Yesterday was our last day in Florence. We went up to Fiesole in the morning, which is about a 20 minute bus ride away from Florence. It is a gorgeous ride through the hills, and looks out upon Florence. After we got back from Fiesole, we sat around for a little while and reflected on the trip, and talked about our experiences. For lunch, we had lasagna made by Ashley, since all the ingredients that she had had to be used up. After lunch we had a few hours to ourselves, before our last dinner. We went to a nice restaurant called the Four Lions, and we could order whatever we wanted. Some of us got four different courses. It was a nice way to celebrate the last night of the trip. We got back to America today around 4:30, which officially concluded the trip.
This morning we took a short walk to the Medici Chapel. The Medici Chapel serves as a shrine to the entire Medici family, and although none of them are actually buried there, it was still very interesting to see inside of it. After we got back from the Chapel, we had nothing else planned so that tonight's group could prepare dinner. Night two of dinner was definitley another success. Tonight's menu included a "Philadelphia anitipasto loaf" which had bread, cream cheese, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatos, and pesto. The pasta was served with a trio of sauces, a tomato, a cream, and pesto to represent the Red, White, and Green of the Italian flag. The chicken was breaded and marinated in Italian dressing, and for dessert we had a dessert pizza, which had cookie dough, frosting, and strawberries and kiwis on top. After dinner, we had the option of going to a Classical concert with Lynn and John if we wanted to join them.
A group pic on the long walk up to Michelangelo Plaza, but the view of Florence was well worth the effort. Not seen here are a couple of weddings we had to thread our way through to get to the top. Loved those confetti bombs. The next pictures are of the gilding workshop. Michelangelo and Botticelli are hard acts to follow in this slightly artsy little town, but our students did a great job and have some lovely souvenirs to take home, and perhaps give away. How far away is Mothers' Day?
Today we didn't have anything planned as a group, so we had the whole day to do whatever we wanted. At 7:00 we had the first night of dinner prepared by us, and the half of us that didn't cook got to sit and enjoy the meal made by everyone else. Tonight's course included Bruschetta, shibobs with mozzerella, tomato, and salami, pasta with a butter and garlic sauce, chicken parm, and eggplant parm for the vegetarians, and canolis with fruit for dessert. The first night of cooking was definitely a success, and it will be nice to see how dinner turns out tomorrow night.
Today we had our guilding workshop. We split up into 2 groups and half of us went from 9-1 and the other half went from 2:30-6:30. We got to try out several different guilding techniques for ourselves, and get first hand experience on how it's done. We made frames, and got to decorate them with 22 karat gold leaf. We also decorated the backing of the frame as well with whatever picture we wanted.