Perugia and EuroCioc2012 — October 21-23

Wow. I can’t believe I lied and said that I would post every week – but honestly, it’s so difficult to keep up with everything when there’s SO MUCH to do! Last weekend, I went to Siena with my program – but that’s for a different post at a different time. This will be, *gasp* my excursion to Perugia two weeks ago (Oct 21-23).

ONE INTERJECTION BEFORE I START: I got an email last week from a former student of IES Milano, telling me to go to a Trattoria in Porta Ticinese. I have not had a chance to go, but I promise, as soon as midterms are over (they’re next week), I will take a mini-excursion to this place that you have so generously recommended. Shout out to you though, fellow Communications Major, and thank you for your email. I miss home probably as much as you miss Italia. Grazie mille e un caro saluto per Airiel Quintana! 🙂

And now, let us begin the story of an amazing two days in Perugia.

The Friday before that trip, I had planned to go to Verona to see Juliet’s statue (you know, from Romeo and Juliet) on Saturday Oct 20. This did not really come to pass because of some mess ups at the train station, but I digress. My friend Jonathan mentioned EuroCioc as a destination for a few days, and since I was going to Tuscany and his mother was coming into town the next weekend, we had to hop on the Perugia train, and fast. We managed to get two round trip tickets from Milano to Perugia for €160.60, and a four star hotel in the hills of Perugia for $160 for two nights. And so, on Sunday morning we met at Milano Centrale (the train station), and made our way towards Perugia.

We had to transfer in Florence because there are no direct trains between Milano and Perugia. We managed to catch the right train and we were on our way to the center of the “Cuore Verde d’Italia”, or “Green Heart of Italy”, which is Umbria – the only region in Italy that does not touch a sea. It’s understandable now why Umbria is dubbed the Green Heart of Italy, eh? They are famous for a number of things – olive oil, truffle oil, Fontana Maggiore (center Fountain in the historical center), the painter Pietro Perugino, and, of course, it’s Chocolate (which by the way is bomb diggity dot com).

The countryside of Italy is absolutely beautiful. One thing that I’d like to touch on for just a minute that although Milano is amazing in it’s own right, it’s a city. So therefore, it has a very city feel to it. You know how if you go to New York and San Francisco and Chicago and Seattle, they all feel like the same place because they’re all a city? It’s sorta the same with Milano – sure, there’s the Duomo and a few other really beautiful tourist attractions, but it’s soooo different from what everyone thinks of when they think about ITALY. My favorite was when I saw a few castles along the way. But, I digress… ( I seem to be digressing a lot. Maybe it’s because it’s Halloween? )

INTERJECTION: I actually started this post around Halloween / Midterms week, which was, ohh… a month and a half ago? SO SORRY!!!! I feel like such a bad blogger, it’s been way too long! But now since I have some time I’m going to write about EVERYTHING that’s happened, so sorry for the mass of blogs from me! ALSO: I would put pictures, but the photos I took with my DSLR are “too big” for this darned website, so alas, no photos…. I have all of them on my facebook though if anyone would like to add me!

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, Perugia. Perugia is this city that sits in the mountains within the hear of Italy – it’s amazingly green and lush and absolutely beautiful. The one downside though: everyone speaks at TOP SPEED. I could barely understand what they were trying to say. Almost no one spoke English, either, so it made communicating very difficult. However, it did give me confidence in my Italian!

Eurochocolate Festival is amazing though. I probably gained ten pounds by the amount of SAMPLES I was eating, and the variety was unbelievable! I think the best thing that I bought was a bottle of caffè-chocolate liquor. Can’t say I’m sorry about that purchase, though I don’t know yet how good it’ll taste. I’m saving it to share. Maybe it won’t be €5 down the drain? *shrug* In any case, they literally had everything from, as stated, chocolate liquors (with different flavors – cherry, strawberry, coffee, and, weirdest of all, banana), chocolate spreads, chocolate pasta. I mean, these people are crazy about chocolate!

I should probably also say that the natives of Perugia hate Eurochocolate (which I didn’t find out until two weeks ago). Why? Because Eurocioc is put on by one specific company, and it makes the city crawl with tourism. I mean, it’s good for the economy, but the locals absolutely loathe all of the attention. It’s like the want to keep the city for themselves (those selfish poopheads….)

Anywho. Some things I learned while in Perugia:

  1. It is immensely strange to be a vegetarian anywhere in Italy but Milan. They tried to serve me bolognese.
  2. The wine is exceptional.
  3. Pasta al pesto is just as, if not more, delicious than in Cinque Terre.
  4. You can buy black truffle oil for €5. Let’s see if that gets past customs on my way back.
  5. Umbria is the “Green heart of Italy”.
  6. “Posso usare al bagno” will always get you to a bathroom, no matter where you are, even if you’re not sitting at the restaurant in question.
  7. The four star hotel we stayed at was infinitely less expensive than any hostel we looked up.
  8. Quail is a delicacy.

Until next time! (which is in like… 15 minutes. Let’s be real here)

Sorry for the really really really really really REALLY late post on this one…… (>’.’)> the life of an abroad student….

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