Monday night we were taken from Rome to Tuscania by a lovely man named Massimo and his adorable puppy, Carlito. I’ve learned very quickly that you take your life in your own hands everytime you get into a car in Italy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a resident, taxi driver, paid driver from the school or friend- they all drive like maniacs! In fact, I seriously caution pedestrians as well. Look both ways repeatedly, and don’t stop until you get to the other side of the street! These cars are tiny and can come out of nowhere without any notice. So, needless to say, I got sick in the van on the way to Tuscania. Note to self: get some motion sickeness meds ASAP.
We checked into our hotel called (cleverly) Hotel Tuscania (just outside the walls of the city) a little after 10pm. The ride from Rome took about an hour and 15 minutes. The rooms at the hotel were very simple. Mine had a lovely green tiled, spacious bathroom and lots of hot water for showers. These rooms are often inhabited by students during the summer sessions. The best part of the room was the view out onto the Medieval city of Tuscania. I had a fantastic terrace outside my room where (if it were warmer) I could have spent the next week gazing at the city.
View from my hotel room City of Tuscania Mountains in the distance
In the morning, we had a simple breakfast and then went to visit the Lorenzo de’Medici school in Tuscania. It was a 3 minute walk from the hotel, sunny and beautiful all day. We met with the director of the school, had a lovely tour and a short meeting.
Computer Lab Computer lab again Garden area Kitchen for cooking classes
I have to say, the building the school is in has been remodeled on the inside. The outside is still the same as it was in the Medieval times, but the inside is very modern with wood, glass and metal elements. Trust me, it’s gorgeous! Ceiling in school Front doors of LdM
After the tour, I was able to visit many of the various housing options. Again, each one is very different and no two are the same. These students live like princesses and princes! Some were homestays just outside the walls of the city, and others were apartments within the walls of the city.
House My favorite apartment Bedroom of my fav. apt adorable kitchen!
Another sample Living room Inside the homestay Another kitchen
The school is just inside the walls of the city. School building
After touring the housing, I was taken on a tour by one of the professors at LdM to St. Peter’s Church. I could have spent hours in this church, just taking in the history, frescos and architecture. Unfortunately, we didn’t have hours to spend there. And, they didn’t allow pictures to be taken inside (very common of churches in Europe), so I bought a very well illustrated book with great pictures of the inside of the church.
St. Peter’s Church Closer view
I was told there are 50 churches in the city of Tuscania- which when you visit there, you will find hard to believe. It is a very small city, very easy to walk everywhere (unless you have heels on- girls: do not pack heels!) The original cobblestones line each narrow road. we even passed by etruscan baths where ladies used to do their laundry (up until 30 years ago) outside in the fresh air. There was an earthquake, and much of Tuscania had to be rebuilt. This church’s ceiling collapsed and they never rebuilt it. It is a church with no roof, and it’s beautiful. Outdoor church with no roof Frescos in the outdoor church
More frescos outside Very colorful
I was able to sit in on a class taught by a well published illustrationist. She had 5 students total in her class and they were all amazingly talented! These students truly learn under masters of their fields.
In the end of the day, the newly acquired chef for Lorenzo de’Medici Tuscania cooked us a wonderful meal which we finished with his secret recepie cookies. I truly thought I was full after the meal and all the wine that accompanied it, but I probably ate about 10 of these cookies. They are to die for- and luckily coming home with me in my suitcase!
Long story even longer, I truly fell in love with the city of Tuscania. I will come back, and soon if at all possible. I want to study the Italian language at Lorenzo de’Medici, live in the city where the elderly gentlemen slowly walk, strategically placing their canes along the cobblestone roads, and study the culture and language under the master’s employed by LdM. I would love to take advantage of the archaeology workshop in the summer where they do digs of etruscan ruins, too! Someday, I will, and I will love every minute of life in Tuscania!