Erasmus Year in Siena | The Party Continues

Week 1 of lectures is done! It wasn’t a completely successful week- but I survived it. As expected, I didn’t understand the three Italian literature lessons I attended, nor the social anthropology one that I left half way through. I even managed to miss the first three lessons of my Sociology module but made the fourth and it was the first lecture that I’ve understood a word of- so it’s not all bad…

In between these dreadful lectures, I have been eating a lot and crying myself to sleep... Not really, I’m joking. But, I did have a few “how the F am I going to survive this year?” moments. I’m sure things will get better though, and I know that I’m not the only Erasmus student to feel like this so I’m not going to pack it in just yet.

The view from my room. I wish.
Aside from crapping my pants in-and-out of lectures, normal practise has resumed. Some of us went on a city tour, and a tour of the big municipal building on Piazza dal Campo- which were both very good and insightful. Even though I have been here for a few weeks now, I still hadn’t learnt much about some of the main parts and foundations of Siena, so I was really happy to finally find out some stuff. The municipal building was really cool, and so beautiful. The ceilings and other paintings throughout the building are the best I’ve ever seen! I mean, just look at this ceiling and see for yourselves. Unfortunately, I only had my phone that doesn’t produce the best of photos!

Last weekend, my housemate Emma and I went on an Erasmus trip to the Chianti hills where we visited some wineries, tasted different wines and then randomly ended the trip in a thermae spa. I must say, we were rather hungover and tired so the highlight was the really cool spa, which we went to in the dark. The outdoor pools were all lit up, and even though the whole place stank of sulphur, it was a very nice end to the day.

What a view!
On Thursday we had a crazily drunk night out. Well, drunk day actually. The weather was incredible, so we had to enjoy it in the Piazza with some prosecco, of course! I was clearly too eager for the night ahead and possibly peaked a little early under the 4pm sun whilst having a blast in the piazza. We cooked up a load of pasta which sorted us all out before we headed back out for the real party. We later had pre-drinks around Mia’s, which was fun as always: playing embarrassing games and annoying the neighbours with noise. There were more of us than usual, which meant extra fun and the chance to make more friends. The night ended in me being extremely inebriated and sick in front of said new friends, and getting locked out of my apartment because drunk Olivia forgot to pack her ‘night out’ bag properly.

Friday consisted of shame and a terrible hangover. And then, I don’t know how we did it, but we actually all managed to drag our bottoms out for another night out for the Erasmus social- which resembled a school disco in a beautiful courtyard. My new best buddy Dario (literal buddy- there’s a buddy scheme here!) organised it so I had to show my support after he’s been so kind and helpful to me.

Dario's milkshake brings all the buddies to Siena
Saturday night was always going to be a drag because of our previous two heavy nights out. After a lazy day round our friend Giles’ house watching the rugby and hiding from the relentless rain outside, we powered through some slow, sociable pre-drinks round Marc’s. Us girls called it a night rather early but incredibly, the boys continued to go out and have a very messy night themselves, including a lot of shots and some funny stories to tell us the next day. Sunday consisted of meeting friends for coffee, walks around the city and supper round Georgia's. She made us a great spag bol and APPLE CRUMBLE! In Italy! Incredible. Thanks G!

Crumble heaven and G
I know what you might all be thinking- similarly to my mum, who’s words were “I’m worried for your liver”- but we don’t spend all our time drinking the lovely Chianti from our mate Guilio in the wine cellar- we mostly meet for pizza/ ice cream/ coffee/ shopping, or just chill in the piazza. I’d love to tell you that we’re all studying hard and learning loads of Italian, but I’m afraid to say that’s not quite how its been, so far! I’m sure in the next few weeks we will all realise that the sh*t is about to hit the fan and we should learn some stuff for our impending exams, or that we’d simply have our modules chosen and finalised before the deadline comes. But the rubbish WiFi makes that kind of hard, too- well, that and the unhelpful Italian lecturers and bureaucratic system!
I’m looking forward to the day that I understand a lecture here without feeling stupidly foreign. Who knows, that might even happen this coming week! I highly doubt it.

A presto!