It has officially been one week since we have been living in Italy, and it has been absolutely amazing. The view from anywhere and everywhere that you go is incredible. The hills and valleys surrounding us are covered in all different shades of green, with olive and grape vineyards and other beautiful crops and gardens. The air is so fresh and the weather has been nearly perfect everyday, beside the few showers that we have had.
The food is out of this world! I honestly do not think that Santa Chiara has repeated a pasta dish yet, and we have it everyday at lunch and dinner! You can taste the freshness and quality in each meal that the wonderful cooks here beautifully prepare for us everyday!
Our first day in our horticulture class Dr. Lombardini took us down to a garden right below Santa Chiara, where we were able to see a variety of veggies and herbs. As I have walked through the town of Castiglion Fiorentino I have noticed that not one resident that has any sort of space for a yard, or even a pot, is not growing their own fresh vegetables or flowers. There are olive trees on every corner, strawberries on balconies and flowers that color this adorable town with a bright beauty. On Friday morning Rosella, our Italian teacher, took us to the weekly local market to practice our Italian, and sample food of course! The fruit stand in particular was calling my name; I couldn't pass it up without buying something! The freshest, juiciest, most wonderful peach that I had ever had was in my stomach within 5 minutes. The strawberries and cherries were something to rave about as well! Whether you are staring at the rolling hills, eating fruit at the market, or looking at paintings in churches I have realized that there is a piece of horticulture that tells a part of history or a story.
I love love love this country and the rich color that it shares with us everyday, and cannot wait for the time and adventures that approach us! The beauty unveiled purely by the view I see each day that I look out the windows of the Santa Chiara Center give me a greater perspective of the abundance of this world and the incredible creation that it truly is.