This past weekend we had an ISA day excursion trip to Assisi. Assisi is a small town located in the Umbria area a few hours north of Rome. It is the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order. The entire town revolves around this man. We were able to tour the Basilica di St. Francis and see where he was born and where his father kept him prison! It was very interesting. I loved this town because it was located right against a hillside and you could look out over the Umbria valley. All the buildings were old white-gray brick. Assisi is known for their wild boar recipes and la rocciata (pastry with fruits and almonds) and i brutti ma buoni (ugly but good) cookies. Naturally I had to try all three :)
On Saturday, Emily, Gena, and I spent a rainy down near Vatican shopping. I bought my black boots and a few scarves. Later, we all cooped up in our flat and studied for midterms. Emily found hot chocolate mix so I enjoyed an evening drinking hot chocolate, studying, and lounging in my skivvies :)
On Sunday Emily, Gena, Madeleine, Jeff and I had tickets to a Lazio partita di calcio (Lazio soccer game)
It was so much fun!!! The Italians are so enthusiastic about soccer. They had songs, chats, and cheers and they had scarve
s and flags that they waved the entire game. I wish I could have understood what they were saying when they cheered... The game ended as a tie but it was very exciting all the same!
After the game, Gena, Emily, and I went to our cafe below our flat. We have become good friends with one of the workers, Antonio. He is an older Italian man and he speaks a little English. He is always so excited when we come in. He winks at us and gets a huge smile. We are able to speak with him a little in Italian. I told him that we were going to Assisi so he asked about that. He knows we always get cappuccini but this night he convinced us to get Roman hot chocolate, which is essentially melted chocolate. It's extremely thick and rich but oh so good! Antonio always gives us some sort of pastry or treat with our cappuccini but this night he was the only one working so he made us a Nutella filled crepe with white chocolate sauce. It was so good! Not only do we get special treatment, he never charges us for anything either. Three cioccolati caldi, un crepe= 9 E. Antonio gave it all to us for 3 E! Not just because we get free treats (ha!), but I have decided that Antonio and that
cafe is my favorite part of Rome. I love knowing that he knows us and looks forward to us being there. I also enjoy trying to communicate with him. I wish I knew more Italian but I also decided that the minimal conversation that does exist between us is exactly what makes it so good.