Though there’s grinning and mandolining in sunny Italy, the beginning has just begun when the sun goes down.

May 13, 2011 § 4 Comments

After many hours in an airport and many more hours on an airplane, I have finally arrived in Cortona! Everything about this city is a hundred times more picturesque and perfect than any description I’d heard prior to arriving here. I can’t wait to wander through the piazzas of Cortona and see what kinds of adventures I’ll find in this beautiful, walled city.

The trip here wasn’t filled with any particularly memorable food, although I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the meals on my flight over to Rome. Having only flown on Spirit Airlines prior to this trip, the only airplane food I’d ever known was little pretzels. But Delta served us snacks, a full dinner and even breakfast in the hour before our plane landed! And even though the food wasn’t anything to write home about, I couldn’t help but feel perfectly content with my egg and cheese croissant while looking down below at the snow-capped Alps, rising up in peaks through misty clouds.

Our first full day in Cortona was filled with your standard orientations and roommate assignments, as well as conquering the steepest hill I’ve ever climbed in my entire life. No wonder the Cortonese are in such great shape; they’re climbing the equivalent of Mt. Everest several times a day.

We didn’t have much time for lunch, but dinner was a welcome relief after a long day of traveling. At Tonino’s, the restaurant that serves the Cortona program dinner seven days a week, we were served spinach and cheese ravioli, followed by a leek and endive salad, some of the best roast beef I’ve ever had, and then a sweet vanilla mousse for dessert. Although this meal was tasty, I didn’t capture it on camera: I’m saving my photos for the real deal, the meals from the ristorantes and tratterias that I find tucked back in the windy, cobblestone streets of Cortona.

Tomorrow morning we’re waking up for an early breakfast, and then several of us are heading down to the mercado, where I’m sure I’ll find plenty of beautiful food to take pictures of. After the market, we’ll head to lunch and then to an afternoon soccer game, followed by dinner and dancing at a local bar. Tough life, but someone’s gotta do it, right?

But for now, I will leave you with some beautiful views of Cortona, followed by a glimpse of the street where my journeys will all begin tomorrow.

The Tuscan countryside from my campus.


Now off to bed (which is odd to think about, since it’s 5 p.m. back in the states). But if I’m ever going to make it through the day tomorrow, a good night’s sleep is much needed.

Buona notte miei amici.


§ 4 Responses to Though there’s grinning and mandolining in sunny Italy, the beginning has just begun when the sun goes down.

  • John Varner says:

    I hope you enjoy every day and I can’t wait to
    read about it and see the photos.

  • Sally says:

    Loving the posting ..keep um coming. Its so beautiful. Be safe. Have fun!

  • Amy says:

    Ah, these pictures are so gorgeous. So jealous. Take ten thousand more, please.

  • Celeste says:

    I’m so glad you made it there safely! You really are living such a tough life over there in beautiful and sunny Italy. It’s been cold and dreary over here…not so fun. Your pictures are gorgeous and of course I can’t wait to see pictures of all the incredible food you will be eating! Eat an extra slice of pizza for me 🙂

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