Indiana University Overseas Study

Happy two month anniversary to Bologna and me!!! To celebrate, I decided to share this lovely event with three other people.  My mom and two family friends decided to have a girls’ weekend in Bologna.  They arrived on a Friday at noon and left before noon on Tuesday.  Needless to say, I am still worn out.  Trying to pack everything I have learned about this amazing city into four days was exhausting to say the least.

I gave them a small mini walking tour through the main square, the university zone, and finishing with seeing my apartment.  2.52 miles of walking, including going to a cute little restaurant on via Urbana.  It is on the BCSP’s website and is called La Traviatta.

To show them more of Italy, I took them to the Tourist Office (located in Piazza Maggiore) to find out if there were any specific activities for the weekend.  They booked a walking tour with a Bologna native for Sunday morning and an excursion for Monday.  Now when I say excursion, I mean like an all-day thing.  The walking tour was wonderful.  Our guide was amazing and had some fun tidbits that I hadn’t heard since my arrival in Bologna.

Monday’s excursion included a car that was going to pick us up and drive us everywhere all day.  This started with a 7am pick-up time.  That meant getting up at 6am on a Monday morning (as if Monday isn’t already the least favorite day of the week).  The driver (who told us to call him Johnny) was really nice and helpful.  We shared a car with this lovely elderly couple from Sydney, Australia.  The excursion consisted of three different tours:  a Parmeggiano Reggiano factory, a Balsamic Vinaigrette villa, and a prosciutto factory.  These factories were located in the Modena area of Italy (roughly an hour outside of Bologna).

The cheese factory was pretty straight forward.  I can now describe in detail how to read the rind of the cheese that you get when you buy a wedge.  What I found the most interesting was the vinaigrette villa.  The process is a little difficult (and far too lengthy) to write on here.  Basically there is a completely noticeable difference between the stuff that Americans put on their salad and truly artistic vinaigrette.  The prosciutto factory was little uncomfortable.  I love meat as much as anyone else (except vegetarians and vegans, that is) and I felt a little strange being surrounded by pig legs.  Plus they are stored in a freezer for a while, and the temperature in there was unbearable for me.

The schedule said a light lunch and to wear spandex pants.  This was basically like an eight-course meal.  I’m being serious too.  Not an exaggeration.  I can’t even remember how many plates came out for us.  However, all in all it was a great experience.

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