Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Weekend

It was a whirlwind of a weekend as Easter came and went. I spent a lot of time working on a few things for the future like my schedule and a few homework assignments for the first part of the weekend. Emily's family was here so we went out to lunch at a great Osteria and it was fantastic. Saturday, her family left and she was feeling a little blue so I went over and we watched The Hunger Games and the first episode of Game of Thrones. I also spent a lot of time with Paola's family and visiting friends this weekend since they've all been in and out of the house. 

Easter Sunday, after some trouble with transportation (who knew that Easter is an exception to the limited holiday bus schedule? They don't even run at all!) I arrived in Florence to hang out with my awesome English teacher from high school, Mr. Spero. It was really surreal to be meeting up in the middle of Italy for a few hours. Just one of those things that I never thought would happen. We spent some time wandering around the city and the market and catching up on life. It was great to see a few faces from home for Easter; it's tough being abroad because either semester you will miss some important family holiday that will make you feel homesick.

Chilling with Dante, no big deal.
After the group had to return to their hotel, I returned to Siena to have dinner with my host mom, starting with the blessed eggs. Here in Italy, it's a tradition to take boiled eggs to church on Easter Sunday and have them blessed. You then start off the meal with these blessed eggs as a sign of hope and prosperity. So different from the US- we just color them!  

Monday, due to limited bus schedules (again- the Monday after Easter is a holiday as well) Charlotte, Emily and I decided to pick a random stop on one of the train lines and get off. A friend told us that Certaldo was cool, so we decided to check it out, not knowing much about it.

Turns out there's a medieval city atop a hill just a few minutes away from the train station, so we headed up there. It was a lovely, beautiful day (unlike Easter, when it rained. It rains every year on Easter in Italy, apparently).

walking up to the old city

view from halfway up

cute path

Standing in front of Boccaccio's house

Governor's Palace

soaking up the sun

I want to live here

We decided to eat lunch at a little restaurant called "A Casa Tua" which means "At Your House." It was delicious and really inexpensive. I got gnocchi al ragu and they served it up in a frying pan! It was adorable!

homestyle cooking!

Emily got Pici, a typical Tuscan/Sienese type of
pasta- kind of a thick spaghetti
After a delicious lunch, we wandered around the beautiful city for a bit.

The Tuscan countryside

Charlotte was happy to chill in the grass- Siena is beautiful
but doesn't have much green in it

Emily and Charlotte doing yoga in an olive grove

Emily didn't want to say goodbye to the olive
trees yet

Cool building
After descending from the hilltop on a little tram, we decided to get some gelato before heading back to Siena

I got nutella and 'smurf'
It was an excellent and relaxing ending to a wonderful weekend. It was just what I needed to recharge for the surely hectic 4 weeks that await me. 2 10 page papers (1 in Italian), 3 oral presentations and 4 exams await me, and with class cancellations, end of the semester trips and visiting friends (Liz arrives Friday!) I don't know when I'll have time to do it all. Oh how I wish these grades didn't count for my GPA! Alas, time to work on my paper for Maddalena. Art History isn't my thing, but my topic about subjects in art that killed themselves is a pretty interesting, if not terribly morbid, topic. More to report after this weekend! I'm even going to a soccer game!!! Forza Siena!!!

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