Speaking for all of the students in the Temple Rome program, I can confidently say that this past Sunday was a memorable experience for all of us. The day started at 8 am when we crowded to the buses outside of the residence with tired eyes and excited spirits! After the 2 hour trip to the medieval hill town of Todi, not even bus troubles could stop us from piling off and running to get our first glimpse of the gorgeous views. After taking a million pictures of the breathtaking italian countryside, we were eager to walk around and experience Todi.
It is easily the most peaceful place I have experienced so far in Italy, with residents casually strolling through the streets, popping into cafes and little shops, while surrounded by buildings and churches that have stood for hundreds of years.
With a very hot day at hand, the cool breezes that hit you when walking through old alleyways exploring quiet corners of Todi added to the amazing experience. This is where I began to truly fall in love with Italy. Around 12:30, with one last run to the cafe for some pistachio gelato, we traveled back down the hill and returned to the buses for our trip to Titignano.
The trip to Titignano was much anticipated after the long and winding roads (and inevitable motion sickness) that we experienced on the journey there. Riding in a tour bus through the roads in the Italian countryside seemed out of place, considering the only other life we could see for miles were sheep and goats! It was hard to tear our eyes away from the windows as we looked out at the untouched land until we arrived at the estate where we would enjoy our feast!
Now this wasn’t just any feast, it was a traditional five course meal made with the resources of the estate. The wild boar sauce was made from boars caught on the land, the wine was made on the estate from the grapes in the vineyards, and the same among all of the other incredible foods we enjoyed. The best part of our meal was the feeling of community we had at the long tables where we ate the meal inside the estate.
We began talking about the foods and drinks with each other, proposing toasts to the semester, sharing many laughs and jokes, and even questioning why anyone wouldn’t study abroad! Our meal concluded with some dessert wine, tiramisu, and espresso. With this, we made our way out the balcony to take in the views for the last time and get our pictures taken by some friendly and hilarious italian men. They seemed to share in our general feelings of joy and gratefulness for the place that we were and the the things we were experiencing.
After we all said goodbye to our quiet, peaceful little piece of Italy, we made our way back to Rome with full and happy stomachs! Our trip was the perfect way to end our first week abroad, right before the first day of the classes the next morning. These memories will always remain some of my favorite and I can’t wait to someday return to Todi and Titignano, if i could only be so lucky. Now, on to the first week of classes!