study abroad: chianti wine and priceless memories

Study Abroad Florence Italy

SUN. JULY 5 — TUES. JULY 7: Day 27-29

PIZZA, PITTI, AND PRICELESS (memories)

Tonight, I waited for a concert that didn’t happen. Ally messaged me saying there was a huge stage with flashing lights set up in Piazza Santo Spirito, so naturally, we expected a musical performance.

We waited and waited with a spritz from the hipster bar Volume in my hand and a glass of wine in hers, until we finally asked someone what was happening.

It turns out that they were setting up for the reveal of the new soccer uniforms for the Florentine calcio team. Oops.

Me, Ally, her roommate, and Shannon stopped by Gusta Pizza, where I picked up a 5€ margherita pizza made Neopolitan-style. Gusta Pizza is the cheapest, most delicious take-out pizza you’ll find in Florence, aside from O’munaciello, which is a sit-down restaurant with many more options.

We walked over to Piazza Pitti, which is a popular hang out spot. At night, you will find people playing guitar, drinking wine, and having conversation with friends, normally while lying on their backs under a starry sky.

Study Abroad Italy

We were shortly accompanied by Bab, who studies 3-D printing at the Accademia. I kicked off my heels, enjoyed every bit of my pizza, and sang along with my friends as Bab played his ukulele. Bab does hilarious and creepily accurate voice impersonations, so he kept us entertained for hours.

I laughed until I cried at two in the morning under a Tuscan sky with a belly full of pizza and prosecco, and a heart filled with so much love. These are the kind of nights I will never forget. “These are the nights I’ll remember, the nights worth journaling about.”

CHIANTI WINE TOUR

Stretching between Florence and Siena, the Chianti wine region is the romanticized Italy of daydreams: terra-cotta-roofed towns with green, gentle hills covered with field of vineyards.

Study Abroad Italy

When it comes to Tuscan wine, thoughts immediately fly to the area of Chianti, one of the production areas most renowned for its tradition and quality of its wines.

Study Abroad Italy

I took a day-trip to this region in the heart of Tuscany for a wine tasting, which I knew I wanted to do during my time in Italy. I think every Italian would gasp at me in horror if I told them I preferred the white wine.

Study Abroad ItalyRed wine is like gold here, especially Chianti Classico with its iconic black rooster seal; it is as essential to Italian cuisine as extra virgin olive oil.

The minimum percentage of Sangiovese allowed in Chianti Classico is 80%, with only red grapes permitted to make up the rest of the blend.

The alcohol content must also be at least 12%, and the wine must spend at least 12 months aging in oak barrels. The Chianti Classico region covers an area of around 100 square miles, and the grape harvest is restricted to no more than 3 tons per acre.

Study Abroad Italy

It’s not that I completely dislike red wine, but red wine is a winter wine. I prefer the sweetness of white wine, but especially the crisp, refreshing taste of the refrigerated wine in the sweltering Tuscan heat. 

Study Abroad Italy

Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy

Speaking of the sweltering heat, mix the temperature with around 10 different samplings of wine, and you get a pretty sleepy and tipsy Laurie. I giggled and slept the entire way home.

Study Abroad Italy

Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy

We also got to try olive oil, balsamic, and truffle oil. The olive oil was unbelievably delicious!

Study Abroad Italy

Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy
Study Abroad Italy

We also tried a variety of homemade jams, with interesting flavors such as chili pepper, fig, and apple.

Study Abroad Italy
Overall, these past few days have been filled with sweet bliss and sheer relaxation. My laugh is louder, my eyes twinkle brighter, and my cheeks are rosier. I even smile with my entire body!

Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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