Archive for the ‘Britta in Italy’ Category


Britta: Milano

December 13, 2010
Saturday I took a day trip to Milan with my friend Hope. We went with the intention of seeing two exhibitions: Caravaggio, an Impossible Exhibition, and Salvador Dalì, Il Sogno Si Avvicina.  We first stopped at the Carvaggio exhibition and the woman working asked us if we knew that all the paintings were replicas. We hadn’t known so we didn’t spend the money and we skipped it- so unfortunately we didn’t see any Caravaggio.

Dalì’s work is breathtaking and inspiring. Destino is a short animation film he worked on with Walt Disney.

At this time of year Milan is crawling with markets full of trinkets and the such for potential Christmas gifts and lots of goodies like chocolate covered nuts, dried fruit, and cheese.

We stopped at the  famous Panificio Luini and got delicious deep fried panzerotti filled with spicy salami and mozzarella. This is a hot spot for lunch or a snack in Milan—two lines spill out the doors and there is a bouncer, all just for a delicious traditional pugliese calzone.


Britta: Christmas market

December 6, 2010
The Christmas market is now open in Strada Maggiore. It’s a little market overflowing with tinsel, ornaments, twinkle lights, pine cones, manger scenes, and every other imaginable Christmas decoration available.

It also has handmade scarves, hats, purses, jewelry, and other goods plus lots of candied nuts, chocolate, and tradition Italian sweets such as panettone, torrone, and breads.

The little market under the porticoes is crowded with Italians shopping for the holidays and brings a little Christmas joy to Bologna now that all the snow has melted.



Britta: Cioccolato

November 30, 2010

From Wednesday the 24th to Sunday the 28th Bologna hosted its 7th annual chocolate festival Cioccoshow: “the magic of chocolate”

They started setting up the stands in Piazza Maggiore, through Via degli Orefici to Via Santo Stefano over a week ago and when they finally opened they were filled with chocolate delight.

I enjoyed all sorts of delicious treats throughout the weekend:

chocolate truffles in pistachio, coffee, rum, caramel, honey, hazelnut … hot chocolate, which is more like dark chocolate melted— so rich, filling, and almost sickening. Also chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate liqueur.

Along with lots of chocolate, there was lots of rain, sun, and snow. This makes winter now official.


Britta: An Italian Thanksgiving

November 28, 2010
This is definitely the best Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving meal I’ve had away from home. BCSP was very kind and helped us Americans celebrate one of our favorite holidays. We ate at Trattoria Scacco Matto, with all the students, and the professors from the pre-session and other people who have played an important role in making it possible for us to study abroad in Bologna this year.

We started out with a delicious pumpkin soup which tasted like the fresh innards of a pumpkin, flavorful but yet a light texture. Then they brought out the turkey, and the director and his son made the first cut. It was a turkey stuffed with a blend of ground turkey, onion, and other spices. And they did it just right by serving mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, green beans, and a salad. To finish off the meal we had apple pie in a sweet cinnamon sauce.

It was a delicious meal in the company of good friends made while in Bologna, full of laughter, and some embarrassment of our knowledge of U.S. history as one girl continued on her family tradition with a Thanksgiving quiz.


Britta: Soup

November 12, 2010

As the days are starting to get cooler, more soup recipes are coming out in the kitchen. But soup isn’t such an easy translated word from English into Italian. If you go to wordreference and do a search for soup you get three results:

  1. Minestra
  2. Zuppa
  3. Minestrone

So whats the difference?

The answer is debatable and often comes up at the dinner table with my roomates while we’re eating a delicious warm bowl of minestra/zuppa/minestrone.

Minestra: is a soup served typically as a main dish with a dry base such as pasta.

Zuppa: is a type of minestra with mostly bread and vegetables. Bread with boiled vegetables gives a semi-solid composition therefore differing from minestra.

Minestrone: again- a type of minestra except with lots of vegetables and broth. Pasta or rice can be added. This variation is known to be made with the vegetables that are available in the house, maybe not the most fresh.

I wouldn’t say there really is a great difference between these—add a few more vegetables and your minestra becomes a zuppa. And we can’t forget a vellutata which would be like a creamy asparagus soup or cream of potato. Who knew that a bowl of soup could be so complicated and complex?


Britta: chestnuts roasting

November 2, 2010

When its a brisk, cool day in Bologna after having a day filled with classes, buying a bag of roasted chestnuts and sitting on the steps of San Pietro looking out over Piazza Maggiore is just the right thing to do.

As for classes, this semester I’m taking:

  • Cinema Italiano
  • Letteratura Francese
  • Filologia ed Esegesi Neotetaentaria (Study of the New Testament)

I’m enjoying my classes and have dived into studying. Unlike in the States, there isn’t assigned daily/weekly homework. You show up to class, listen, take notes, and on your own time you read the books that are listed in the syllabus in and out, backwards and forwards.

My reading list now consists of:

  • Antique Christian, Greek, and Latin Literature Manual- Moreschini and Norelli
  • The Bible- New Testament
  • A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle of St. James- Hort
  • Le Rêve – Émile Zola
  • Nana – Émile Zola
  • La Bête Humaine – Émile Zola
  • Le Tour de Monde en quatre-vingts Jours- Jules Verne
  • Salammbô- Gustave Flaubert
  • Cronologica della letteratura francese- Campagnoli
  • History of French Literature- Brunel



Britta: Chocolate-covered Perugia

October 19, 2010

Last weekend I took a short trip to Perugia to visit a friend and to see the largest chocolate festival in Italy: Eurochocolate.

Perugia is a quaint, medieval city in Umbria, almost right in the center of Italy. It has a beautiful view which on clear days you can see all the way to Assisi, and there are little hidden narrow streets everywhere.

This weekend the quaint, medieval, university city was swarming with people. There was chocolate everything. Chocolate kebabs, chocolate sculptures, chocolate cards, chocolate computers, chocolate lamps, chocolate running down the drains and the smell of chocolate in the air.

There was also every kind of chocolate: violet, rose, cannabis, orange, strawberry, almond, hazelnut, cinnamon, cayenne, rum, anise, mint, coconut, raspberry, coffee, banana,…

Apart from indulging in such a delicious treat, I met some of the nicest girls and enjoyed eating Neapolitan style pizza, walking around Perugia, making English pancakes, and just hanging out.

%d bloggers like this: