Saturday, 7:49 pm
Allora: went to three towns, walked *a lot,* got an itty-bitty sunburn, witnessed much churchery, and have now returned home after 12 hours out and about.
Like pretty much everyone else, I am both tired and extremely ready for dinner.
Day 11, Thursday
- Went to Florence’s Museo Archeologico (i.e. the archaeological museum), and the same archaeologist who showed us around Fiesole narrated a walk through the museum. It was pretty cool, but only figuratively, because otherwise it was omg hot in there. And stuffy, and we spent rather a lot of time going over a lot of details in a lot of display cases. All of us, I think, had good intentions for paying attention and learning more about the pre-Renaissance history of Florence and Italy, but after 2 hours, pretty sure everyone was feeling…fatigued, I guess. Idk, it was just physically draining, and speaking for myself I know that our tour guide didn’t get nearly as much of my undivided attention as I would have liked her to have. So, if I can find the time, definitely going back. (Added temptation: this heavily Etruscan/Roman artifact museum also has a weirdly high number of Egyptian antiquities, always welcome. I guess I had known that there was a lot of interaction between the Italians and the Egyptians [because otherwise Caesar and Cleopatra wouldn’t have happened], but for some reason still considered them entirely separate worlds. Surprise score : )
- Thursday on the whole was a long day, but at the end of it I got the best dinner I’ve had here so far. Simple spaghetti, then chicken + a side of greens, then a spectacular fruit tart, and every bite a torture to my very soul as I compare it to the cafeteria food I’ll be getting back to in 3 months. Come January 5, the air shall be rent with lamentations. But oh well.
Day 12, Friday
- Big thing for this day was that I lost my old roommate and got a new one. But I want to skim the details on that when I talk (finally) about the homestay, so all that’s important for right now is that it happened.
Day 13 (Today), Saturday
- Oh boy. Today was the day of the three-town trip, and it was a bit of a doozy and it felt like one.
- First off, up early to catch the early bus to meet at the train station by 8:00, and then we stumbled on to a private bus and were driven out to the small town of Monteriggioni. Monteriggioni is special because it’s still got its old medieval walls intact. Thing is, most towns used to have big city walls (on account of it is a proud Italian tradition to have hardcore inter-city feuds), but most of these walls were unfortunately either destroyed or purposefully dismantled over the last 500 years in an attempt to modernize.
- But Monteriggioni was just too little to care about looking gauche — and so, in the spirit of those people who still sport 80’s hair, it continues to rock its outer ramparts. The town as it currently exists is a tiny sort of place (way smaller than Grand Mound, for those of you to whom that means anything), but it looks pretty much just like it did centuries ago. So that’s fantastic, and then you add in that the weather was perfect and that it’s up on the tippy-top of a hill out in the middle of Tuscany with a beautiful outlook, and it was overall just a really great start to the day.
- Also, I think most of us were really happy to leave Florence and get out into the Tuscan countryside for a while. It’s still wonderful in the city, but we’ve been running non-stop for two weeks now, and the excursion out to fresh air and wide open spaces was precisely what was needed to erase any stress and make everything better. (And oh! They’ve got hills here! My Iowan self wants to call them mountains, but they’re hills, and either way very beautiful to look at <3)
- We got to stay in Monteriggioni and enjoy the view for only about 15 minutes or so, and then it was back on the bus to continue south to Siena.
…which I will tell you about tomorrow, because it is now dinnertime to be followed immediately by a much-needed early bedtime.
Best of weekends to you all : )