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Hello, Goodbye. Salve, Arriverderci.

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It seems like time moves faster with each passing city, for somehow we now find ourselves preparing to leave Florence behind. The old familiar adage of “time flies…” is my only explanation for the time dilation of which we find ourselves victims. With all that we’ve crammed into the past few days, “having fun” would be putting it lightly.

Since my last update, we spent time shopping for clothes in the vintage district, exploring the scientific genius of Galileo in the Museo Galileo, and following the lives of the famous and prosperous Medici family. We also managed to sneak away for another day trip, this time to the Cinque Terre, a part of the Italian Rivera known for its beautiful coastline and rich beach communities. It was an amazingly beautiful day, so we took advantage of that and spent most it in the water or collecting rays where it was dry.

We also tested our newly-honed cooking skills with some some friendly competition among the group. Following Iron Chef protocol, we gave each student group limited ingredients and a set time to prepare a meal. Emily, Chris, Hanna, and I presided over the contest as judges, acting as lifelines for our respective teams. Other than some brief tips and advice, the students were largely on their own this time.

Slowly but surely, four delicious dishes made their way out of the kitchens and into the greedy stomachs of my fellow judges and me. Following a long period of deliberation and excessive tasting, we came to a definitive consensus and awarded Emily’s team the win. All the teams performed admirably, but Emily’s group won out in the end for the complexity of their dish and, most importantly, the taste.

As we closed the doors to our humble abodes, our farewell to Florence began to weigh heavily on us all. Not only do we say goodbye to a wonderful city, but we must also soon depart from Europe altogether. Despite the bittersweet feeling, we are all blissful from the time we have spent in Florence and grateful for the memories it has imprinted on us. Arriverderci!

-Jamie Lansdowne

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