Photos by Arianna DeCorte, (University of Virginia) CET Siena Summer 2019 This picture depicts the typical, exquisite Tuscan countryside! Our first weekend of orientation CET took us to a small Tuscan town called San Gimignano, which is located in the province of Siena. We were greeted with this view! Pictured here is the flag of San Gimignano. They’re hung all over the city, which gives a medieval nostalgia as you walk through the cobbled streets. It’s as though the city has transported you back hundreds of years. This photograph of Siena’s famous Duomo perfectly encapsulates not only the splendor of the actual cathedral but also the complex organization of the city: everything is built on a hill, and therefore much of the city is either at an intense uphill or downhill slant. Walking around is definitely a work out, no matter where you go! This salad is the first homemade meal that I made in my new home in Siena. I was so excited to share how fun it is to cook here, especially when making new discoveries with ingredients. It is so easy to eat fresh, vibrant food that is also really healthy (and after all the pasta and pizza the world can offer, a salad like this is the best way to end a day). Girl basks in the warmth of the Sienese sun — this is my roommate Brooke! I wanted to share this picture for the relaxation and ease it emits. Italian life can often be much slower and more leisurely than American life… that day was the first day we really got to settle in and enjoy the moment, and Brooke’s face says it all. This photo was taken in Monterosso, one of the five villages of Le Cinque Terre. I had seen pictures, but had never fully grasped that these villages are literally tucked away into the Ligurian cliffs overlooking the sea. Precarious perhaps, but stunning nonetheless. My last photo featured from Levanto, Liguria is a focaccia in the sky. That focaccia was the best thing I have ever tasted, and eating it on the beach was like being in heaven. For the three days we were there I had focaccia on the beach for breakfast every morning, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Siena by night is arguably even more beautiful than by day – this is Piazza Salimbeni, where one the first banker of the ancient world is pictured with the first written check. Luckily for myself and my roommates, our Italian roommate knows all the fun tidbits about the piazzas and the history of the city. This is the Duomo of Siena as seen from the Piazza del Duomo. Breathtaking detail and stripes for some added pizzazz. Shortly after this was taken we were given a show by one of the Sienese contradas, who paraded around the piazza with music and drumming — one of the coolest Sienese experiences I’ve had.