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Anna: Daytripping Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa & Lucca

February 23, 2011

This past week I bought my first pair of leather boots at the San Lorenzo market for 40 euros. I was really proud of myself! I like them a lot but am worried the cobblestone streets will ruin them before Minnesota winters do.

This past weekend I went to Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa and Lucca. I loved all of them! Siena and San Gimignano are known for really excellent wine, wild boar, saffron and truffles (mushroom truffles).

In Siena I had Spaghetti Carbonara which is pasta in a egg sauce—so good. There were these rice dessert balls, started with an f…and now I am blanking out but they were deilcious! And only 4 for 1 euro. My friend and I split them then later had to go back and get our own. I believe they were a traditional food for Siena. Really really tasty. They sell them in the middle of one of their main Piazzas where they do a famous horse race every summer. I also had some incredible cinnamon, chocolate and dried fruit gelato in San Gimignano.

Two of my roommates and I all cooked dinner together also this weekend which was fun. They are both in sororities so they do not do much cooking. They try really hard to experiment in the kitchen and they are always so sweet to me when I cook for them. They are amazed by the littlest things and always so complimentary. I should give my mom major props for showing me how to use a stove. We made gnocchi with sausage, red peppers and spicy tomato sauce. It was so delicious, I was proud of our teamwork. I am going through a huge spicy faze right now. I put hot sauce on every sandwich I get at the deli. Earlier when I first got here I was addicted to pesto on everything. Last night we made spicy shrimp linguine. We had wine and stayed in and talked, those have been some of my favorite nights here!

Out of all the cities I enjoyed Pisa the least. Some parts were cute but the river was really dirty and their was not much to look at (Florence’s Arno is way better!).  We had to get a picture at the leaning tower though, of course. It was really funny to see everyone pretending to push it over all around. Both San Gimignano and Lucca were cities where cars are not able to drive down the streets. In Lucca everyone rides bikes inside the city walls. We had a group of 3 and the bikes required 2 people so we decided just to walk around instead of bike. I went with my roommates Lauren and Blaire, and we all loved the city. It was so cute, and everyone seemed to know each other and were really friendly. I would suggest to anyone to make sure to see Lucca at least during the same day as Pisa.

Some of my friends from the U.S. came to visit Florence on Sunday and Monday of this week. Monday was beautiful and they got to see Piazza Michelangelo, San Lorenzo Market, The Duomo and other sites around Florence. We had dinner at Il Gatto E La Volpe which was so good, and I made sure to bring them to a favorite pastry shop of mine as well as an amazing sandwich shop called the Green Salami (Salameria Verde).

I think the girls enjoyed San Lorenzo Market the most. Except we experienced a very bad run in with a vendor who was not happy when we asked for ten after he said fifteen. He screamed at us to leave and shouted other mean things. I am hoping we won’t have to see him again…some people are just not very nice! We were really surprised because even though Florentines (he may have not been Italian) seem to have cold personalities, I have never seen anything like that before.
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