Sweden (October 22 - 24)
|The kitchen, before we dirtied it up!|
On Thursday, as part of my Italian Culture and Cuisine class, we had our second cooking class. The recipe this time was to make gnocchi alla Romana and stuffed artichokes. I learned how to cut artichokes and grate a lot of cheese so that was exciting! If you have ever eaten regular gnocchi before (which happens to be one of my favorite foods), gnocchi alla Romana is MUCH more heavy and rich. It is made with milk, butter, flour, and a whole bunch of fun things like that. Everything came out very well, and I got a lot of great action shots! Haha. The chef also made us lasagna with artichokes in it, so it was a very rich meal all together. Lots of fun! I really enjoy the cooking classes because it helps us to solidify the stuff that we learn in class. And its a lot of fun too, of course! At home, I usually do a lot of baking and not a lot of this kind of cooking, so it is fun doing something different that hopefully I can bring home and share with my family!
Italian celebrate Halloween a little differently than Americans. First of all, there is this big debate about if Halloween should even be celebrated or not. And then those who do celebrate all dress in very morbid costumes. I am pretty sure at least half of the people I saw had blood dripping from some part of their body. Collegio hosted a party that was pretty fun. A lot of visitors from outside of Collegio came as well. After much contemplation, I decided to dress as Audrey Hepburn. I watched an instructional video online about the hair, which I thought turned out pretty well. It was a fun night! And it was great because we also had Monday off for All Saints Day!
Tuscany (November 4 - 6)
|View from Montalcino Castle|
Teatro 7 Cooking Lesson #3 (November 11)
|Peeling potatoes for the ravioli|
Piacenza (November 12 - 14)
My friend from Collegio, Alessandro, lives in a small town near Milan called Piacenza. So I went home with him this weekend, to explore his town. He took me around to a lot of amazing castles. At one of the places we went to, we randomly found this little museum. So apparently this really famous librettest for some famous operas like Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot lived in this little town. So right next to his house where he grew up, there was a tiny little museum that had some of the original costumes and opera scores. It was quite a find in this little town. And I am pretty sure I may have been the museum visitor from the farthest away place because when I signed the guest book, I think I was the only person from outside of Italy. Even though the weather in Piacenza wasn't very nice that weekend, I enjoyed seeing the castles and visiting his family. On Saturday, while Alessandro was teaching, his mother took me out shopping and showed me around the main part of Piacenza. That night, Alessandro took me for Mexican food, which I had been craving for months! It was a little strange ordering Mexican food in Italian though...
London (November 18 - 21)
So some of my friends studying and Vienna and Avignon decided to meet up in London to see Harry Potter 7 because we all wanted to see each other and see the movie in English. On Friday, we explored around London a little bit and I got some nice "American" food at a restaurant. It was really unfortunate because everything was so expensive because the pound is doing really well. It was alright though because we did get a free tour of London and I was very happy to see some of my friends. And Harry Potter was amazing...just in case you were wondering.
Corriere della Sera and Die Walküre Interview (November 22)
On Monday, our Italian class went on a field study to the famous newspaper in Milan, Corriere della Sera. This was a nice experience because we got to see how a newspaper is published and distributed and how this specific newspaper was different than the others. Also, the presentation was given in Italian and I understood most everything! So that was exciting too!
That evening, our opera history teacher conducted a well attended interview with the conductor and director of Die Walküre that would be opening at La Scala. This interview was done in Italian, and unfortunately it was very difficult for me to understand so I did not enjoy it as much as I would have hoped.
Die Walküre (November 28)
Our opera history teacher was able to acquire tickets for our class to see the dress rehearsal of Die Walküre for free! For the first act, I could only see half the stage and there were no subtitles (the opera is in German), so I was very confused as to what was going on. Fortunately, for the second and third acts, I moved my chair closer and the subtitles started working, so I understood and enjoyed the opera much more. It was really a fantastic opera and I had never seen a Wagner opera before so it was a good experience. The set was minimalistic, but I thought it worked well with the concept. The opera was 5 hours long and there were two 25 minute intermissions so I was able to get dinner at least. All together, a very interesting experience and I wouldn't mind seeing a Wagner opera again!
Teatro 7 Cooking Lesson #4 (December 2)
For this cooking lesson, we made risotto alla Milanese and tiramisù (literally translated: lift me up). This may have been my favorite dish so far because the risotto and the tiramisù were both ridiculously delicious. Rissotto alla Milanese is characteristic for its golden yellow color coming from saffron. I will definitely make this when I get home. Again, I made a vegetarian alternative for the risotto with a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Delicious!
Holiday! (December 3 - 8)
We had an extra long weekend because our study abroad program gave us Friday off, Tuesday and Wednesday were religious holidays, and all of the teachers canceled class on Monday. Most people traveled, but I decided to stay in Milan because I am just so sick of traveling! It is so stressful sometimes. So on Tuesday, I went to this HUGE artisan festival in Milan that had people selling things, not only from every region in Italy, but from all over the world! I enjoyed the USA booths the most because they were all "cowboys and Indians." Apparently, that's what Italians think we all are. Haha. I was able to buy a lot of nice gifts. I also bought this adorable espresso maker for myself! There were also a lot of free samples of everything...we were hardly hungry for lunch (Mexican food again! Woooo!). To see the entire fair took the entire day and I was exhausted by the time we got back to Collegio.
Teatro 7 Cooking Lesson #5 (December 9)
|Me with Chef Marco!|