This weekend we went on a trip to Spoleto, a small and ancient town in Umbria. We woke up very early and took a bus, stopping at a beautiful lake on the way. We arrived at a really nice hotel-my room had a kitchen in a large cabinet, a dining room table, couch, bed, and a loft with 2 more beds. The suite was new, or newly renovated, and the grounds of the hotel were always being mowed. There was a putting green and 2 beautiful pools. Spoleto was up on a hill and is ancient. We had a long walking tour through the town where we saw ancient Roman gates, beautiful views of the mountains, a Roman aqueduct and amphitheater. I thought that it was really cool to drink water from the aqueducts! They’ve been there for 700 years but they were built on top of the Roman aqueducts.

After a nice afternoon in the pool, we had an Italian dinner with really well done lamb (I think) and chocolate-flanish thing. The pasta was delicious, and the roasted potatoes-I’m going to try to make them when I cook again (in August-boo). Then we went to a ballet in the amphitheater. It was BEAUTIFUL! The first piece was ballet with modern twists. I really liked it because they made cool geometric shapes with their bodies and well, it just made me miss dance. Then, there was a second piece which was beautiful! It was a duet and the two dancers moved so well together. There was supposed to be a third piece but since it had been raining and the stage was still damp they did not perform the piece because it’d be dangerous. It was really cool watching the performance in the Roman amphitheater-we rented cushions to sit on so it was comfortable, but the whole thing was really surreal.

The next day I went to the top of Monteluco, where the Sanctuary of St. Francis of Assis started many, many years ago. The sacred forest surrounding the monastery was beautiful and peaceful. The trees were spread pretty far apart but the canopy was completely covering the sky. There were also tiny caves, but they were more like big holes in the mountain, where St. Francis and his fellow monks lived. There were also beautiful views of Spoleto and the surrounding areas. That afternoon we went to an “opera” but it was not that great. It was in French, so the entire time I was reading Italian subtitles, which I understood (YAY!), and the story was just really random about Mozart in Paris. Anyway, it was weird. Then we headed back to Florence.

Then, on Sunday, my roommate and I went to Bologna. We walked around and saw the duomo, palazzo maggiore, Basilica of San Domenico and towers. The Basilica of San Domenico was gorgeous. There was a chapel with Saint Dominic’s tomb which was probably one of the most beautiful chapels I have seen yet-it had paintings of Saint Dominic’s and statues by Michelangelo. We also ate an AMAZING lunch at this bistro. I ate pumpkin tortellini with a balsamic vinegar sauce, basically I want more. Oh, and we got more delicious potatoes. And bread. Yay for all the carbs that I eat in Italy. I liked Bologna it was a nice town, smelled a little funny, but pretty. Now it’s time to actually get some homework done before the week begins.