If you’re in the States I hope you’re staying dry through the storm! This week seemed like a blur at Temple Rome, I think we’re all still is a haze from all of the airports and languages of Fall break. But there was not much time to rest because Winnie, Jaleh, Alex, James and I all had big plans to go to Chocolate Fest this weekend!!!
To get ready for our excursion James decided he needed to spruce himself up… his solution? Me shaving his head.
I think hair stylist would be a good back up to my art career.
With everyone looking sharp, Friday morning (6:47 AM to be exact -__-) the gang set off for CHOCOLATE FEST which took place in Perugia, Italy!!!
Imagine Wonka’s Chocolate factory in the streets of an Italian hill top town with lots of adorable babies in strollers and you pretty much have Chocolate Fest. The streets are full of different chocolate vendors selling anything from chocolate covered strawberries to sausage (not covered in chocolate). But the majority was chocolate. We each got a “chococard” for five euro which got us a ton of free samples from certain stands. My personal favorite was the hot chocolate! European hot chocolate is pretty much pudding, and it is completely glorious. I’m not sure how I’ll ever go back to Swiss Miss after this. I’m honestly a little embarrassed at how much chocolate I consumed on Friday. Which is why I lovingly refer to myself as Augustus Gloop, if you don’t remember the Willy Wonka reference check out this video:
On top of the wonderful chocolate, Perugia is beautiful!
I would definitely recommend going! Clearly we had an Amazing time!
I think Jame’s enjoyed a chocolate festival with four chicks.
After consuming enough calories to get a grizzly bear through hibernation, we hopped a train to Florence! As an art student, Florence has been on my list for a long time it contains some of the most famous art in the world! The hostel where we stayed was tiny but adorable, and the young couple who run it should have a movie made about them. They were the nicest most helpful people! They had free wine set out for us every night (I ain’t mad at that) and free breakfast in the morning. One thing I learned from this hostel though is that I clearly can not handle the top bunk:
homegirl can’t hang.
Our first order of business in Florence was FOOD (which seemed to be the general theme of this trip). The wonderful woman who ran the hostel recommended a restaurant close by and we loved it! James and Winnie got bacon fat on toast as an appetizer… apparently it was good?
Saturday morning we all split up to see the sites. The first place James and I stopped was the Uffizi gallery! I would have gone anywhere to get out of the rain! Of course I (once again) packed like a moron and didn’t bring a coat or sensible shoes so the cold and rain made for one cranky Jen. The Uffizi contains a lot of religious art (which, I’ll admit, isn’t always my thing) but it’s real claim to fame is “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli. This museum is definitely a staple in Florence! The second museum was called something L’Accademia? I don’t quite remember. Mostly because the only memorable piece is Michaelangelo’s DAVID!!! James and I sat in front of it for a long time and sketched like good art students… Ok James made me but I’m glad I did! I would have loved to post a picture of it here but they were CRAZY strict here about “NO PHOTO”. I saw someone get clapped at like this:
NO (clap) PHO (clap) TO (clap)
… I did not want to mess with the clapping man.
After seeing David (but definitely taking no pictures) we met up with everyone else and headed over to Ponte Vecchio! It’s one of the more touristy attractions in Florence but it’s definitely a must- see.
The river would have been much prettier had it not been raining for days!
After seeing the sites we decided to do some shopping! Did you know that Florence has a HUGE market for leather? I didn’t! They had an enormous market that spanned a few blocks selling every type of wallet, belt, purse, jackets, boots, anything! I got a bunch of souvenirs and a new belt! Beware though, the salesmen are pretty aggressive one man told me I look like J. Lo and Shakira.
“Well thank you for calling my butt fat. And Shakira is pregnant. I hate you, and I do not want to buy a belt from you. APPARENTLY my butt is big enough to hold my pants up.”
I’m sure he meant it as some kind of backwards compliment but after walking around in the cold and rain all day with a whole in my shoe that lead to one soaked sock I was clearly not feeling very friendly. What could possibly make me feel better at a time like this? Food, what else. We went to another restaurant recommended by the hostel owner and it was INCREDIBLE! I soon as we walked in an old Italian man ran through the packed dining room with his arms spread open and yelled “MULTO BENE!” Jaleh and James got the specialty of the region, T-Bone steak. They said it was awesome!
On our last day in Florence it was still raining. But that was not stopping us from seeing Il Duomo!
It was so beautiful on the inside and out! I am totally in love with Florentine patterns, they are totally different than any other part of Italy that I’ve seen.
We climbed up to the top of the bell tower which was 414 steps!
But so completely worth the view.
Florence is a breathtaking city. That is all I can say. But I was definitely happy to get out of the crowded hostel and get back to Rome! We have a busy week ahead because the Advanced Painting students (including me and James) have a big gallery show coming up on Sunday! Wish us luck in getting everything done!