Updated: Feb 5, 2019
Before I get started, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH ✊🏾❤️💚🖤! Unfortunately, it is not celebrated here in Italy, but I hope everyone at home and elsewhere is celebrating this very important month.
And now, back to Perugia. This week was pretty chill as things are starting to settle down a little. This week, however, was also full of LOTS of cooking classes! Monday was lovely as my morning Italian class was cancelled. Plus there was a free pizza night at one of the local pizzerias! Great way to start off the week!
Tuesday was the fesat day of San Costanzo di Perugia, one of three patron saints of my current home. The day was filled with free Torcolo San Costanzo, a traditional sweet bread filled with dried fruits, similar to fruitcake but better. The desert was given out in the center of the city, right across from his church.
I was unable to make it in time, but my roommates were determined to get some, so they went to one of the local bakeries and bought a small piece for us to share. Also on Tuesday, I participated in a Mediterranean cooking class at my school. We made a four-course meal of:
handmade torta al testo (a flatbread typical of Umbria) with black cabbage
handmade fettuccine with tomato sauce
carciofi alla romana (a recipe with artichokes, very typical in the Rome area)
The class was fun, and the chef that led it insisted on calling me "chef" all night, simply because I knew how to make pasta! (Shout out to the Italian ladies who taught me a few weeks ago!) I did manage to spill a bit on myself and the floor, but the meal came out beautifully.
The rest of the week was pretty uneventful until Friday, when I took my first class field trip to Florence! Turns out that when my friends and I visited there earlier, we went to the market where we ended up taking our class. We cooked a modern-traditional Roman meal of lentils with herbed goat cheese and garum, and a desert of chestnut flour crepes with a honey ricotta walnut filling. Before the class, we roamed around the ground floor of the market and got to sample some amazing cured meats and sheep's cheese. After the class, we ventured to the 2nd oldest business in the world, Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. It's not the pharmacy I was expecting, but it was full of rich history and strong perfumes. We even got a secret tour and saw some the exhibits there are making for their new museum! We were given the option to stay in Florence, but I opted to go home so I could have what i thought was going to be a restful weekend.
This past weekend was one full of frustration, confusion, and rain. On Friday night, after a long day in Florence, my friends and I ventured to a discoteca in Perugia. We took a shuttle, drove for hat felt like hours, and ended up in the middle of nowhere at a club full of smoking and techno music. Luckily, there was a food truck outside at 4 AM when we left, and the hotdog I had was one the best I've ever eaten. We hoped on the shuttle again, and finally made it back to our apartment around 5 AM, smelling of smoke and exhausted. But some cute pics and great memories came out of this long night.
Sunday was a LOONNNGG day, which is why this post was not posted until today! On Sunday my roommates and I attempted to make a day trip to Deruta, a small town close to Perugia. They are known for their beautiful ceramics, but we didn't get a chance to see anything. We got on the correct bus but didn’t know we had to tell the driver where we wanted to stop, so we drove 20 mins past the city. We then got on another bus headed back towards Perugia, told the driver where we wanted to go, and he dropped us off on a dirt road, an hour walk from the center of the city. It rained the entire walk, and when we finally made it to the center, we were too tired and hungry to go the museum. We stopped at a cute little restaurant--the only place open--spent 20€ on pasta and found out the only bus back to Perugia was the one we took to get there. We were too tried and wet to walk back to the dirt road and wait for the bus, so we called a taxi and coughed up 39€ to get back to our apartment. We all took showers, through on sweatpants, and started our homework we hadn't touched all weekend. TL; DR: DON'T TAKE DAY TRIPS ON SUNDAYS!