Ciao from Ariccia!
It is so hard to believe that we are now beginning Week 5 of studying abroad. Each new week seems to go by faster than the one before it and I am continually finding new aspects of life in Italy that I love. Last week was full of exploring the smaller towns in Umbria: Assisi, Perugia, and Orvieto. There is something to be said about the beauty of the well-known fountains, churches, and monuments of Rome, but I personally love seeing the parts of Italy that are slightly off the beaten path. It is in these places that I feel the most at home. Some of my favorite parts of this week included learning to make homemade pasta in Assisi, visiting a weaving studio in Perugia, and exploring woodworking and pottery studios in Orvieto.
Continuing with the theme of small towns, I spent the past weekend in Matera: an old town in southern Italy in the Basilicata region. It was a little difficult to get to, but so worth the time and effort. The area is full of little restaurants and shops that all have so much personality. (Also, the Passion of the Christ was filmed here!) Many of the homes, churches, etc. are built into the caves, including our hotel! I just love the understated, simple beauty of this area and hated to leave, but it is good to be back in Ariccia for a few days before we are off to the next place.