Ciao a tutti! This week was SPRING BREAK!!! My break began with a bus ride to Rome to meet my mom and my sister at the airport. We stayed in Rome for four days, took a day trip to Pompeii, went to Florence for 3 days, came to Perugia for a day and a half, then went back to Rome for our final night before they boarded their flight this morning. This week was jammed pack of adventures and laughs, so I'll just give you guys the highlights.
Saturday (Day 1)
My break started early with a 7:30 AM bus trip to the Rome airport. I waited there for my mom and sister's flight to land, then we stole someone else's taxi and went to our AirBnB. We climbed up the seemingly endless stairs (Pro Tip: CAREFULLY read the descriptions before booking an AirBnB). After enjoying the view from our window for a few minutes, we went to find food. After lunch, we hit the ground running and started our trip with a tour of the Roman Catacombs. In order to preserve their integrity, and out of respect for the dead, they do not allow pictures inside the catacombs, but I did get some in the churches that were over them. We went to bed early that night to prepare for our day trip to Pompeii! Step count: 13,343 steps, 5.23 miles
Sunday (Day 2)
Our day started bright and early with a 5:30 AM bus to Pompeii. The bus dropped us off in the middle of nowhere, but we made our way to a café where we sat and waited until it was time to head to the ancient city. The taxi dropped us off and the wrong entrance, and we made the whole tour group late, but we eventually made it to the city. It's so much bigger than I thought! We took a 2-hour tour, and still only saw 2 sections of it. After Pompeii, we took a train to Herculaneum. We grabbed lunch, which caused us to be late to this tour too, but it was fine because it was just the three of us plus the guide. We finished the day back in Rome, with lamb and lovely bottle of red wine. Step count: 18,125 steps, 7.09 miles.
Monday (Day 3)
Monday was spent at the Vatican. We had a lovely guided tour of the museum, and I finally saw the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica. The pictures don't do it justice, and I guess my art history class paid off because I recognized some of the pieces. It was crazy packed, but worth it. It seemed only fitted to end such a day of piety with a Spritz Making class! We learned how to make pretty much all the spritz, and we were allowed to go behind the bar and make our own. We asked one of the bartenders for a dinner recommendation, and she pointed us to this great little spot near the bar and a bottle of wine to try. Truly a great way to end our last day in Rome. Step count: 20,562 steps, 8.02 miles
Tuesday (Day 4)
On Tuesday, we hopped on a train bound for Florence. We arrived to our lovely AirBnB and went for lunch a little restaurant down the street. We wondered our way into the Boboli Gardens, then went to the Pitti Palace to visit the Animal Fashion exhibit (you can see my pictures from when I went earlier on this post). Step count: 14,257 steps, 5.56 miles
Wednesday (Day 5)
Wednesday was spent at a cooking class. We met our instructor at the Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio, then walked to an AirBnB apartment and went to the roof. The view was breath taking, and the food was amazing! We made tagliatelle with artichokes and garlic, gnocchi with tomato sauce, and finished with tiramisu. We were there most of the day, so when we finished, we wondered to the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze to see David (who is much bigger than I thought). We attempted to do apertivo but ended up having a lovely dinner at the restaurant by the river. Step count: 14,173 steps, 5.53 miles.
Thursday (Day 6)
Thursday was spent on an all-day Chianti wine tour. We met our guide and drove to three different wineries to learn about Chianti: what it is and isn't, how to make it, and why it is so special in Tuscany. We tasted 11 different wines and had lunch at the second winery. And after all that wine, we needed a steak to soak it up, so we went and found a Florentine steak: 1.25 kg T-Bone cooked rare, aka heaven on earth. Step count: 7,694 steps, 3 miles.
Friday (Day 7)
Friday was another early start, as we hopped on a train to Perugia! I showed the fam my apartment, and we walked around the city until we could check into our AirBnB, which was once again on the top floor. We roamed and shopped around the city, then went to have proper aperitvo, followed by dinner at Osteria a Priori. We ate the food too quickly for me to get a picture, but it was delicious and beautiful! Step count: 16,103 steps, 6.28 miles.
Saturday (Day 8)
Saturday morning, we returned to Rome, and checked into our airport hotel in the afternoon. We took a taxi back into the city, and we were starving so we stopped at McDonald's. This was the bougiest McDonald's I have ever been in, the menu had things that I have never seen before, like the Tasty Bucket, consisting of "6 chicken wings, 8 crispy chicken McNuggets, 6 nuggets with Asiago PDO and Speck Alto Adige PGI". The chicken nuggets and fries tasted the same yet different, the wings were surprisingly good, and the Asiago and Speck nuggets were interesting. We continued to shop around and stumbled on a cool bar and ordered some snacks. We eventually made it to dinner, where I had a lovely shrimp risotto and affogato, then took a taxi back to our hotel.
Sunday (Day 9)
Sunday, we woke up, found breakfast in the airport, then said our goodbyes. My mom and sister boarded their plane, and I took my seat on the bus back to Perugia. This post is being written from the comforts of my own bed, with a lovely glass of fresh brewed Lipton's sweet tea to keep me company (my mom brought some tea bags with her because she was tired of hearing me complain about it!). I already miss them, but I look forward to the second half of my semester in Perugia!