculpted this at the age of 21. Twenty One. What am I doing with my life? haha. Anyways, the Pieta was damaged by a mentally unstable guy who broke off fingers and the nose of Mary. The nose that is on her now is from plaster.

IMG_15862. The Pope John whose body has never decomposed. Morbid is a pretty good way to describe it, but it is fascinating to me how his body never decomposed. Also, people now believe he is a saint because that is his second miracle.

3. The structure in itself. It truly is such a beautiful piece of work. While we were there we saw a woman getting married in one of the chapels–how cool! Also the canopy in the center of the Basilica where the pope stands. It is made out of bronze and it is huge, I tell ya.


From the tour, Jen and I grabbed lunch and took a nap before our next tour. You should know that Jen and I soaked up as much AC as time allowed. Probably explains why Jen is sick due to the temperature change. When we were leaving lunch though, I spotted this place called Laduree which sold macaroons. I had never tasted them before, so I loaded up on all kinds of flavors like chocolate, caffe, strawberry, salted caramel, vanilla, and pistachio. They were pretty good. The consistency was a lot different than I expected. I expected more of a crunch when I bit into them instead of the soft texture. I can’t really even describe what the texture was. Anyways, my favorite was vanilla and strawberry.

IMG_1614Our next tour was a car tour and our guide was named Claudia. She was very sweet and very informative. She and her driver took us all around Rome. I had the option of renting a golf cart and driving myself, but I was told I would assume all liabilities. I made the more adult decision to not rent the golf cart and opt for the driver. It was also raining so that was one of the determining factors too. My favorite place that she took us was to a door where you can peak in this tiny whole. She didn’t tell me what it was before I looked, so for some ungodly reason I thought it was going to be some lion. I wouldn’t have come up with this on my own I think I misunderstood her from her broken english. I couldn’t really capture the shot, but when you look through you have a perfect view of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

IMG_1620After our tour we went to dinner and just took it easy. All in all, it was a day full of walking and beautiful sight seeing. I couldn’t complain one bit.

Pinball Wizard



On Friday Jen and I had our first tour of Roma which was the Colosseum. The tour started at 2:15 so we decided to sleep in and grab a delicious brunch before we went. I decided to try the french toast and bacon–sweet and savory. This place did not disappoint. The french toast was cooked to perfection with a light drizzle of maple syrup. YUMMMMMM


Did I mention this restaurant was adorable? Each table was covered in old playing cards. Jen mentioned that they would be the perfect souvenir, I can’t help but agree. Family and friends, be expecting some in the mail.

After our brunch we headed over to the Colosseum to meet the group. Now, we were fortunate to have the weather that we did but that still doesn’t mean it wasn’t hot. So I saw these umbrellas and thought that they would be really cute for a souvenir. Well, at about 88 degrees with the sun beating down on you and you’re holding shade in your hand. The idea of your souvenir remaining in it’s original package goes out the window and it’s all about survival. So for the remainder of the tour I was as cool as a cucumber.

Our tour guide was named Nina and she was SO great. She received her doctorate in Archaeology in Roma so she was all into the ruins and Colosseum. Before I begin, did you know that the Colosseum is just a nickname for the building? Our group got down to the base of the Colosseum where the gladiators would enter as well as the slaves and animals. There is actually still a spring that runs fresh water into the Colosseum. It was crazy to think that so much had happened in the spot that I was standing in.

photo2(10)One of my favorite pictures that I took was from the bottom. You can look up and see a cross where the senators and emperor would be seated. Can you imagine fighting for your life and looking up to see a bunch of people eagerly watching? I can’t.

IMG_1546Before I go any further, I should introduce the spawn of satan(cough cough) I mean kids on the tour. Their names were Kellen and some other name that I couldn’t understand. They were climbing on top of the ruins, kicking rocks and running around. Ya know, at first I felt bad for the parents but then I started to lose patience when their parents weren’t even attempting to get them under control. Plus, I was just trying to survive the heat and I didn’t need some munchkin kicking dirt in my shoes. Blisters were enough at that point.


                          Mid-rock throwing.

After we finished at the bottom of the Colosseum, we hiked to the top and saw one of the most magnificent views of the city. The breeze was so nice and you were able to also see the full layout of the Colosseum. As you can see, some parts were under restoration while we were there. The women and slaves sat at the top, the next level was lawyers and other men and the bottom row was for senators and the emperor.

IMG_1558After we left the Colosseum we walked over to the Palatine. Nina did a great job of illustrating how things used to be for us. She also showed us some techniques of taking pictures of older marble. My favorite part of this tour was in the Roman Forum there is the first temple built for a woman, The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. Until this century or maybe a little before, everything below this green door did not exist until it was excavated. IMG_1567After our tour and a nap later, Jen and I headed out for dinner. The food was great and the environment was very friendly and family oriented. Since I’ve been living in Florence for a while it’s funny to see American families try to speak Italian. There was a woman sitting behind us that tried to order in Italian but was actually speaking spanish. She honestly had no clue that she was doing it. I give her an A for effort though. Once we finished our dinner we were on a hunt for desserts. We asked around the hotel and they suggested Harry’s which was up the street. Harry’s was a very interesting place because it was decorated in film strips and photographs that had been blown up and put behind glass. It was kind of an old Hollywood theme, which I liked. I would say that day one of Roma was a success for sure.


Jen and I shared the chocolate pastry with cream filling and a nice chocolate drizzle as well as the apple tart with cinnamon ice cream.


Gold on the Ceiling


I feel like I haven’t posted in forever and it has only been three days. I figure its easiest to break up my posts into individual days, so you don’t get a neck cramp from all of my writing. Well, in true Wesley-Italian fashion I hadn’t really planned my trip to Rome very well in advance. I found this tour guide company through and it was called The Roman Guy. Which sounds like the most basic name I’ve ever heard. I was actually kind of nervous about them being a fake tour guide company. Anyways, so I text Jen while I’m in class and say “hey I found a tour guide, pack your bags for the weekend for Rome.” If you live with me and I guess even travel with me sometimes I do things spur of the moment. Before we left, I through together a pizza for lunch and it turned out fabulous. I’m starting to get the hang of this lifestyle.


After lunch off we went to the train station. Our train was extremely nice compared to the previous trains that we have been on. My standards may be a little skewed though because nice to me equals air conditioning. It’s funny how your standards change in different environments. I picked up a coke before I left and I first got “I will survive” which was a nice idea but I was looking for something a little more insightful.

When we arrived, we checked into our hotel Boscolo Palace which is great if you ever go to Rome and need a place to stay. It’s right across the street from the US Embassy, so if things go south you know where to go. For dinner Jen and I used a recommendation from TRG and went to Stazione di Posta. The menu included different tasting menus so I decided to order the seven courses, naturally. I mean when in rome, right? I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to say that. So ladies and gents pull out your napkins and get ready for your mouth to water.


First course: Shrimp in a creole type sauce sprayed with tequila. I don’t know if y’all can tell but the little green things were set up to be like cacti.


Second course: Spare rib marinated in a sweet sauce served with a breaded ball of mashed potatoes with cheese in the middle. When I cut my fork into the ball the cheese oozed out. Cue the forever clogged arteries.


Third course: Smoked salmon served on a tomato juiced soaked foccacia bread.


Fourth course: Chinese inspired ravioli with chicken and breadcrumbs. These ravioli were actually see through which was a little strange. They were served in a chicken broth.


Fifth course: Pigeon. Yes, I said it, pigeon. It was actually pretty good. Mentally it was hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I was eating one of the more annoying birds on a stoop that I had ever heard. I don’t know if many of you are pigeon connoisseurs but the meat was actually more of a dense red meat than white meat like I had expected.


Sixth course: Italian smores. The pink were a marshmellow type thing dipped in strawberry icing. The chocolate was a chocolate cake dipped in chocolate rolled in nuts. Both were served in a container of jelly beans.


Seventh Course: Dessert part two. Whipped ricotta cheese with biscuits on top served with chocolate and caramel sauce.

Well, after we indulged in all of that we listened to a little reggae music and headed home. I left out the part where we met one of the nicest Romans ever. Her name was Flavia and she was the host of the restaurant. She gave the cab driver directions to the restaurant, met us at the gate and even walked us out to the taxi. She later texted me all of the fabulous places to shop and eat in Roma. I can’t tell you what a big help her advice was. She was truly a gem of a person.

Andiamo Roma


Today I am off to Roma! Yesterday in my vegetarian cooking class I made a soup with farrow which was delicious. We also made a gnocchi with corn meal. Let me just say that it wasn’t my favorite. I would suggest more of a flour based gnocchi. Listen to me, so Italian and fancy.

IMG_1530 IMG_1532

For our trip to Rome we have scheduled a visit to Vatican City, a golfcart tour around Rome and last but certainly not least the Colosseum. I’m super excited to indulge in all things Roma. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! 



Almost a Month in Italia


Dough art, it’s the new thing. You can’t get that flower detailing just anywhere.


Well, this week marks one month of living in Italia! I can’t believe time has gone by so fast! I finally had to pull a Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love and purchase new clothes. I don’t know if the heat is causing me to swell or…’s definitely the heat. Pasta and pastries don’t do that to you. Big sales are still going on in Italy so I have no complaints. They do this nationwide sale and every store has to get rid of last seasons collections. Things are marked down like 75% right now. So whatever has caused me to swell didn’t hit my wallet to hard.


Pasta from today with the tomato and olive sauce.

Yesterday was orientation for the new students, so I went to my culinary class instead. We started out with a sea bass type of fish and then we made bell pepper rolls with a breadcrumb/herb filling. I was personally in charge of the desserts. It’s funny because the chef usually puts me in charge of frying things or desserts. Is she trying to tell me something? The desserts were small circular sponge cakes with liqueur brushed on top of them, and in between each sponge cake was a different topping. The first was just cocoa powder and a butter/powered sugar mix. The next was a toffee type of bar chopped up with the butter/sugar mix. After that it was a marshmallow and chocolate type mix. Then it was covered in a mixture of all of the toppings, rolled in roasted hazelnuts and topped with a cherry. Your mouth watering? Glad we’re in the same boat.


My masterpieces

Today I started my Wine and its history in Italy course. My instructors name is Mossimo and he’s a middle aged, florentine man. I’m really looking forward to the class. I really liked my weekly wine classes so a wine class everyday should be exciting. After my wine class I made it over to my tuscan culinary class. We prepared a trout dish with peas and tomatoes, taeratelle noodles with a tomato and olive sauce and foccacia bread. The trout was very flavorful but there were so many bones but Victoria says that it’s just part of it. Luckily we didn’t have to clean the fish today. Yesterday was a little rough with the fish cleaning.


Tomorrow we are cooking with cereali which is like whole grains from what I understand. I think we are going to get to make pesto soon! Victoria says that I have to at least make it once. One thing about apicius is they never do the same menu twice–in a year. Luckily I’m in the middle of the year so hopefully they haven’t done it yet. Anyways, I’ve got to get back to my homework for class–tasting wine. Life’s tough.