I had never heard of gnocchi before I got here, but it's basically the greatest thing I have ever eaten. It's these little pillow-like pieces of pasta heaven, made from potatoes. We made it with a gorgonzola cheese sauce, which is the closest thing to alfredo sauce that exists in Italy and which is pretty fantastic as well :) Last wednesday we watched Marco make fresh pasta and bolognese sauce, which takes about 4 hours, and my friends and I are making our first solo attempt at it tonight.
I am currently on a quest for a recipe for Italian hot chocolate. It's the second greatest thing I have ever tasted. It's like a thin pudding, you eat it with a spoon, and there are enough varieties that my favorite place in Macerata, Maga Cacao, has a separate hot chocolate menu. Maga Cacao (Magic Cocoa) is a little dessert shop owned by a married couple, half of which is exactly what Italian men are supposed to look like :)
Last weekend I went to a chocolate festival with my friend, Annalise, and to the monthly flea market. Italians love festivals, there is at least one in Macerata every weekend, dedicated to all kinds of things, mostly food or wine. This weekend, I'm going to Civitanova with a few people for a polenta and chestnut festival and next weekend there's a Christmas festival when they will put up and light a giant Christmas tree in the main piazza :)
Next week, my site director, Filiberto, is taking everyone in my program out to dinner for thanksgiving. It won't be traditional food, however, so a few of my friends and I are having another thanksgiving next saturday and watching Christmas movies :) Next week I also have an excursion to Florence for three days which I'm really excited for! Then the next week, we go to Rome for another 3 days. Then two weeks after that, I go home.
This trip is going by so fast, I can't believe I have now been here for 11 weeks. I've basically gotten over homesickness, and I'm so glad I came, but I know I'm going to be really happy to go home for Christmas :)
(Assisi! And thats the Kappa Delta hand sign:) )
(Top of the bell tower in Macerata)
(Monte Conero, I climbed that my first weekend in Italy)
(Filiberto! My awesome site director)