Select Study Abroad June 2015: Final Week (carousel rides, marriage proposals, & beautiful sunsets)

It’s time for our least favorite post: the Final Week Post. It’s time for our adventure to come to an end, at least until the reunion. This year we added in some fun with a very special scavenger hunt which had the ladies posing on carousels, introducing themselves to random Italians, and yes, in some cases, proposing to strangers. We think it was the perfect ending. Which was only topped by a little sunset action up on Piazza Michelangelo and a mouth watering meal under the stars. We will miss you ladies! Come back. Right now.

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Select Study Abroad June 2015: Week 2 (cooking, gardening, jewelry-ing galore!)

Week two was jam-packed people. We started with a visit to the stunning and not-to-be-missed Medici Chapel, designed and sculpted by none other than Michelangelo. We explored, tested, and perhaps purchased some of the amazing products from one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, Farmacia Santa Maria Novella (in existence for almost 800 years and open to the public for over 400 years!). Then we had back-to-back cooking classes where our budding students made chicken cacciatore, spinach and ricotta gnudi, and olive oil cookies (all gluten free and heart healthy!). We spent the afternoon with one of our favorite artisans, the amazing jewelry maker Giuliano Ricchi. We had a fantastic tasting where we tried several different kinds of Tuscan olive oil and balsamic vinegar along with several traditional Tuscan meats. Finally, our fabulous Alpha Phi ladies spent their first afternoon at the awesome Orto Dipinti (a community run and managed garden in the center of Florence) where we watered and pruned and learned about the gardens amazing herbal salt combinations (packing a tasty punch so cooking requires much less salt) and paper seed coins. As if we haven’t done enough already, next up: Venice!
The Medici Chapel
Medici_Chapel_1 Continue reading…

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Select Study Abroad June 2015: Week One! (Pisa, Lucca, Duomo & David)

Almost exactly two weeks ago some pretty incredible Alpha Delta Pi & Alpha Phi ladies showed up in Florence and took the city by storm. We have been so busy doing, well, EVERYTHING, we barely noticed how much we’ve already done. Here’s a look back at just some of the highlights from week one! We start off with our first few days in Chianti at the stunning Villa Saulina to catch some sun (and some sleep after the long flight), followed by a trip to Pisa for some tower pictures and Lucca for some bike riding and tower climbing. Up next is our first day exploring Florence with an end-of-day picnic in the gorgeous Boboli Gardens for some stunning views and our first group dinner in our new city. Then the epic Duomo/Cathedral day where we scaled the massive Dome of Florence for the best views of the city you can find, and finally, of course, we visited with Michelangelo’s David. Yes. All this is just one week. And that’s only the beginning. DSC00249 Continue reading…

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Select Study Abroad & ADPi: Week Four in Florence!

Yup. I am WAAAAAAYY behind.
But in truth, the fourth week is my least favorite thing to post about. I mean, think about it. It means the end. It means it’s all over. It means all these amazing ladies are back home and we are here. All alone. And very, very bored.
But we all need closure and the fourth week is always the time for super bonding (can it really be over?!). Our fourth week also happened to include the ever-favorite trip to Cinque Terre (hiking, beaching, pesto eating and more), our second visit to the Ronald McDonald House in Florence (where we made an American-style cake for our friends there), our second cooking class (where we made FRESH pasta!), a picnic in the Boboli gardens, fireworks (we don’t mess around), a glorious carousel ride and the (sob) final dinner.
Ugh. Wish we had a time machine.
Cinqueterre_everybody Continue reading…

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Select Study Abroad & ADPi: Visiting the Ronald McDonald House in Florence

RMHC_Firenze_2014_27Last Tuesday we made a special visit to the Ronald McDonald House here in Florence, Alpha Delta Pi’s philanthropic partner since 1979. The house, just over one year old, is the most recent addition to the Italian case Ronald, including two in Rome, one in Brescia, and one in Puglia, inaugurated between 2007 and 2013. When we talked about how we could be of assistance to this particular house, we thought, seeing as we’re in Florence–a name which originates from a latin word meaning “flowering”–a garden just seemed like the right choice. So we came to give the house a little life, leave our mark, and spread some ADPi love across an ocean. It turned into an all day affiar, which, in 95-degree weather, included a little water fight and lots of sunscreen. In the end, we were able to plant a variety of new plants, including some very special flowers under the house’s olive tree called “Bocca de Leone,” which means “Mouth of the Lion” in honor of Alpha Delta Pi’s mascot Alphie the lion. The final touch, perhaps my favorite part, was a series of garden markers made from corks that have inspirational and positive words in both English and Italian. Walking through the garden we left, we will literally lift spirits (and perhaps teach someone a little English!). Speranza. Hope. Continue reading…

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