Un Giro a Siena

This past weekend I took a trip to Siena.

While I wish I could say that I was in the Tuscan city that is world-famous for the Palio horse race, its neighborhood rivalries and cuisine, I spent this Saturday evening in a local restaurant, imagining myself transported to the Italian province.

Located in Rhode Island’s Little Italy area known as Federal Hill, Siena restaurant promises diners “authentic Tuscan cuisine in a warm, inviting and lively atmosphere.” Having spent the last semester in Tuscany, I have been on a search for someplace where I could taste the flavors I fell in love with overseas. Continue reading

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An Italian (Dorm) Pantry

Flavia would be proud of my apartment’s pantry.

My love of Italian food is no secret, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that my D.C. kitchen is all but stocked with Italian staple ingredients. Considering items like tomatoes, basil, pasta, and balsamic, one might expect my kitchen to belong to that of an Italian grandma. Continue reading

Tears and My Fountain of Inspiration

Exactly one month ago today I left for Italy with a flux of emotions. As my parents drove me to the airport, my hand clutched a tissue to dry my eyes as I thought about all that I was leaving behind. Before we even left the driveway, tears gradually started forming, and once I said goodbye to grandma and saw our street in the rearview mirror, my face was stained from the drops.

It is difficult for me to say what exactly led to these tears. One might wonder why someone who was about to embark on a four-month adventure in Tuscany would do anything but smile. Although I was certainly excited, such tears were the combination of equal nervousness, fear, and angst about all that was to come. Having never been abroad and having not practiced my Italian in over six months, I felt a rush of anxiety as I sat in the car with my packed suitcases secured in trunk. From the moment we pulled out of the driveway to the time I stepped out of the car at the airport, my grip on the tissue was rigid and damp. Continue reading