Ciao Mounties! Unlike last week, my weekend was anything but slow. I went to places I had previously only dreamed of seeing. From traveling from Siena to San Gimignano and exploring these historic towns, to the picturesque Cinque Terre, and cheering for the Florence soccer team, my week was spectacular!
On Friday, I traveled to the beautiful towns of Siena and San Gimignano. In Siena, we went on a tour of the town and its history. Siena is where St. Catherine was born, and one of the churches even holds her head. We walked up and down the hilly roads to the town square where the Palio di Siena (a horse race they have over the summer) is held. After our tour concluded, we got lunch at a restaurant overlooking the square and hunted for souvenirs. The town of San Gimignano was charming and peaceful. The weather was warm as we walked through the town eating gelato and looking at the magnificent views of the mountainside. The sight of the lush countryside was everything I imagined this part of Italy would look like when I dreamed of coming on this trip.
On Saturday, I traveled to Cinque Terre, a place you might recognize from Disney’s Pixar movie, Luca. Cinque Terre has five coastal towns: Manarola, Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Veranazza, and Corniglia. Monterosso was the first town my friends and I visited and unfortunately, it was pouring rain. We took shelter in a nearby café by the beach and ordered coffee and hot chocolate. Once the rain stopped, we walked up a hill to get a better view of the town. From the top, we could see snowcapped mountains, a lush green forest mixed in with the town, and the sky-blue ocean. From Monterosso, we hopped on the train to Vernazza. In Vernazza, we found a restaurant that overlooked the water and ordered a delicious lunch. After Vernazza, we traveled to Corniglia, where we hiked up 10 flights of steps to the top of the town. From the top, you could see the colorful buildings, fruit trees, and the ocean below. The water glistened underneath the shining sun as we walked the trail above.
This Sunday, my friends and I walked to the soccer stadium to cheer on Florence as they played Empoli. It was so interesting to see how similar and different Italian soccer is from the American version. At the stadium, there were rows of people representing Florence in deep purple, waving huge flags to support their team. In a small section, there was a group of people supporting Empoli wearing blue. The crowd was so energetic, and even though I am not yet fluent in the language to understand the commentary, I certainly enjoyed the game. I think my favorite part was when a goal from the Empoli team was not counted and all the Florence fans waved the middle finger at the Empoli fans. It was a nail-biting game, but Florence came out on top as the winner!
That is all for this week, be sure to come back next week to hear about my trip to the Amalfi coast!