How I have been neglecting thee. I apologize! I had such a busy weekend and then a very quick jump into the week. It's been impossible to find time to write --- and now I have much to tell and lots of pictures to share so this is probably going to be the most epic blog post in the WORLD.
Saturday morning. A few of the girls and I walked into the Antique Market in Arezzo. It was rainy, but that didn't stop people from coming out. I swear, the population gets multiplied by 10 on Market day. SO many people and tons of adorable Italian kids.
These were probably my two favorite finds... but I'm a dork like that. For some reason one of the booths was selling American license plates. That was pretty hilarious. No Wisconsin to be found.
Florence! The train wasn't too bad - about an hour.
The first hour and a half of Florence was us trying to find our hostel. The street numbers are really funky. Here we are. Frustrated mid search.
We finally found it! It was 9 Euro for the night - not bad...and the hostel itself wasn't that bad either. It was right in the middle of Florence so we could walk everywhere and we were on the top floor so it was safe. :) Here is our room:
There were six of us in there, and then there were three girls in a different room a few floors down.
As we were walking out of the hostel, the girls were like, "MAN we need to get to this festival" to which I replied, "What festival?" and they were like, "The chocolate festival...Eva...that's why we came here." HA. I had no idea! So the best surprise of the entire weekend was a CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL. More on that in a second...
On the way there, we ran into some Carnivale performers! Carnivale started this weekend and goes throughout the week. There are masks everywhere. (This weekend we are going to Venice for the real deal. I cannot wait) We danced with the masked performers for a little bit and then continued on our merry way. I would post pictures...but I'm sure that there will be much crazier hooplah this weekend in Venice...so I will leave you in suspense... :)
OK. CHOCOLATE. FESTIVAL. It was as delicious as it sounds. Lizbie, Jessica and I split this incredible chocolate cake with warm chocolate drizzled on top, and whip cream. OH MIO DIO! Warning: You may need to go run to your cupboard and grab chocolate after looking at these pictures. I mean...look at this stuff.
Me, Jessica, Lizbie with our cake.
Yes. Those are chocolate wrenches.
Chocolate KEBAB. They seriously just scrape the chocolate into cups off of this. HA
We walked around for a little bit - did some shopping - and then around 7:30 had dinner at a really nice retaurant in one of the main squares. Salmon! So good.
This, of course, was followed by Gelato. I mean. Why wouldn't it be?
One of my favorites. haha.
After Gelato we did a bit more shopping around Florence and then went to a discotheque called "Space" (a dance club). It was fun for probably the first hour and a half and then it just got sketchy. Italian men in clubs...not fun. So weird too; because there is no drinking age here, there were 15 year old kids at this place. And then of course there are a bunch of old men too, so the age range was pretty funny. Me, Lizbie, and a few of the other girls left early. It was a bit too much for us, so we went back to the hostel and crashed.
Some pics of Florence at night:
The next morning we had checkout at 10 am. It was a PERFECT day out. Absolutely gorgeous. I was so happy because Saturday had been rainy. We got cappucino at a little cafe and then went in search of Michelangelo's David. We got pretty lost. REALLY lost, actually. At one point Lizbie and I started singing, "And I will walk 500 miles and I will walk 500 more". But hey...we were lost in Florence. You really can't complain about that. Funny thing about the Galleria dell'Accademia (the museum where David is)....it is literally a hole in the wall. We passed this place probably seven times when we were lost because all of us were looking for this magnificent museum building. It's located on a little street and is just a door on a wall. When you walk in, it looks like a museum...but up until that point it could be a fricken warehouse. No joke.
David. *Sigh* Absolute beauty. If any of you go to Italy, see this statue. It's incredible. I sat there for probably a good 45 minutes just staring at him. To think that a man sculpted that is out of control. It made me think of the movie/book, "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" where the two kids live in the Met Museum and are fascinated by Michelangelo. I would have spent the night there if I could have - - by far one of the most beautiful man-made things I've seen.
**Sidenote: For some reason, blogspot isn't let me post anymore pictures in this post. Maybe I'm over the limit...so I'll make another one after this of the remaining Florence pictures :) **
The rest of the day in Florence, the girls and I walked along the Arno River.
ALLISON: There was this group of school girls decked out from head to toe in their uniforms (probably about 14/15 years old). One of them said, "Attraversiamo" and they all crossed the street. It was the first time I've heard it in Italy. SO CUTE. And then one of them tripped, and all the girls ran back to her. That was sad....but I was SO happy to hear Attraversiamo. I've been saying it...but nobody else has. Made me miss you.
We then met up with the rest of the students at the Accademia. Good thing we saw some of them in the street, because the directions to the theatre were wrong! Luckily we managed to get there on time. We all went to go see "Hotel Paradiso" by Familie Floz - a full mask show at Teatro Di Rifredi (The reason why we were in Florence this weekend). It was an hour and a half long - no speaking (all in mask) but the audience response became the soundtrack for the show. It was hilarious. Such good comedy - their timing was great. Favorite audience member: this ADORABLE red headed boy who was sitting in front of me. When nobody was laughing, he would crack up. It was cool to see Mask theatre - especially masked theatre that reaches all different age groups.
Afterwards, we got pizza at a little pizzeria and headed home.
Monday. Commedia all day with Michele. We did neutral mask work in the morning. (Michele said to me, "Eva. I can't hear your brain today! - WOO HOO!" haha.) We had to do a series of different movements in sequence changing rhythm, tone, and volume. Everybody's were so different even though it was the same structure (hence the point of the exercise). In the afternoon, there was a chair in the room and we had to discover different ways to use it. Then after this we performed a dream that we had, and after we physically described them, Michele had us sit in a chair and verbalize them. Dreams say a lot about people - and the way that people chose to display their dreams said a lot about them too.
Tuesday. Commedia in the morning. We did neutral mask work - taking the sequence that we developed and putting our dream into that sequence without changing the movements. This was difficult, but a really helpful exercise. It, too, goes along with the whole idea that if you have a structure, you have to obey it, but that doesn't mean that you aren't allowed to play. In fact you must play...but only WITHIN the structure. Good stuff. We then did our improv "travels" (a journey that we remember in our life). He didn't really give us any direction - it could be a literal journey as in coming to Italy, or walking down the street. I chose waking up Emily and Eric on Christmas morning and making them come sit on the stairs with me in our old house in Ashippun. :) Italy and Philosophy in the afternoon. Man. Philosophy is so good. SO good. I want to write about it but this post is epic so I will refrain. In the evening we watched a video about the contemporary circus(various performers around the US that are basing their work off of circus techniques). Here is one of the clips: A guy by the name of Michal Moschen. MAN. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjHoedoSUXY
Oggi! Today! Italian, Voice (with the dancers again) and Movement. Long long day. I have the WORST bruises in the world. I know two of them are from Commedia, but I have little ones all over and I have no idea what they are from. Italian Germies are still here too - but they have managed to transform into a head cold so hopefully they are on their way out.
I now have to read 80 pages for Philosophy. PHEW.