Although today was gloomy and miserable outside, it brought fun times with friends and the end of our first week of classes. Two of my classes were cancelled today so I was done at 10:45am! Upon the end of my classes for the day, I met my roommate for some boot and sweater shopping in the city center. Unfortunately we were both unsuccessful, but enjoyed some exercise and got more familiar with the city.
Soon after, I met friends Anna and Maria for lunch. We went to a Panini shop they have been raving about, Il Masaccio, which is only a few blocks from school. I got an eggplant and gorgonzola sandwich and we all enjoyed our lunch in the piazza in front of school. After it was too cold to remain outside we headed to the library to discuss travel plans and try to schedule some trips. I must say, with many mandatory school field trips, and various friends visiting, it’s very hard to coordinate three people’s schedules!
Giving up after a couple hours of planning, but mostly getting off topic and story telling, we headed out for something warm to drink. As it started to drizzle, we ducked into a nearby café and all had the same thought…hot chocolate! In
, the hot chocolate is nothing like cozy drink in the states, but rather it is a rich chocolate treat, thick like soup! We ate our Italian hot chocolates with spoons, and enjoyed conversation as we procrastinated our long walk home in the cold. Italy
Upon returning home, the house smelt wonderful as it always does at this time of night. As Cristina finished preparing our first course, Marco explained that we were having a traditional Florentine soup called “Ribollita”, literally meaning re-boiled. I was familiar with the dish as I had read about it in one of my
travel books. He showed us how to put pieces of bread in the bottom of our bowl and pour the soup over it. It was so hearty and delicious made with cabbage, potatoes, and cannellini beans. Struggling with my Italian, I told Cristina it was the soup was perfect for the cold and gloomy day. Florence
Of course this was only the first course. Next came fried artichokes, and an assortment of cheeses including incredibly fresh mozzarella knots. Then stacciatella gelato for dessert! I put banana over mine. After dinner, Cristina asked Ali and me if we would like to try limoncello which is a traditional Italian lemon liquor. Our host mom made it herself as many Italians do. Although it was good, it was strong as Cristina warned us while she poured us a taste.
After we were all satiated and content with our meal we stayed around the dinner table talking. I found out my host parents hold Bible study every week and were marriage counselors for years! – So interesting. Our night concluded with Cristina showing us their wedding photos and Marco telling us stories about the day. I must say, I love coming home to dinner with my family everynight. It reminds me of home J