Monday, November 21, 2011

Festa del Torrone!

Another week in Italia has passed, and I am now relaxing after a full day of school, Christmas shopping, and an Italian lesson. This past Saturday, I visited an open-air market for the first time, and let me just say that it was quite sketch. That area of town was full of........"unique" people and I do not plan on returning soon. However, I found several nice items there that will surely be used as gifts for the holidays. Yesterday, Sunday, three good exchange friends and I took a train to the city of Cremona, about an hour southeast of Milano. Our reason for traveling there: the Festa del Torrone. Torrone is a type of dessert, and I can only describe it as similar to nougat, and usually with sliced almonds inside. There are many different flavors, and you can buy the firm or soft kind. I would recommend the soft; otherwise you'll break your teeth trying to bite down.

Throughout the day we hit up all the main attractions in Cremona, including climbing the Torrazzo, apparently the tallest building in Italia. We met up with other exchangers from different districts and had a lovely time exploring the windy little streets. Booths selling torrone were set up EVERYWHERE and delicious aromas were wafting through the air all day. Needless to say, we sampled plenty of sweets and treats. 

torrone everywhere!!! 
our awesome group at the top of the Torrazzo 
a somewhat awkward view of the city center (and torrone violin!)
It was really a great day. It was freezing cold, but at least I got to make good use of my new scarf and gloves! I bought several nice things for Christmas gifts and I am immensely satisfied with our trip. Cremona is known as the Fiddlers’ City because of its famous violins, but we didn’t go to the violin-maker because we are supposed to go when we “officially” visit Cremona with Rotary in March. Speaking of Rotary, I am supposedly going to be introduced to my host club in the next few weeks, around the time we have the big Rotary Christmas Party. We shall see!

My busy schedule (now including Choir every Wednesday) has prevented me from finding time to practice piano. The few times a week I am free to practice, I am not able to find a piano. Therefore, I may be dropping my piano lessons soon. Maybe a solution will present itself, but I don’t know. Again, we will see.

I am starting to formulate a plan for a trip over Christmas Break, maybe to France to see my lovely amica, Madalyn. Details will have to be arranged super soon if I want to make it happen though, so I’ll be looking into it. The Milano kids are planning a Thanksgiving dinner this week, and this will be our only celebration since Italians obviously don’t practice this holiday. Oh well. For all you North Americans, Happy Thanksgiving!

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