Hey everyone! So sorry that I've fallen behind, but I'll make it up to you by posting for the next three days in an effort to catch you up on our adventures from the past week and a half.
The last day I posted was Thursday, May 25 - Professor Fognani's birthday! Although she wanted it to be kept secret, Professor Lerner helped us plan a surprise for dinner that night. We got Professor Fognani flowers from the open-air market, Professor Lerner brought a pie, and we sang "Tanti Auguri" (Happy Birthday) to a mildly confused Professor Fognani. After the surprise wore off, she was very pleased and happy to have had a small but fun birthday celebration.
Friday we had another day of class in which we discussed selections from Boccaccio's Decameron. After that, we had a nice, relaxing afternoon before enjoying dinner that evening. After dinner, students do a variety of things from walking a few laps around the lake to planning excursions to getting gelato. Friday night was absolutely beautiful, and some students even went out to interact with locals in Piazza Giotto!
Saturday morning, I participated in "La Marcia di Barbiana" (The March of Barbiana) along with Neisis, Alessandra, and Professor Lerner. This event was to commemorate Don Milani, an influential religious figure who founded the first school in Barbiana and significantly changed the way people thought about education. The march itself started at Lago (Lake) Viola, followed a 3 km path up a mountain to the Chiesa (Church) of Don Milani, and descended the same 3 km path back to Lago Viola. Here's a picture of our group right before we started the march!
Those who did not participate in the march still had a fun Saturday. Most went to Firenze - some for the day to explore and shop, some for the night to experience the nightlife. Everyone returned Sunday for a day full of R&R (but also some homework, too).
Monday was quite an interesting day. During morning class, we were introduced to "La Mandragola" (The Mandrake) by Machiavelli and Renaissance theater. After this introduction, students attempted to make plans for Firenze the next day by identifying present-day places in Firenze significant to the Medici family. To do so, we traveled to the library after lunch to do some research and make an itinerary. Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi at the library chose to not function properly for the afternoon, so we had to push back our second excursion to Wednesday with the hope of doing research on Tuesday instead. The weather was beautiful, though, and I got the chance to go on a nice run at the lake, one of my favorite places in all of Vicchio! If you check out the picture below that I took of the lake, you'll probably be able to see why.
So, we ended up having class on Tuesday instead of taking the trip to Firenze. We discussed the first selection of "La Mandragola" and also reviewed our prepositions. After discovering that the Wi-Fi was still not functioning at the library, the students were given (much to their delight & much to the dismay of the professors) the Internet password for the Locanda so they could do research here. Everyone created an itinerary together and then did some individual research about places they found to be interesting in order to prepare for our second Firenze adventure.
Tomorrow I'll recount that excursion as well as the rest of last week. For now, please enjoy a picture of "le mucche carine" (cute cows) with part of the amazing landscape we saw on our way up the mountain at "La Marcia di Barbiana." Until tomorrow!