Saturday, May 6, 2017
Second baths experience in Europe this year! We loved the Széchenyi thermal baths in Budapest, and the Petriolo thermal baths in Monticiano were also very cool. Most FFEs boarded the bus at a square close to our apartment at 10 AM this morning. I loved all being on a bus together again; it reminded me of orientation in August. We’ve come a long way since then! Our bus unfortunately broke down on the highway about an hour in. We stopped at the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial of all places! We got to walk around and explore while a new bus came. We felt like we were back in the U.S. It’s a beautiful cemetery and memorial (orderly and spacious).
We had lunch at Locanda nel Cassero, a secluded restaurant south of Siena. We had a scrumptious three course meal while it rained! A pancake of some sort with fried artichokes, freshly made pasta, and a mascarpone concoction for dessert. SO yummy! Some of the best eating I’ve done in Italy throughout the entire year. We had a typical Italian dining experience (bread, red wine, several courses, espresso to cleanse the palette) that lasted two and a half hours. The communal tables enhanced the family feel.
I left my phone on the bus, but Olivia graciously took some photos of the food for me to post on the blog!
The baths were in close proximity to our restaurant but hidden away in a valley. We could smell the sulfur from the bus when we pulled in. The baths were small but hot and effective! There weren’t too many locals there, but we saw a few. There was a cool creek next to the baths for us to rinse and cool off; it felt like the Battenkill. Our skin soaked in the mineral water with the clay and mud. Natural spa treatment! We were there for a couple hours. Olivia took more pictures to document the excursion! Many of us girls went European style at some point during our stay; Alex, Louis and Steven didn’t quite know what to think. I bought my one piece bathing suit (they are ‘in’ right now and do a good job of hiding the European weight gain) at H & M for 15 euros.
We had a stinky and sleepy ride back to Florence. I was so relaxed from the water I crashed as soon as I sat down on the bus! I brought my blanket with me for this trip 🙂 We bought unhealthy snacks (Oreos and potato chips, or as Sasha would call them ‘crisps’) at a rest stop on our way. The hot shower felt so good after the rain and baths! What a fun bonding experience towards the end of the year. Thank you Marist Italy and our RAs for making it happen! xo ~ e.