Monthly Archives: September 2007
The hike is one is a series which will include a hike across Monte Subasio and possibly one in theDolomiti over the October break.For more details, contact Cindy Clough at email@example.com
Last weekend students Katy Branston, Erica Mouch, and Liz Olszewski lost themselves in the beauty of the Umbrian countryside. Literally! Rising early Friday morning, these connoisseurs of unconventional travel walked into “Ciclismo Sport”, rented three bikes, and peddled away with positive attitudes despite doubts in their ability to read Italian road signs. And, even though their doubts proved well founded, the 140 kilometer journey to Foligno couldn’t have been more fun. “Even when you’re lost, it’s beautiful…” says Katy Branston with a smile. Indeed, taking the “road less traveled” yielded views of olive orchards, vineyards, fields of sunflowers and even an Etruscan tomb. Aside from less hills, what more could you ask for?
This weekend was the first of two optional Umbra trips this semester. Students spent three days touring Amalfi coast from visiting the ruins of Pompeii and basking in the sun on the isle of Capri to enjoying pizza from the very place it was invented.
Departing Perugia in the early hours on Friday, students spent the afternoon touring the ruins of the Roman colony, Pompeii, after it was destroyed by the eruption ofMt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. They then boarded a ferry from Beverello Portin Naples and headed straight to Ischia.
Saturday was spent on the island of Capri with some of the most beautiful weather in recent memory. A few students rented private boats and swam in and out of Capri’s many hidden grottoes. Others did some shopping and took the chairlift to Mt. Solaro (Capri’s highest point) to enjoy breathtaking views of the crystal blue and green water. Others still, headed to the rocky beach for a day of relaxation. Whether it be hiking, shopping, swimming or just relaxing, Capri offered something for everyone. Upon return to the hotel on the island of Ischia, many students took advantage of the five pools, indoor and outdoor, to round out the day.
But the weekend wasn’t over yet! On Sunday, the students headed to the bustling city of Naples. Most students toured around the center of the city visiting sites, shopping and tasting some of Naples’ most famous pastries. Some students dined at Pizzeria Brandi, where the pizza Margherita was invented in 1780, before boarding the bus and leaving southern Italy behind.
In Photos: Students from Elon University dine at Pizzeria Brandi
>Last Thursday marked the second installment of In the Kitchen with Umbra. Professional chef, and part-time resident of Perugia, Christine Hickman, was on hand to teach students the art of gnocchi making. Students prepared the gnocchi from scatch along with the simple but buonissimo tomato basil sauce. Hickman learned the secrets of gnocchi (known also at potato dumplings in the US) from her “gnocchi mamma” in Castiglione del Lago, a small town on Lago Trasimeno, close to Perugia.
Even former Academic Director, Charles Jarvis, lent a hand! Dr. Jarvis, who has returned to Perugia to teach a course on American foreign policy for the fall semester, concocted the sauce and rolled out some gnocchi alongside the students.
Hickman will give one more gnocchi making class in two weeks before returning to New Mexico for the winter.
In addition to simply sampling and analyzing the wines, Enone provided a plate of appetizers to taste with each wine. Students were encouraged to sample tangy pecorino cheese, a light tuna spread with tomato and a rich polenta square with each glass of wine in order to decide which wine suited the food best, highlighting its best qualities.
Many students found that food isn’t the only thing that highlights character in wine…but that good company does the trick too!
Picture contributed by Umbra Fall 2007 student Stephanie Pugliese from Villanova University
Yesterday night was the first aperitivo/dinner for the Umbra students, an opportunity for them to
see each other again, being now separated in different apartments and different schedules…and they had a lot to talk about.
Between bruschetta with tomatoes, cuts of Umbrian prosciutto and later local Umbrian sausages, students exchanged stories about navigating the city streets and adventures at Cinque Terre and Rome.
Traveling alone, Crowley negotiated the flag-bedecked streets of Foligno’s various competing neighborhoods and was able to see most of the final joust, where horseback riders must spear small rings to win the joust. The Quintana is just one of the many local festivals waiting for Umbra students to discover them!
This past weekend four Umbra students made for the ancient Etruscan town of Lucca, famous for its magnificent -and completely intact- medieval wall. But Christy Capriccio, Colleen Puma, Maura McGrath and Liza Serratore found that there was more to Lucca than first meets the eye… While taking a stroll around the city, our travelers had the fortune to sample one of Lucca’s lesser known, yet certainly tasty, treasures: a pastry known affectionately by the Lucchesi as “Frati”, made with water, sugar, yeast, salt and lemon. Having enjoyed the doughnut’s distant Italian cousin, the girls chanced upon a charming and brightly lit carnival, complete with rides, cotton candy, and even a Ferris wheel….
This past Tuesday night, thirty Umbra students were taken on a historical tour of the city they will be calling home for the next four months. The tour, usually given once a semester is led by professional tour guide and professor of one of Umbra’s most popular classes, Perugia through the Ages. Paola Chiurulla, a Perugina herself, opens up the students’ eyes to the marvelous history Perugia has. Starting at the Fontana Maggiore, students were find depictions of their own astrological sign, as sculpted by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano in the 1200s.
After hearing the history of other monuments in the center of town, Chiurulla leads the tour down to Perugia’s Etruscan Arch or Arco Etrusco which dates back to 500 BC. They then follow the original walls around part of the city and ended up at Porta Marzia, one of the original entrances to Perugia. Chiurulla’s class, Perugia though the Ages is a unique offering here at Umbra. Class time and on-site visits are divided equally as students learn about the history of Perugia concentrating on the 12th to 16th centuries.
Her tour is free and open to all Umbra students. This Sunday, another walking tour will be given by Umbra staff member Zach Nowak, author of The Umbra Institute Student’s Guide to Perugia. Zach’s tour offers students a less historical version of the town, including folklore and out-of-the-way vias that many Perugini themselves might not be familiar with. This tour is also free and all are welcome, but students should sign up with Zach to participate.
In photos: Perugia’s Medieval arches; Zach’s Walking Tour in January 2006