After my long, and expensive, weekend in Florence, I decided that it was best for me to stay in Rome for these past two weekends. After all, ya girl has got to start saving for GREECE!
Throughout these past 2 weeks, I have celebrated my good friend's 21st, took a cooking class, experienced an "Italian" St. Patrick's Day, and went to a wine tasting in Tuscany. So, maybe staying in Rome was not all bad, even though the work is piling on and I cannot even begin to think about it. It's just like "oh hey, you're traveling for the next 3 weekends? let me assign you research papers on research papers." But hey, I cannot complain...I'm in Italy.
In Italy, 21st birthdays are not really a thing, because the drinking age is obviously much lower. So the restaurant really did not get it, but hey we ate and drank like queens! You've never really experienced a food coma until we've been to Tony's...where it is endless wine & AMAZING food.
The cooking class I took was so much. My other girlfriends had taken it once before and suggested I do it with them the next time around. It was absolutely worth the 20 euros. We made Neapolitan style deep fried pizza, risotto with artichokes, and italian tarts filled with jam. Did I mention this was the day after I ate my weight in pasta, chicken, and prosciutto at my friend's birthday dinner? I could not complain though...everything we made was fresh and tasted fresh. It was like having a home cooked meal made by your nonna, only YOU made it! When I go back to the states, I will definitely have to try and recreate it.
Saint Patrick's Day in Italy is not exactly as popular as it is in the states. The most festive thing they can do, mostly for the tourists I'm assuming, is install green lights to shine on the Colosseum. And then of course all the "American" bars embrace it fully because they know that the study abroad students will miss the craziness entailed with this holiday. So, naturally I had to participate with my girlfriends! Needless to say, you barely saw any Italians out and study abroads united.
And last but not least, the wine tasting in Tuscany! It was an all day event, and I was in heaven. I come from a family where we used to make our own wine in my grandpa's garage, so this was kind of sentimental to me. We first went to Caparzo, which is a winery in Montalcino, Tuscany. There we took a tour of their winery, and had our wine tasting. We tried all types of red wine, and I bought almost every bottle we tried to bring home...haha! The views of the vineyards and the landscape itself were absolutely breath taking, and the sun was shining and out all day. But! That wasn't even the end. Afterwards we took a tour of Montalcino, and needless to say it was the cutest town I ever set foot on. Since they are known for their wine, there were wine shops on wine shops. I easily could have spent the entire day in that little town.
And even though I wasn't traveling to Dublin, Venice, Pisa, etc, I've realized that sometimes staying back and spending time with your friends is always needed. It makes you appreciate the little things about the country you're studying in, and how much you're going to miss it. Sometimes you need a little time at home.