Boy am I overwhelmed!

Friday we presented our gelato project and then treated ourselves to a much-deserved R&R. Melina, Ashley, and I watched The Girl on the Train with snacks and my comfy, comfy loft. To all you die-hard bibliophiles, maybe don’t watch this movie, but if not…WATCH IT!!! The suspense and action were interesting enough to keep your attention without freaking you out too much. Highly recommend it. But I don’t want to hear anything about how it’s nothing like the book!!!! WE KNOW PEOPLE WE KNOW.

That night, Ashley and I set out for some dinner, but apparently Fridays are a BIG HIT in my neighborhood and if you want to eat anything of quality, make a reservation. If you don’t, enjoy the one-hour wait (but with a little Prosecco it was well worth it). Once we got seated, we were stuck waiting awhile for the drink menu, and I guess my Texas voice was loud enough for some neighboring tables to hear my cries for il vino. We heard an Italian man catching our attention with “ragazze” and watched him gesture to his wine. Two free glasses for us lucky girls! The two men spoke to us in Italian for awhile about why we were hear and what we were studying, and eventually just gave us the rest of his bottle of wine. Extra lucky girls! But it wasn’t until we noticed multiple tables coming up to the first man and asking for photographs and signatures. Eventually I just asked what all the hype was about. Well, after entering his name into my phone, turns out he is a professional Bolognese singer!!! Not only did we feel silly for not knowing who he was, but we definitely got a little celebrity shyness! He insisted on getting selfie with us.

It was definitely pretty cool.

After he left, a young man, who just had to play basketball from his height and his attire, sat next to us and spoke solely in English, obviously not knowing much Italian. Feeling a little presence of home, I asked him about where he was from and his interests. Turns out, he is actually a professional basketball player. He just moved to Bologna about a week ago after signing with Fortitudo Bologna. We ended up hanging out with him for hours at the restaurant and we’re actually going to be given tickets to his next game!

It was early to bed after that as we had to be leaving early the next morning with the group for PASTA MAKING!! We met up and took a bus about an hour outside of the main city to a place called Al di là del fiume, a place with biodynamic farm hills that focuses on natural and wholesome foods. Before I even get into the pasta, JUST LOOK AT THIS VIEW!!!

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It was a mini paradise.

To start, we got an introduction from the owners of their motto of “the fertility of the earth and the human well-being.” They were very big on being one with the earth and using solely nature-made ingredients (all-organic) to tailor our minds, bodies, and spirits to our world in the healthiest way possible. They also make their own wine!

We got an entire show of how to make this pasta, switching out people between the mixing, the molding, and the cutting.

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The guy with the apron was our LEADER, the hat he’s holding his source of power.

I went first with the mixing and it got interesting. Just see for yourself.

 

Nina took over my mold of goodness afterwards, and we named our little creation our dough baby. Look at us proud parents!

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I guess the rest of the group was alright.

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Just look at the excitement in Grace’s eyes.

After making the food, we got to eat some of our own! The family made all-organic, all-natural food for the entire group. There were three courses (pasta, meat/cheese/veggie platters, and a dessert) all perfectly paired with three of their wines! Even got my own gluten-free dairy-free one…all made right there on the spot!!!

After devouring our plates, getting a quick tour of the “cantina” (the basement) where their wine is made, and playing with their adorable little son named Tomasso, we took the bus back home (and slept most of the way).

That night, a group of us went to see La La Land (the second time for me and by far my favorite movie of all time…) and needless to say I cried a wee bit. Afterwards, we all went back to Marisa’s apartment and, being in the musical mood, played the piano, the guitar, and sang together with wine. It was perfect.

Sunday was a day of relaxation. Staying in bed all day until a few of us girls went to climb the towers!!!….until we got there and it was closed. Quite anti-climactic, hey? So we started walking around the city just trying to find some stuff to do, and we wandered into a few art galleries which were both beautiful and very, very weird. After some depressing window shopping (I WILL be able to afford Hermès one day!), we got some aperitvi in one of Delaney’s hidden gems. Delicious as always.

We all went home early because Monday was the first day of classes!! Well, for an unlucky bunch, including me! You see, the Italian schooling system is very different compared to the American system. First off, their credits are half of what our’s are (so a 6 credit course there is really 3 credits to us). Second off, classes all start out at different times. So I had a class today (The History of Christianity…for a Notre Dame theology requirement…yikes) that meets 9-11 Monday-Wednesday, but ends March 10th. I have another class that starts the last few days of February, but ends in the end of April. They are all at random times, so it’s difficult to keep up with. Also, classes are all two hours and back to back (usually 9-11, 11-1, 1-3…etc.), but you have an Italian “grace period” to get to each class. They usually start about 15 minutes late, and you generally leave early as well. It’s very relaxed, and very strange…but I’m trying to get used to it! However today’s class was boring as can be, being about random theological history all in Italian, without any type of visual aide…It was definitely a struggle, but Grace and I survived (kind of?).

Afterwards, Cece and I got some sushi (naturally) and did some shopping at Sephora. After being accused of attempting thievery (thanks to the Sephora on Via Farini, you’ll be getting a strongly-worded e-mail soon!!!), we made our way out with oh-so-beautiful products.

Now it’s time to rest before tonight’s physical therapy (which I’m currently in dire need of..) and an early night in. I am in need of more sleep!!!

Ciao,

 

– Alex