Erasmus Year Abroad: San Gimignano, Worlds Best Gelato

So, I am now well into the swing of things on my year abroad in Siena. I have been very naughty by pushing every single important thing I should be doing to the back of my mind, hence why I haven’t written here in a couple of weeks. One of the things to blame is my discovery of Netflix, or more directly, Breaking Bad. How have I missed out on this show for so long? Over the past two weeks or so I have been binge-watching like a mo-fo and I am really starting to worry how I will cope once I complete it. However, I am in Italy after all, and let not pretend that I'm the only relaxed one here.

My pals and I have kind-of worked out that we can’t survive the week if we party before a Thursday night. This means that from Thursday onwards it’s all go! Up until Thursday, we all stumble through the week (probably still hungover from our three-day bender) going to lectures, studying, eating and napping. I think I am finally done with going to random lectures, deciding I can’t understand a thing, and never returning- and actually settled on 4 subjects to do this semester. Year Abroad bureaucracy is busting our balls as expected, and the deadlines for handing in important documents stating our subject choices are currently happening. It is possible that we have actually missed the deadline for the dreaded “learning agreement’ hand-in, but none of us really know what the hell is going on.

As I mentioned before, we usually party Thursday through to Sunday, so our three-day weekend is mostly full of hangovers and regrets. But last weekend, we thought we should do something worthwhile. The nearby town of San Gimignano with the girls was the perfect little day trip! Following a Friday night spent in the pub, we almost missed the bus and had to run for it with doughnuts and espressos in our hands. An hour and a half later we arrived in an extremely cute and picturesque town perched on top of the rolling Tuscan hills. It was quite a relief to be off the bus full of 12 year old boys saying “I have a very long spade” with suggestive Italian smirks. The weatherman said it would be around 24 degrees, and he certainly delivered. We strolled through the winding streets in the autumn sun, stopping occasionally to gawp at the views of the hills around us.

Rather than having lunch in an overpriced restaurant, we found a supermarket and filled our baskets with mozzarella, cured meats, bread, olives and other Italian delights (not forgetting the vino!) We found a lovely little spot in the corner of a sunlit piazza and laid out our feast on the floor. A musician played a steel drum in the background as we chatted and scoffed our faces with cheese; it was absolute perfection.

Ice cream was the next thing on the list. San Gim is renowned for its ice cream, as one of its gelaterias earned the “Gelato World Champion” title twice in recent years. In my eyes it isn’t worthy of its title, (nor the huge queue that we had to battle through to get in the door) - but it was still nice of course, as it was gelato after all!

Almost every one of us fell asleep on the bus home as we were all so wiped out from our exciting day trip! Our plans for that night quickly went out of the window as we were all so tired....PARTY HARD!

A presto!

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