Italy!

Italy. The home of pizza, gelato, and The Lizzie McGuire Movie.

This is the first week of a three week long study abroad I am on. The first week was in Italy, the next week will be France, and we will end in The Netherlands. This first post is all about Italy!

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Italy does not disappoint, my friends. It is incredible. It is rustic and colorful and vibrant. The streets are tiny and everything is iconic. I swear, every corner we turned there was another incredible sculpture in the street or some ancient Roman building. It is amazing. And the food is equally as good. Italian food is fairly similar across the board, but each region of Italy specializes in different things. One of Rome’s popular dishes is Spaghetti Carbonara. It has eggs and bacon in it and a creamy sauce. It is so good.

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I really wanted to find a good charcuterie place when we were in Rome, so I found one on Yelp and we headed that way. We walked in and it was legit the smallest restaurant I’ve ever been in my whole life. They sat us down and our table was about 1.5 feet tall, and we sat on tiny seats. Our table was so close to us that the guy at the next table was 1 foot away from our table. It was very close quarters. BUT, the squeeze was worth it because they brought out the most beautiful charcuterie board full of all different kinds of delicious meats, spreads, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. It was so fun. I am a big fan of charcuterie.

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After our time in Rome we went to Florence. I love Florence. It is the cutest little city that is very squished together, but very clean and classy. Two blocks away from our hotel was a really big food court that was easily the greatest food court that I’ve ever been to. Typical American food courts pale in comparison to this one! The first time we walked in and looked at all the options I was so happy I wanted to cry. I could go on for a long time about it all, but I will spare you all and just let you admire the pictures.

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broccoli rabe and sausage pizza
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cantaloupe and prosciutto with fresh mozzarella
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capri pizza – fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil
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capri pizza – stuffed gnocchi – caprese salad

ALSO at that food court, they had an area for cooking classes! So how could I resist? I took a cooking class! We learned how to make stuffed pasta with a homemade bolognese. That day we had taken a day trip to Venice, then the cooking class started at 7pm. Our train was supposed to come in at 6:40, so I thought I would have plenty of time to get to my class. But of course, the train was late, and we arrived at the station at 7:05…The second the train stopped I started booking it for the food court, but of course got lost and took an extra 2 minutes figuring out where I was. lol. I finally found it and they still let me in! The class had 4 couples, a lady from Brazil who spoke very little English, and me. Lol. But it was a great time and I learned a lot about making pasta.

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Italy food was incredible, but it has been a straight carb load. I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten more bread/pasta in the past week than I have in the past 4 months. lol. I needed some fresh food from the market like this:

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Gelato is a must in Italy. Daily gelato was definitely a thing. There are only three gelato pictures on here, but that is a gross misrepresentation of how much gelato I actually ate. My favorite flavors were chocolate hazelnut and cinnamon. OH THEY WERE TO DIE FOR. Gelato is on the next level above ice cream. I’m going to try to make some delicious gelato when I get home, and will post anything good.

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Okay can we just return to the Lizzie McGuire Movie for a minute? The Lizzie McGuire Movie is underrated. Top 3 Disney Channel movies for sure. Even Stevens Movie, High School Musical, and The Lizzie McGuire Movie. If anyone wants to fight me over those bring it on because those are all masterpieces. The first time I watched the Lizzie McGuire Movie when I was 8, I was blown away. I just sat there for several minutes after the movie ended, jaw open, contemplating what I needed to do in life to get to Rome and meet an Italian who will take me on a vespa and make me a world famous singer. Clearly my 8 year-old plans didn’t work out, but the movie was still inspiring. And I made it to Italy, so thats all that matters, right?

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