Week 5 Reggio Emilia: Gianna Calderon

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

Ciao da Reggio Emilia, Roma (Rome), & Pompeii!

In my Italian Cuisine course last week, we made a variety of foods! Our starter was called a “Russian Salad,” which was similar to a potato salad! It just had an immense amount of mayonnaise incorporated into it. For our first course, we made gnocchi alla sorrentina, which is homemade gnocchi. We accompanied it with a fresh tomato sauce. For our second course, we made lamb chops with breaded zucchini. Last but not least, we made tiramisu for dessert! I am usually a huge fan, but we soaked the biscuits in coffee without sugar… So, it tasted too much like coffee for me!

During this week, my Italian Cuisine course made gnocco fritto as our appetizer. That is fried dough, and it is served with an array of meats and cheeses. Our starter was embrazzone, which is a puff pastry stuffed with spinach and onions. It was delicious! Then, our second course was pizza, where we got to choose from a variety of toppings: Mortadella, onions, parmigiano reggiano, mozzarella, and capers. My pizza had mozzarella, onions, and mortadella.

This week, I had dinner with my house dad’s family. It was an elaborate dinner that included homemade gelato, lasagna, and bread! I also had fresh caprese and prosciutto and melon. The kids, who were about three years younger than me, taught me an Italian card game called “Briscola.” It was hard to play, solely because the directions were taught to me in a mix of Italian and English.

This past weekend, my friends and I made the journey to Roma. We were able to figure out the Metro system because it was relatively similar to Chicago’s CTA system. Our first night there, we were able to visit the Colosseum and Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain). These two places were both beautiful sights. Then, we ate dinner at a restaurant called “Ristorante Volare.” Did you know there is a second location in Chicago? On our second night, we participated in a tour of Vatican City. We were able to see St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Gardens! I know Rome was not built in a day, but we definitely visited in one!

Around late evening, we hopped on a bus to Pompeii, in which we would spend all of Sunday touring. This city was home to the Romans and gladiators. They had intricate amphitheaters, in which the rich men sat in front, the middle class sat in the middle, and women sat on top regardless of their class. The Romans placed holes in their ceilings, as a way of collecting fresh rainwater. They also had holes on the sidewalks, so they could latch their horse carriages while they went inside a shop or pizzeria. The roads were clogged with urine and feces and the rich drank their wine with lead because it produced a similar outcome as ecstasy. So, the rich always died earlier than the slaves or gladiators. Another interesting fact I learned was that this city had brothels, in which photos of positions were posted above the wall with a certain price. When the volcano erupted, the people of Pompeii died and were buried under volcanic ash for around 2,000 years. Recently, archaeologists were able to figure out a way to cast the body of the deceased. It is a very interesting and sad story, so i highly recommend visiting if you are ever given the chance!
Sadly, this is my last full week in Italy. But, I have an exciting trip planned, and I am ready to make one more delicious meal in my Italian Cuisine class!