The GoGlobal Blog

Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun

Buonasera, friends! I promised you a couple of blogs this week and here’s another one! This past weekend we went to Tuscany, the land of great food, expansive views, rich culture, and…did I mention great food?

We started off the trip in Cortona, a tiny village known for its sweeping views. As soon as we stepped off the bus we were greeted with a breathtaking view of the Tuscany countryside. With the Tuscan sun shining down on us (see what I did there?) it felt like we were meant to become a part of the culture.

We went on a quick tour around the city where we got to see the Cathedral of Cortona, dedicated to Margaret of Cortona. Inside the Cathedral there is the “Descent of the Holy Ghost” painting by Tommaso Bernabei. It’s amazing how in every church in this country you find another piece of art that you’ve only before read about. After walking out of the city wall, which includes part of the original Etruscan city wall, we hopped back on the bus and headed to Arezzo.

Before arriving in Arezzo we had a 9 course lunch in a villa overlooking the countryside. 9 courses! Pastas and meats and bread, oh my! Somewhere between the 4th and 5th course someone at my table looked up and said, “We’re sitting in Tuscany sipping vino, eating a huge lunch, and casually seeing all these amazing places. What is our life??” That seems to be our general feeling about our semester so far. The fact that we are here is completely overwhelming.

After lunch we once again set off for Arezzo. Arezzo was fantastic. The town has this incredible medieval feel to it, and everywhere you look you see a different coat of arms. The town has such a wonderful traditional feeling, in fact, the the movie “Life is Beautiful” was filmed in the center of town. Off of the main piazza is the Cathedral of Arezzo where Pope Gregory X is buried. Can you believe it? We literally looked over our shoulder at one point and saw him. Absolutely amazing.

After touring around the town we went back to our hotel for a “light” dinner. Just kidding, it was also at least 5 courses. Eating in Italy should be a sport, because it definitely involves training and stamina. Not that I’m complaining!

The next day we headed over to Anghiari, another great small town. We were given a few hours of free time to explore the town and relax. The entire town is on a huge hill (as is every place in Italy), and every time we turned we were looking straight down a street that ended in blue skies and rolling green hills. Pictures truly don’t do it justice.

After a few hours there we left for Sansepolcro, stopping along the way for lunch in a castle/villa. The owner of the property took a group of us around before lunch and showed us the torture chambers, which he now uses as a wine cellar, and showed us all the medieval torture devices. A little morbid but very cool at the same time! At one point he pointed up to the ceiling and said, “You see this arch? This arch is 1000 years old!” We were standing under an arch that is three times older than our country! Absolutely crazy.

After another fantastic lunch of a million courses and more carbs than I could ever eat (literally the courses were bread, bread with liver pate, bruschetta, rice, pasta, pasta, meat and potatoes, dessert) we headed off for Sansepolcro.

Now Sansepolcro was fantastic. We went on a weekend of this huge crossbow tournament held there, and we were able to see the crossbow trials and the run through of the parade. The parade involved tons of people all in medieval dress announcing the tournament, playing drums and trumpets, and showing off the history of the town. We even joined in the parade at one point! It was so silly but so much fun. Once the parade was over we jumped back on the bus (I was on the “Rus Bus” aka the fun bus) and headed back to the hotel.

After another marathon dinner involving the best dessert I have ever had (imagine chocolate on sweet bread on cream on a cloud and you almost have the idea) a group of us went out to explore the town. We found the main piazza that was absolutely buzzing with people. Arezzo, although popular, is a bit off the beaten track of Italy and it was great to mix with locals and hear and taste the local culture. Even though I love seeing all the sights it’s the culture and the feeling of the people that truly makes this country amazing.

The next day we set sail for Lago Trasimeno for a three hour boat cruise. Not only was the boat cruise incredibly relaxing we also got to see some amazing sights along the lake, including the small island in the center where it is said that St. Francis of Assisi did his 40 day fast. You see? Everywhere you turn in this country you find another corner of history.

After landing and having a few glasses of champagne and a fantastic lunch full of great conversation we set off for Rome, ready to sleep the three hours back to campus. Everyone returned to campus exhausted, full, and ready to sleep!

Comments are closed.