Monthly Archives: December 2011
Holiday lights are hanging brightly above Corso Vanucci and the Christmas market is in full swing inside the Rocca Paolina. Fall 2011 students have just returned home to their friends and family, and the Umbra Institute is quiet for just a few short weeks!
While we prepare for new students to arrive in January, the Umbra Institute would like to wish all of our alumni, wonderful faculty & staff, and partner universities in the States a very Happy Holidays. See you next year!
Umbra wear is now available for purchase with more colors for sweatshirts, and brand new designed sweatpants.
We want to thank Anastasia Flaherty and Ian MacDonald, two Umbra students that created the new design.
Umbra Student Hannah Forster, who also volunteers for UNICEF’s Pigotta Project (for which an UmbraViews video was recently made) has been writing a blog throughout her time in Italy.
The blog, titled “longlivethewallswecrashedthrough” chronicles her travels throughout Europe (think Paris, Denmark, Lisbon, Seville, Portugal, Prague, London, and more) and Italy (think hot springs, Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, and more) and her experiences as a student in Perugia. She’s learned to cook (aided by her grandmother’s care package of recipes and to speak Italian. Reading it gives an excellent idea of what an American student studying in Perugia experiences on a day-to-day basis. Continue reading
Big turnout? Check.
Students, staff and professors gathered this afternoon in Umbra’s art studio at Via dei Priori to sip some wine and admire this semester’s photos and frescoes.
Ancient Rome was this semester’s backdrop theme with two, full wall-length frescoes, displaying a banquet complete with a roasted headless pig on one wall and a wine harvesting scene another.
Congratulations to all art students for beautiful work!
This past weekend saw the capstone field trip of the core course of the Food Studies Program, to Parma and Modena. After a semester of in-class learning and out-of-class workshops, students got to compare their knowledge to the reality of Italian food production. The first day afternoon students toured a small prosciutto production facility, one that has only three full-time employees. One of the two brothers who own and run thesalumificio (literally a “cured meats cooperative”), Carlo Lanfranchi, took students from one walk-in cooler to another to show them how fresh hams are turned, almost magically, into prosciutto di Parma, one of Italy’s most popular brands. Lunch began, of course, with an antipasto of prosciutto, followed by delicious ravioli filled with fresh cheese and herbs, a local classic. Dinner that night, after a holiday walk around Parma, was at the Osteria della Ghiaia.
Saturday students were up early to get to the parmesan cheese cooperative in time to see the cheesemakers separating the curds from the whey and pulling out what would become 110 lb. rounds ofparmigiano-reggiano cheese (worth €500 each: watch the video herefor clips). This is a hands-on field trip, so of course after seeing the parmesan cheese, students got to taste it as well: two years of aging makes a delicious treat. The last stop on the “food pilgrimage” was theAcetaia San Donnino (a family-run business that makes real balsamic vinegar). Our host showed us the barrels of made from six different kinds of wood: the must is passed from one barrel to the next and only after twelve years is it ready for bottling.
Study abroad in Italy, study abroad in Perugia…and think about the Food Studies Program!
December has officially arrived, and the Fall 2011 students have two weeks left in Perugia and at the Umbra Institute. Knowing how quickly time will fly between exams, final papers, and saying goodbye to new friends, here are the Umbra Staff’s Top Five Must-Do’s before you leave…
5. Taste free chocolate at the Perugina factory.
Most of the Italian classes will be touring the home of the world-famous chocolate and hazelnut baci this week, but if you missed out, pick up a bus ticket and go on your own for a tour and tasting!
4. Celebrate the Holidays in Gubbio with the World’s Largest Christmas Tree. Every year since 1981 the Umbrian town of Gubbio lights up the world’s largest Christmas tree, stretching across the mountainside between the Basilica above and the town below. The tree is lit for the first time at 6:30 pm on December 7th. Gubbio is easily reachable by a 1-hour bus ride from Piazza Partigiani (a one-way ticket costs about 4.50 euro), and the sun sets in December just a few minutes after 5 pm. Make a quick trip one evening or stay over in Gubbio for the night.
3. Walk through the “underground city,” over the Roman aqueduct, and into the Duomo. We walk past these landmarks around town everyday, but have you ever actually been inside? Perugia’s most interesting historical sites are all free and right here in the center: the Roman Aqueduct, the Etruscan Well, the Tempietto and Tower of Sant’Angelo, the Duomo, and the Rocca Paolina. Talk to Zack if you need help finding these spots.
2. Eat Pasta alla Norcina, Torta con Salsiccia ed Erba, and Hot Chocolate from Augusta Perusia!
Pasta with Umbrian sausage and truffles, typical Umbria torta, and to-die-for hot chocolate… you can’t go home without trying these Perugia specialties. And in the winter, throw in some freshly pressed olive oil, vino novello, roasted chestnuts!
1. Ride the Ferris Wheel in Piazza Italia. For three euros you get an unforgettable view out across the valley below the centro… what could be a better way to remember Perugia? (And yes, this is a ferris wheel, despite the massive “Carousel” sign at the front. Oh Italians.)
Study abroad is great opportunity to see with your own eyes the European history you studied in high school. Exactly that happened when an Umbra Italian class went to see a special exhibition about the Risorgimento (Italian unification movement) in Umbria in the beautiful Palazzo Cesaroni, right on Piazza Italia. The exhibition was set up for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy and focuses on the main events that happened in Umbria during the Risorgimento through sculptures, objects, paintings, and documents. A walk through local history that helped make Italy what it is today!