My first week in Siena had pretty much been a whirlwind of shopping, food and classes. Well I guess classes aren’t really tough or very often, but it does require that I get up in the morning, probably a good thing for those of you who know my sleeping habits.
I have really started to develop a love for the town and everything that is allows you to find out about yourself. The history of the town just allows you to relax and take a step back to take everything in. I really love that about Italy. Everything is slower and relaxed. I’ve really had a chance to sit and read. I haven’t really ever enjoyed doing it, but now it’s probably my favorite thing to do here.
Marci, my roommate, and I are the lucky ones in the program that live right in the city center. We can literally see the Bell Tower from our window. It’s absolutely tiny, but it’s great that we can walk 2 minutes to one of the most historic city centers in the world. I love all of the buildings and the walkways because they are so filled with history and personality. So many generations of people have lived in these apartments and it’s considered a great accomplishment to have a house that old. In the states I feel like we get ride of the old as soon as possible.
Our classes are seriously the easiest things in the world and we don’t have to pay for any of the museums or anything because the program pays for it. I guess that is why it was so expensive. I really have enjoyed trying to find places that are fun to eat at and that has been really easy to do. There are a couple of restaurants that I really enjoy and I found a pizza place that is awesome and super cheap. YEAH!!! The only thing is that I already have this huge craving for Chinese food. I think Kasey and I will have to have a Rice King reunion as soon as we are back in Provo.
We took a couple of trips our first week in Siena. Florence was the first one that we went on and it was beautiful. I am really happy that we are living in Siena though. Florence is a little too crowded and dirty. I really enjoyed their outdoor market though. I was able to find one of the key things that I wanted. An Apron. YEAH! It’s seriously one of the cutest things ever!!! We also went to the Duomo and hiked to the top of the bell tower. That was not really my favorite part of the trip (it’s really high for those of you who didn’t know that, like 600 steps or something), but the view was totally worth it. The panorama of the city is gorgeous. You can see for miles with all of the fields and olive orchards. I loved it.
Later on in the week we also took a trip to San Gimignano and Volterra. They are some of the small hill towns in central Italy, roughly an hour from Siena. We took a charter bus to these towns and lets just say it was not for those who get motion sickness.
San Gimignano was the first city that we visited and it was gorgeous. The city used to have over 50 high towers throughout, but over the years they have fallen or been torn down. It sits atop a beautiful hill and just looks like a little piece of heaven in the middle of the valley. We visited a few churches and got to see another wedding. I feel like everyone in Italy is getting married. Crazy. The churches were pretty interesting, but I’m not going to lie it’s nice to be in Siena where we don’t have to go through churches everyday.
My favorite thing about the city was the gelato. It is the BEST IN THE WORLD. It’s not just me who thinks so, they actually have won the award for the last three years. It really was awesome. I’m thinking about making a trip out there just to eat the gelato. I got Noce, Friti di Bosci and Fondente(Walnut, Mixed Berry and Dark Chocolate). It is something that I will remember for quite a while.
After lunch we got back on the bus and went to Volterra. It’s the city that is the big Italian hot spot for all Twilight lovers. I felt a little sick so I didn’t get a chance to go to the museums, but I hear I didn’t miss much. I just stocked up on some gifts and souvenirs.
Let’s just say that the first real week in Siena was one to remember. Our housemother isn’t necessarily the most welcoming person. We got into a little bit of trouble with the water situation and door closing. It’s definitely something that I will have to get used to. It’s going to be an adventure.