This morning we departed from Rome,Italy for Tuscany, where Pinocchio was created … and wine. The three days in Rome flew by from visiting the Colosseum to the Vatican and plenty of shopping along the way it’s been three days well spent. We loaded the pockets of plenty of street vendors who bombarded us with umbrellas as rain was in the forecast for our whole stay, we hope to see better weather in the future.
The trip to Tuscany was a long drive through rolling hills of vineyards. The three hour drive flew by after we had picked up the movies Angles and Demons to watch along the way. We were all amazed by how much more relevant the movie was after our stay in Rome. As Tom Hanks traveled from the Vatican to the Parthenon the class was excited to be able to say that we’ve been there and it gave a whole new meaning to the movie.
We finally arrived at the Tenuta Torciano in the city of San Gimignano to find Pierre Luigi, a wine connoisseur who quickly taught us everything we needed to know about wine. Starting with how the perfect glass being an hourglass shape with 4.5 centimeters being the width of the narrow part at the top, 5 centimeters wide at the base and 8 centimeters tall. Then the proper holding technique of picking up the glass with opposite hand at the skinny handle, then switching it to your dominant hand by resting your middle finger underneath the glass then sort of pinching the bottom with the pointer finger and thumb. Once holding the glass, we were instructed to swirl the wine for a few seconds then stick our whole nose tight against the glass for more than 2 seconds to gather all of the aromas of the wine. after tasting the wine several times with different combinations of cheese, meat, chips, and bread each person enjoyed a different combination than the next. The whole vineyard experience was great because we got to learn tools that will be useful for our whole lives, along with some great memories that no one will forget.
After the wine tasting, we made the hour drive to Florence where we checked into our hotel, “Hotel Leonardo Di Vinci.” Soon after, we set out on a walking tour of Florence with a local guide. She informed us about all of the rich history that Florence has to offer. One of the coolest sites that we saw was the Santa Croce, a giant cathedral in the heart of Florence that had a beautiful domed roof in which a successor of Michelangelo’s had painted. Along with the cathedral was the infamous Ponte Vecchio bridge, which connects Florence over the Arno River. The bridge is known for being the only surviving bridge in Florence after World War II and now holders many jewels in the shops above the flowing river. After learning about boring history and stuff (Ha Ha) the group was allowed a couple hours of free time in downtown Florence, where many took advantage of the hundreds of shops filled with leather and jewelry.
We ended the night with a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant, where we reflected on the day and the closing days to come. Its now 10PM here in Florence, a truly beautiful city with much to see and learn, we are very excited for tomorrow mornings museum visits where many of us will be seeing the original Statue of David, then embarking on to Venice!
Goodbye for now!