Monday, July 25, 2016

Love by Lecce: Week 3

Week three was very busy. Here we go.
Saturday seems so far away now but it was such a fun day! We had our second excursion with the group where we went to the southernmost point in Puglia, called Santa Maria di Leuca. We were able to go on a boat tour of the coast where we got to see vast expanses of cliffs and caves. At the end of the boat tour we got to swim in the warm water and even dive underneath to reach a hidden cave which was really beautiful. After that, we drove to a cliff filled beach where we took up camp on the top of one of the cliffs. Many people went cliff diving while I relaxed in the sun atop the rocks. It was a super tiring day but I feel bad about complaining that day because it was so beautiful and fun! That night my parents got into town in Lecce and I had dinner with them.
My entire family got to visit me in Lecce after their two week tour of Italy. Sunday we relaxed and then visited Otranto that night for dinner and a tour which was so much fun. We also stopped by Torre Del'Orso which I had been to before but it was nice for my family to see it. Otranto was a beautiful little walled city right out of Game of Thrones on the coast of Italy. It is definitely my favorite place I have visited so far and I'm happy we all got to see it!
Monday I went to school as usual (luckily my parents hotel I was staying in was much closer to the school than my usual route!). That night a bunch of students from the school went out to dinner with myself and my entire family. It was a really fun dinner since the restaurant was mainly serving appetizer-sized plates, so we ordered a ton (and a ton of wine) and dug in. I'm hungry right now so thinking about this dinner is making me drool. It was a faux birthday dinner for myself (July 27th!) and my friend Grace (July 25th!) since my parents left before my actual birthday. After dinner, we got gelato and stood out in the main piazza where there was so much going on--as usual!
Tuesday I had school again and afterwards my family, myself, some students, and some teachers got pizza for lunch. After lunch my family and I walked back to the hotel to relax before they left. It wasn't a super fun sendoff since we all miss each other so much but I'll be back in California in just a month now! After they left I had my cooking class where we made ravioli and cheese and bacon wrapped in beef. It was, again, so good. I am craving food as I write this post if you can't tell.
Wednesday was a low key day and besides school and I didn't do much else!
Thursday, for the first half of school, we went to a train museum. The last time I was at a train museum was in middle school for a field trip to Sacramento. This train museum was reminiscent of the one in Sacramento and had lots of cool sites to see!
Friday, after school, I dashed home to get packed and ready for my train to Florence! Yes, Florence. I took a weekend trip to see my friend who has family and is currently living in Florence. I missed out on the usual excursion with the school but it was worth it for this quick, 32 hour trip. I took a train at 9pm and arrived at Florence at 7:30am.
7:30am which brings us to Saturday! My friend and her family picked us up at the train station and we drove back to their house which was so cute. They had a quiet and peaceful backyard off the kitchen that we ate meals in and I stayed in a bedroom across from my friend. It was a very nice place and I wish I could've stayed longer. After getting back from the train station we all crashed for an hour or two before getting ready. After waking up, my friend's aunt made us bread with olive oil, rosemary, and some other spices as well as one with mozzarella. It was reminiscent of pizza but not quite pizza itself. Despite my fatigue and knowing I had limited time in the city, my friends and I began to explore the city. We stopped by a café to get espresso to wake ourselves up. We saw the Duomo (you know the one) which truly made me understand the meaning of things looking better in person than they do in pictures. I loved being around this landmark all weekend. We sped through Piazza Della Signoria where we saw (the fake) David outside in the piazza along with other replica statues. Even the replicas are huge! We decided we wanted Mexican food for lunch (we were missing it from home, not much Mexican food in Italy...) so we headed to a restaurant called Tijuana near the Church of Santa Croce. It wasn't the best Mexican food I've had in my entire life, but it certainly hit the spot. After lunch we walked to Ponte Vecchio, Santo Spirito, and then walked through some street vendor markets where I picked up presents for my friends and family back home. That night we went out for dinner and drinks for a few hours to end the day. We took the bus home and that was my first day in Florence!

Sunday, since my train left at 3:30, we didn't have as much time but we still fit a lot in! We went to the same café for breakfast where we got pastries too this time. Afterwards we drove to Piazzale Michelangelo which offers an amazing view of the city (and another fake David). We took tons of pictures while looking over the edge of the city. Next, we tried to go to Boboli Gardens but it was a bit expensive for those of us who don't live in Florence. Instead, we decided to get traditional Naples-made pizza which turned out to be the same pizzeria (for those of you who used to watch...) that the Jersey Shore cast worked at when they visited Italy for a season. Their clothes that they left behind were still hung up in the pizzeria which was funny to see. I had never watched the show much but my friend recognized the clothes so it was a fun little tidbit! After lunch we walked around the city and got something to drink by the train station since it was almost time for me to leave. The train arrived at 3:20 and I said goodbye to my friends. I so wish I could've stayed longer but I was so thankful for my friend and her family and being able to see the city in a whirlwind weekend trip!
Phewph, that was a long one but thank you for reading and keeping up with my travels around Italy for the summer!


  1. What a wonderful week!! Those views are beautiful!!

  2. It looks like you are having the best time!! I just love all the photos!

  3. Oh my gosh, your trip looks amazing! I want to visit Italy now haha!


  4. How pretty! I am beyond jelly of your travels.

    xoxo, Jenny

  5. Such a pretty location! Looks like you're having a wonderful time.
    Kayla || Keynotes from Kay

  6. Still so jealous! I did a day trip to Florence with my study abroad group last summer and it's just so incredibly beautiful! Sounds like you're having a great time Meagan!


  7. Love all the photos! Looks like a great trip!

  8. Looks like your having such a great trip, I would to visit one day!! Your pictures are so pretty!

  9. Looks like such a fun place to visit.

  10. Wow, this all sounds so fabulous! How cool that you're learning to make original dishes straight from the locals, what a cool experience!

  11. looks so cool!

    Laura B. |

  12. How fun!! So beautiful


  13. I spent 6 weeks touring Italy this summer.... It is such a great experience. Happy for you. Enjoy!

    xoxo Dani