Being as big a foody as I am, coming to Italy has been one of the most marvelous experiences my taste buds have yet experienced. Not only is the food in the mensa always tasty but living in Arezzo provides us with some unequalled culinary experiences. One of my favorite restaurants I’ve gone to so far in Arezzo (and one of the best I’ve ever been to) is called Logge Visari, a small two story abode located in one of the far corners of town. I went into the restaurant knowing a good bit about Italian cuisine having eaten in many places in Tuscany before, but this place still blew me away. The thing about Italy the makes it differ from American cuisine is that its tastes so phenomenal, but leaves you without that bloated feeling because the dishes are so well proportioned. This is besides the fact that all the ingredients here are always fresh and organic, unlike many of dishes that I have sampled in America. The dish that I would recommend most highly was the tagliattle with pichi porchini Mushrooms. Tuscany is renowned for its fresh and unique mushroom selection and none are more tender and juicy than the pichi porcini. This dish just melted in my mouth, and along with the hand made fresh pasta, my mouth and stomach thanked me for a long time.
– Jesse Garlick
Since arriving in Arrezzo, I have felt more challenged and engaged academically but also socially. Student life is active and enthusiastic, maintaining the same positive vibe the classes offer. I’m not sure about the other students, but this has not always been the case for me, so to have this experience where I feel engaged in class but happy and interested in engaging in other activities outside of class feels fulfilling. In addition, much of what you do socially with other students could include extra optional classes, going out to eat (there are great pizzerias down town and an amazing trattoria by the main circle Guido Monica), traveling on the weekends, rehearsing for the cabaret, or brainstorming and creating ideas for open mic night. You feel artistically engaged and growing in and out of class and that’s something special and unique in my opinion. I have felt eager and enthusiastic in my life here and it showed me a lot of things I could push myself to do when I go back to my university next fall. As of now, I’m adapting a song for the piano (something I have never done, nor have I practiced the piano this much in a long time…so my love for the piano has been reignited). Another example is that because of the types of classes I’m taking, I’ve also been far more physically active in my social life and with friends. Again, something new to me. I look forward to the rest of the semester because I don’t only feel more challenged in an outside of class, but there’s a support system here that encourages you to try anything and everything and to not fear failure and to take risks. With such a community, I feel more active and interested in new topics and people. I feel empowered here.
– Adriana Hillas
I have yet to encounter a single bad meal in Italy. Some of the best meals I’ve had have come straight from the mensa at the ADA. From the lasagna to the caprese salad, everything I’ve eaten at the mensa has been phenominal.
– Andrew Weyenberg
This entry will be hopefully be entertaining to anyone who has ever or plans to go out for dinner with a large group of people…let me tell you about the time I went out for dinner in a group of 10 Accademia students. I’m going to preface this with the fact that it was my first excursion with this many people into Arezzo – so when we were turned down by three restaurants in a row for having too big of a group to seat together, it occured to me that perhaps next time a better idea is to go in a smaller group, say, of 3. But I wasn’t about to kick someone off the island, and we all felt like we needed to continue this adventure together. Feeling a little lost, and very hungry, we tried a fourth restaurant. No success. Then, a thought occurred to me: this was the perfect opportunity to use my newly learned italian phrases and ask for some help. Although the fourth restaurant would not seat us, the waiter I talked to was willing to provide me with the business card for a place down the street that he assured us would give us a table within a few minutes. His generosity was almost unbelievable – he basically diverted his own business to his competitor. But we figured we might as well give this 5th place a go. We arrived at Antica Osteria l’Agania, and were seated upstairs, right away, all together. It was fantastic! The food was great, and we all took turns practicing our phrases with each other and the waitress. We even made an Italian friend! So this story has a happy ending. Evidently, if you wander around in Arezzo for long enough, you will eventually find a nice person who will tell you where to be. And to any future Accademia student, that is exactly what I suggest you do the first weekend you are here.
If you happen to go to l’Agania, make sure you check out:
The dusty wine rack! Kind of disgusting, but also charming!
The bread – it’s salty! And the house wine – delicious!
This guy – if you sing to him in English, he might buy your table a bottle of wine!
And don’t forget your Italian phrasebook!
– Shannon O’Brien