Day 3

My first full day. Oh what a day. Sienna and San Gimignano field trip and my official love for Tuscany has been born. Sienna was gorgeous and I must go back. I feel like I only got a taste and need to explore all that the city has to offer. San Gimignana may be my true love. I know it’s only the third day and all but I loved every moment of being in the walled city and could stay there forever. My happiness is peaking. The city nestles into a hill and overlooks miles of Tuscany, mountains, and vineyards. It’s a city of towers and we climbed up the highest one where my breath was honestly taken away. I could have stayed there for hours. Pictures will never do it justice. Speaking of pictures, the madness has begun. Except that I cannot wait until I actually obtain some skills and know what I’m doing with my camera…which I now think of as my baby. I also had my first gelato! Apparently better than Firenze’s? Hopefully I will be testing that claim soon. All I know is that it was delicious and again filled with pure joy.

I also love Milva, my Florentine mom. She is a professor at LDM of Food in Italy…aka cooking…yes all I want to do is talk to her and have her teach me her ways. Her and Luca live in the country side of Florence and grow all this amazing fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m going to help pick olives in November…hand pick…and watch the olive oil process. Nope can’t contain my excitement. She’s also convinced me to switch into her class and drop Pairing Food and Wine. Now all I have to do is convince IU to give me credit. I’m ready for the challenge and for an essay. Either way, I foresee Milva and me becoming quite close…yay! Oh and I bought cheese under her recommendation. It’s amazing.

Again I want to learn Italian so I can speak the beautiful language and fully express the overflowing love I already have for everything here…especially the food. The food. Tonight. Oh my. We had a five course meal with wine made from a vineyard we could see from the breathtaking view of our table. Bruschetta (not pronounced correctly in America) and salad with balsamic and amazing parmesan. Saffron risotto…San Gimignano is known for saffron…I almost cried. Ravioli. Eggplant parmesan…the skin was almost seared bring this smoky almost burnt, yet sweet flavor. Ending with Panna Cotta. All I could do was smile like a fool.

Finallllllly I am settled into my apartment and was able to explore a bit. Yes, my glance yesterday was correct…it’s amazing. It’s all one floor but winds in an unusual but beautiful layout. Tall ceilings and a small balcony overlooking some courtyard and my kitchen window. I have my own room and am currently sitting at my desk in front of a big window where I can see the same courtyard and the night moon. I still can’t get over everything. I can’t wait to actually explore Florence. I feel like I’ve been in this city the shortest and know the least about it but that will all change very very soon. I can’t wait.

I feel as if I’ve known my group for ages now but the first impressions and surface understandings are dwindling and their true personalities are starting to unravel. I’m excited to continue to get to know them but also others as well. My need to branch out is nagging.

I’m beyond exhausted but feeling more blessed than ever. The woman sitting next to me at dinner turned to me and said, “I’ve seen that look before. You’re never going home.” I am in love and I could without a doubt picture myself living in Tuscany…but only time will tell and again no expectations…