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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Food, Familia and Fun in Florence!

Bongiorno from Italia! Our first days in Florence have been busy!

Both elective classes and major classes met for the first time yesterday. Matt and Jeremy were happily surprised that their Community Service projects would include chaperoning Italian children to the local zoo and a nearby athletic complex, and Hanna Z. is pumped for her Italian Culture class, which she said had an awesome first day. Meanwhile, Jamie got one step closer to her dream of becoming a pastry chef with a special tour of Ganzo, a local restaurant whose Head Chef is the instructor of the Food, Culture, and Society class. Special shoutout to the members of the SAT class, who all completed a full, 3-hour long diagnostic test all before lunch (which, here in Florence, usually means an incredible, hand-crafted panino or a freshly baked individual pizza!), and still had energy for the rest of the day.

The food has been amazing–something to specifically write home about! Last night, we enjoyed our first group dinner, which featured an endless supply of salad, homemade pasta, and grilled chicken. Ben S. was still raving about the pesto this morning while he sipped on his iced coffee; Alex A. went with the traditional espresso at the cafe counter instead. For dinner, the group broke up into our “familia” (smaller groups of about 8-9) and strolled around the quaint streets looking for a good restaurant for a family dinner (not a hard task with the dozens of ristorantes and trattorias lining the sidewalks!). Dani W., Chelsea, and Ayden learned that an Italian grilled cheese is exactly what it sound like: cheese, simply grilled. Fortunately, after some creativity, the trio ordered pizzas with nothing on them at all, and made some good-looking Italian quesadillas! Finally, we can’t talk about food without raving about the gelato. Almost no matter where you are in the city, there is a gelateria is in sight–and we’re not complaining! No day is complete without at least a small cup of hazelnut, tiramisu, or dolce di lecce! It’s a deserved reward for our gorgeous city walks in the summer sun!

More updates and stories to come, but arrivederce for now!

The Westcoast Blogger