3:50am yes 3:50am on a Satuday was the time I set my alarm! I had to be across town and meet a bus at 5am. This meant I had to to walk alone at 4:30 across the town, exactly what my mom had told me not to do over and over…except I wasn’t walking home, I was on my way to start my day. The streets were a lot busier than I expected (mostly intoxicated people stumbling home) but still I wasn’t alone lol.  

For my Italian, Food, Culture and Society class we are visiting the region of Parma. The first place we visited in Parma was the Parmigiano-Reggiano here Parmesan cheese is made from scratch. We were able to watch the entire production and learning about the long process that goes into making this perfectly aged cheese. They took us into a room where the cheese is left for 2-3 years inside they had 3500, 80 lbs rounds of cheese. They are sold for a whole sale price of anywhere from €400-800 this meant the room held around 1.8 million euros of Parmesan cheese. I was extremely interested in watching the process, even though I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get the chance to milk a cow….( still have to mark that off my bucket list) lol

 We then visited the prosciutto farm and learned about the long process that goes into make the famous Italian meet. We then had a nice lunch with the class including red and white wine with an appetizer of bread with the Parma prosciutto and then a pasta dish followed by crumble desert and walnut liquor.

Lately, we visited a balsamic vinegar distillery were we were able to sample and taste several different balsamic vinegars from several different wood barrels and ages. It was interesting to taste the difference that the time and different type of wood barrels could make. My favorite was of course the most expensive lol. There was an 150 year old balsamic vinegar that is extremely expensive and usually only used for royalty. It actually was the balsamic vinegar used by the queen of England!

 Overall it was a great day! I enjoyed having the opportunity to see all the process that go into making the common Italian foods that I eat everyday here in Italy! I love that all my classes at Florence University of the Arts are hand on, we the lectures always go way beyond the power points. Unfortunately, since this was a required field trip for my Italian cooking class on a Saturday I had to miss the weekend trip to Cinque Terre with my study abroad program, but I guess you can’t do everything! It’s going to be weird being alone in my apartment and not having any of my friends around for the rest of the weekend but who knows it might me nice..maybe this is my time to go meet locals?