These past two days have certainly been filled with adventures and memorable experiences. Yesterday we finally landed, tired, stiff, and not quite believing we were in Italy. We managed to make our way the baggage claim and find our bags without any issues and then waited for Mr. Carroll to arrive in the van to fetch us. Once we had hopped in our big, white van, we had a fairly uneventful drive to Cosa. While the scenery was absolutely gorgeous, what we saw of it at least, we were all so exhausted that we basically passed out on the drive. About an hour and a half later, we reached Cosa, the archeological site of an old town situated near the coast with the most beautiful views. Even with us bemoaning the sun (and our still stiff and tired bodies), Mr. Carroll patiently led us through the site, explaining the inner workings of an archeological dig and giving us various facts and bits of information about the town and its history. We learned about the layout of forum and saw temples dedicated to a few gods and goddesses such as Jupiter and Diana. We soon forgot about how tired we were, walking around the site and joking amongst each other. We even went into a cistern, an underground storage for water that has since been inhabited by bats, much to my shagrin. We eventually piled back in the van, after having seen our fill, and of course finding the time for a much needed gelato break, we began the winding drive to Vescovado. Again, we fell asleep. We awoke to the van pulling into the quaint and seemingly fake town that is to be our home for the next three weeks. We swiftly unpacked, got cleaned up (mostly), and set out to scrounge for food. Actually, we really just went to the hotel and got dinner at the restaurant. Not exactly knowing what to expect, we found the food to be nothing short of heavenly. We started off with a dish of cheese and locally made honey which was sublime before tucking into our main dishes, containing of differing pasta meals and a boar stew, which, in my personal opinion, deserves an award of some sort. Then, Mr. Carroll took us on a meandering tour of the town, after which we went back to the apartment and sat and talked for an hour or two before stumbling to bed.
Day two in Italy dawned all too quickly and we found ourselves waking up at 7:30 (to me, an ungodly hour). We got ready, ate a light breakfast of yogurt and particularly delicious fruit, and made the thirty minute drive to Sienna. This time, we actually managed to stay awake and soak in the Tuscan scenery. Once in the city, we went to the Archeology Museum and saw various different Etruscan and Roman artifacts found in the area. However, while the artifacts were interesting, the lack of information accompanying them made learning about them difficult, but not impossible. Thanks to Mr. Carroll and Ms. Gorman, the encyclopedias of all things Etruscan and Roman, we were able to gain a fair amount of information. After the museum, we went to a deli for lunch with all kinds of cured meats hanging from the ceiling and had excellent prosciutto and cheese sandwiches while we sat in the main square and soaked in the Tuscan sun (yes Mom, we were wearing sunscreen). Once we had eaten our fill of the sandwiches and finished people watching, we had an hour to explore Siena and visit the various shops and get…GELATO (not that anyone is at all surprised). We soon joined our teachers again and headed to Il Domo to look around. We took in it’s amazing art, architecture, and history before taking what seemed like five hundred stairs to get to the top of the wall and look out at the entire town. After we had spent a solid amount of time on top of the wall, we were eventually ushered down and herded to the van. We made our way home, making a quick stop to pick up a few essentials before arriving home. We are now about to head off to what is sure to be another delicious dinner in our perfectly picturesque Tuscan town.