Sorry for the delay in posting--have had some wifi issues! We were very thankful to escape the heat of Florence. We stopped through fair Verona on our way to Venice, where we traveled by private boat from the bus station out to the Lido. We were away from the crush of tourists in Venice but an easy vaporetto ride from San Marco, Murano, and the Peggy Guggenheim museum. A lovely place for most of the group to end our Italian adventure.
A busy week of classes and activities! We were very lucky that our residence's air conditioning was up to the job this week, as it was over 100 degrees for several days. During the day, we took refuge in the Uffizi, the Duomo museum, and many gelaterie. If we do see some rain this weekend, it will be welcome!
After a much-appreciated sleep in, we boarded the Alterini bus for Bologna after lunch. The city is home to the oldest university in the world, as well as a striking cathedral, a tower that leans almost as much as the one in Pisa does, and the seven interconnected churches of Santo Stefano. We of course went to a restaurant for dinner which offered the famous Bolognese sauce, and many of our students had it either in lasagna or over tagliatelle. Some students also tried mortadella, another local specialty.
Today we headed back to the beach in Viareggio; the waves weren't as aggressive as last weekend, and students enjoyed cooling off in the shallow water without being tweeted at by the lifeguards. Some of us walked along the main street in search of lunch or air-conditioned shopping, and some napped on colorful lounge chairs.
We also stopped and saw the Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa, where there is not only an increasingly perilous tower, but also a baptistry and a cathedral. Just about everyone tried to get that perfect photo of the tower, so please ask your son or daughter for theirs!
Last night we hiked up to San Miniato al Monte, where we heard the chanting of the monks. Then we shared a picnic dinner with this spectacular view of Florence. Bread, prosciutto, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pesto... You can't do much better than that! Please excuse the lack of photos of the whole group, as I was up to my elbows in cheese water... Things could be worse. After dinner, students had time to wander back to the residence, and perhaps sample some gelato along the way.
The Tuscan cuisine class went to a nearby cooking school today for a hands-on lesson. Our new students are definitely jumping right in!
Today we welcomed our travel-weary students arriving for the second two weeks of the program. After a little time to unpack and rest, we introduced the group to the program, and then walked to a nearby pizzeria to meet the rest of the students and have their first authentic Tuscan pizza dinner. Then, a passeggiata over to the Duomo, and delicious tiramisu made by our Tuscan Cuisine class!
A few of the students who just arrived started to fall asleep during dinner... We let them go back to the residence to rest, and we'll get a fresh start tomorrow with classes and activities.
WOW did we make a great meal at our cooking class today! The whole group was fully hands-on to make fresh pasta ravioli with spinach and ricotta (yes, your children all ate spinach!) and an olive-oil cake with red wine caramel sauce. And they got to take the recipes with them, so you can ask them to replicate the meal at home!
Today was our last day with our two-week students. We were busy with classes before and after lunch, and then the whole group went over to climb the Duomo. It was tough to get too many good pictures up there because it was raining steadily (and a lot cooler than it's been, so most of us were not complaining!). We all had dinner together near Santa Croce, and then a group of us went over to Grom for gelato (some say it's the best in Florence...). There were some tears and heartfelt goodbyes last night, and the students leaving us headed out to the airport in the morning. Buon viaggio, e a presto!
Student Blog by Lynn M.
Yesterday, we said goodbye to the two weekers. Their departure was very hard for all of us to grasp. We were all so sad to see them leave. Each one of them marked us in a different way... (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!)
Kristin Benjamin graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in French and Political Science. She spent her junior year studying in Paris, and subsequently earned a Master's in French Literature from Tufts University. She is currently the chair of the Modern Language Department at Kent School in Kent, CT, where she teaches French and Italian, coaches field hockey and lacrosse, and is engaged in all facets of boarding school life. She has led many student trips to Canada, France, and Italy, and has raised her two daughters to be enthusiastic global citizens. In addition to travel, she enjoys cooking, yoga, and board games.