Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ventuno anni!!!!

As I'm sure you all are well aware, yesterday was my 21st birthday! It's a bit bizarre to celebrate a big birthday in a country where 21 doesn't mean much. I mean, they're happy for you; they know you're now legally allowed to drink at home, but it's not that big of a deal here. I mean, I have been able to legally walk down the street drinking my own bottle of wine for 2 months now, the novelty of being legal might have slightly worn off. Buuuut, when I get back to the states it will be a whole new experience! This is the year we all turn 21, and since none of us are together to celebrate, I guess we will have to have one big 21st birthday party insieme (together) when I get back!

Anyway, instead of studying (like I should be doing now), Emily, Charlotte and I (coincidentally we all had birthdays this week) headed to a beautiful town called Lucca for a day trip. Paola actually lived in Lucca for a bit, so that was interesting to hear. 

The train was god-awfully early because we had a couple of transfers, but totally worth the early morning wakeup call. Paola sweetly had my breakfast laid out with a gift bag beside it- she gave me my very own contrada flag! I can now display my Torre pride back at IC!

Here are some pics of the lovely trip:
walked by this in Siena on the way to the station

I love you like bees like honey, like fish love to swim
and like the sun loves to rise in the morning.

The weather has turned rather fantastic here

We stopped by the Puccini museum
The Puccini museum was super cool (if you're an opera fan like me haha) because it is made out of his house. We saw where he was born, where he slept, ate, and composed. We even saw the piano he used when composing my favorite of his operas, Turandot (from which the famous aria Nessun Dorma comes from). He didn't actually finish the opera before he died, so he never saw it completed, which is sad...

This is a summary (taken from Wikipedia) of the plot:

The story, set in China, involves prince Calàf who falls in love with the cold princess Turandot. To obtain permission to marry her, a suitor has to solve three riddles; any false answer results in death. Calàf passes the test, but Turandot still hesitates to marry him. He offers her a way out: he agrees to die should she be able to guess his real name.

He sings Nessun Dorma after she declares that everyone in her palace must find out the princes name before morning (if they can find it he will let her kill him) and he sings a song about how none will sleep-"nessun dorma" but he is the only one that knows his name. In the last triumphant lines of the aria, he tells the stars to set because at dawn he will win! If you want to listen to this awesome aria, you can do so here. Luciano Pavarotti basically made it his signature song, and it was the song he sang at his last performance at the Olympics (well, 'sang'- there are some rumors that it was prerecorded). I also enjoy Andrea Bocelli's version as well.

We even got to see the original costume from a performance in New York from like 1926. It was unbelievable!
I didn't take this but it is magnificent! Looks
so cool up close!

Alright, enough dorking out about Opera...


we had lunch at the Turandot caffe in honor
of my love of the opera

First drink as a 21 year old! Chardonnay frizzante- yum

this used to be a Roman amphitheater

We walked along the wall of the city and took in the
gorgeous scenery

After lounging around in the sun, we hopped on the train back to Siena so we could get ready for that night's adventure: la discoteca!  I've never been before, and I wanted to go at least once while in Italy so I could have that experience.

Emily bought me this wine in honor of my birthday

It was delicious
The discoteca proved to be interesting- we actually ended up going to the wrong one, because we got on a different bus. But I was with friends and it was the same kind of thing, and it was a lot of fun! I'm not usually in Siena on the weekends so I don't usually have a chance to go, but it worth checking out at least once while I was in Italy. All in all, a great 21st birthday. I had a lovely relaxing day and got to try something I had wanted to do for a while. Not a bad way to spend a birthday. 

Time to study like mad for my exams! Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

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