Classes, Traveling, and a Whole Lot of Walking

13 September, 2011

So!  I have now had all of my classes at least once, and I think it should be an interesting semester.  I LOVE my Italian class–there are only five of us, and my professor is really cool and just wants us to be able to understand/speak this beautiful language.  I absolutely love being back in an Italian class and having it all come back to me, plus its nice being in such a small group where we can just practice speaking.  We have a conversation exchange project for the class, so in a few weeks I will presumably be paired with an Italian student to have conversations.  Super excited about that! 

My food classes are going great so far as well. Besides the Mediterranean diet class (in which we made hummus and tzatziki today…such a yummy lunch!), I am taking Food, Culture, and Society in Italy.  Last week we made crepes alla fiorentina, aka crepes with spinach and ricotta, aka another absolutely delicious lunch.  I’m loving these cooking classes. Usually the professors talk for a little bit, mainly about the recipes, and then we just cook the rest of the time.  We aren’t allowed to bring any food home with us, and if we don’t finish it they throw it away, so obviously I just have to eat as much of it as I can! 

Social Media class is a whirlwind of internet sites, and blogs, and online personal learning journals, and Twitter. Intercultural Communication sounds like my hardest class–it’s more along the lines of reading and discussion and projects and papers.  I’m just hoping it will be interesting and not too hard.

 
After a few days of exploring some more and getting back into the routine of going to classes last week, Sarah and I were off to the Amalfi Coast!  We went through a company that runs trips for students around Europe, so at 6:30 on Thursday night, we boarded a bus to Sorrento, Italy with a bunch of other Florence/Rome students.  After an eight hour bus ride and five hours of sleep, we woke up early Friday morning and met the group for a ferry to the island of Capri, Italy.  It was a little frustrating because we somehow missed the earlier ferry, but we finally got to Capri and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. 

Sarah and I decided to break away from the group, so we hiked up to the center of the city, grabbed a delicious sandwich for lunch, and then took a bus to Anacapri, another part of the island.  This part of town was absolutely adorable. The colors were so vibrant against the blue sea background, and all of the streets were just gorgeous.  We were trying to get to the Blue Grotto, but we didn’t want to pay for a boat, so we saw signs for it and started walking down the hill.  Little did we know we were basically walking from the very top to the very bottom of the island, so it was a pretty long hike, but it was all downhill and we got some amazing views of the island/sea, so it was worth it for sure.  We were exhausted from our long day, but Saturday morning we got up to go to Pompei! 

Pompei was very interesting, very hot, and very large.  We got audio guides, but unfortunately it was pretty disorganized and the audio guide wasn’t actually that good.  The trip was still so worth it though. I just can’t believe that people were walking around on those same paths and carrying on with their daily lives thousands of years ago, and that so much of it is still preserved. After lunch we took the train back to Sorrento, where we wandered around the cute little town and then went out for a nice dinner overlooking the sea.  Sunday morning we took the train to Napoli and wandered around and enjoyed a pizza.

So, there you have it, my second week in Italy.  This week should be full of class and work and planning and hopefully more exploring, and I can’t wait! 

Kylie Hiemstra ’13 is originally from Washington, DC, and is studying elementary education and linguistics at the College of William & Mary. On campus, Kylie tutors through College Partnerships for Kids, volunteers at Dominion Village through READ, and is a peer adviser for incoming students.  She is currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy at the Florence University of the Arts, and loves studying, traveling and walking! Read more about Kylie’s adventures in Italy on her blog, La Dolce Vita.

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