It has been another amazing week here in Bologna. I don’t think I have even processed what has happened this past week. We’re about halfway through our pre-session program to get us back into an academic mindset.
My teacher is Christine Dodd. For those of you considering this program, or to those of you who have applied for the upcoming spring semester, SHE IS FANTASTIC! She is so willing to answer questions about anything, from academics to nightlife.
Here are some of the things we did over the past week:
Morning tour of Bologna
We walked around and had a guide tell us about the history of some buildings that are important to Bologna. We visited where the council meets, former buildings of the university, and the market streets.
Trip to Tenuta Bonzara
Tenuta Bonzara is a vineyard located 30 minutes just outside of Bologna’s city walls. We got to walk around the vineyard taking pictures (and eating grapes of course). Then we got a tour of the facilities they use to make wine and champagne.
We also got to make pasta at the vineyard. They picked some students (including yours truly) to physically make the “dough” for pasta. It’s really not that difficult. Then we rolled it out and proceeded to cut it into various shapes, or make tortellini. Apparently, I have a great talent for rolling tortellini into its shape. We were told we were going to get a little something to eat and do a small wine tasting. Boy, did we underestimate how much food they would give us! We were served a pasta dish with traditional sauce. We were also allowed to try from three different types of wine, not just a sample. They had a spread of meats, breads, and the like to eat with a small selection of cookies for dessert.
Trip to Villa Ghigi
Villa Ghigi was both amazing and awful at the same time. To anyone who knows me, I’m not a big huge nature person. Yes, it’s pretty, but I don’t enjoy spending time with nature that often. When I hear “villa,” I picture a big huge mansion that is apparently open to the public. Man, was I wrong. We met at the southwest porta of the city, Porta San Mamolo, and walked for about 20 minutes until we reached a sign that said Villa Ghigi. It was just up the hill, according to Danielle, our coordinator. After about 30 minutes walking uphill ,we reached the villa (or I guess where it used to be). Villa Ghigi is actually a park on a hill far above the city. We spent a few hours rolling down hills, eating a picnic, and taking pictures.
It was an absolutely breathtaking view, but there was the catch. We weren’t told that we were going to be walking forever, or that it was uphill and grassy. I have a grass allergy and hadn’t taken my Zyrtec, so let’s just say it wasn’t so great for me getting there. Plus, most of us girls had dressed a little nicer, or at least in pants. It was also pretty warm out. However, the pictures that came out of it were amazing.
Trip to Ravenna
Ravenna is about an hour and a half away by train. Ravenna has a long and fascinating history, which I will leave you to Google. It’s most famous for its mosaic designs located all over the city. We got to tour a lot of religious buildings and look at some pretty breathtaking mosaics. It’s a miracle that these things have survived. We spent the entire day in Ravenna, looking at the mosaics and shopping in the market.
This week will be hard to top.