Monthly Archives: September 2009
Umbra student, Melissa Martinez from Austin, Texas blogs about her experience in Italy never leaving out the ever-important detail that is the food!
Catch her blog, “Bakin’ Love” about the cooking class she participated in with six other Umbra students this past Friday. (Update 10/12/11: Unfortunately, Bakin’ Love is no longer online.)
Thanks for sharing, Melissa!
The first week of Umbra Elective classes began with a bang as students had a busy week this week, both in and outside the classroom.
Sunday students participated in various outings in Umbra–one at the nearby lake, Lago Trasimeno and another in Assisi. While the historical walking tour was rained out on Monday (and is to be rescheduled) the Umbra Gelato Night on Tuesday was a big success! Thursday a few students attended a charity show at Perugia’s noble theatre, Teatro Morlacchi and this morning thirty-eight students left for a three day trip to Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri and Naples!
Next week a pizza night (on Umbra) will be held on Tuesday night at Pizzeria Paiolo.
Here’s to another great week in Perugia at Umbra!
Yesterday despite the threat of rain a large group of Umbra students went on a traipse around the city. While not academic in nature, the tour wasn’t just to point out panoramas and good restaurants. Umbra staff member Zach Nowak lead the tour, an almost goofy collection of tales (true and otherwise) about Perugia. Students heard stories such as “The Salt War” (or, Why The Bread Here Is Horrible), “The Orphans of Via Alunni,” and “The Aqueduct That Brought More Debts Than Water.” The tour will be repeated in a few weeks for any other interested students.
Wednesday night was the first all-student event sponsored by the Umbra Institute. The venue was Argentina, Perugia’s newest restaurant and hip place for an aperitivo, a before-dinner snack with friends that Italians can’t do without. Students were feted with a selection of Umbrian and central Italian cheeses, salami and dried sausage (taste that fennel!), and all took place on the terraces built into the Etruscan wall that surrounds this beautiful hilltop city. The students’ next appointment is tomorrow’s Perugia Nooks & Crannies tour – sign up in the Bartolo building today.
This past Friday, students arrived in Perugia to commence the fall semester. As if right on time, the crisp fall air breezed in with them, cooling the city off after a humid, hot summer.
This weekend students participated in Umbra’s orientation, first moving into their new apartments and unpacking, the exciting realization settling in that they get to live here, in this authentic medieval town, for the next four months. Four months of an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.
Benvenuti Umbra Students Fall 2009!
Some say the ancient Egyptians started the tradition by drinking bitter drinks with finger foods. Others date the birth of this Italian evening activity to the 1920s and the popularity of vermouth in Milan. Whenever (and whenever) it started, the aperitivo is part of modern-day Italian culture. Starting from the belief that “L’appetito viene mangiando” (Appetite comes while you eat), Italians often get together in the evening, after work but before dinner, and have a small drink with snacks. Umbra students got together last night and learned about the aperitivo, both the theoretical and practical. After a short history of the aperitivo, students ordered some typical drinks (Campari soda, prosecco, and the famous Spritz) and enjoyed potato chips, tramezzini, olives, and other goodies. The Aperitivo 101 workshop will be repeated in two weeks – keep your eyes peeled for signups!
Several of the students were lucky to have spent August traveling around Europe and Italy and thus avoid the usual first-night jet lag, and the others are catching up quickly. After the two and a half hour ride up to Perugia from Fiumicino Airport in Rome on Monday afternoon, students had a chance to relax last night and get to know each other
over dinner at Cafe di Perugia. Umbra professors Francesco Burzacca and Roberta Mugno, who will conduct weekly tutorial sessions to supplement the regular courses at the Stranieri, as well as staff members Zach Nowak and Rachel Bethany did their best to reassure the students that this morning’s placement exam at the Università di Stranieri would be a breeze, but even so we spied some last minute trapassato remoto cramming! In boca al lupo to the Fall 2009 Full Immersion students as you start out with your studies at the Università.
Top Left: Umbra Staff Member Zach Nowak entertains students with his ever-expanding sense of humor.
Bottom Right: Student Bailey Smith loved her first meal in Perugia!