A blog by Gregory Wittouck, doing his internship at the tour operator 'We Like Tuscany'
It’s me again! I hope you enjoyed my first blog post a few weeks ago and I thought that I should post an update. Now I am here in Florence for 10 weeks and meanwhile there has happened a lot.
Right after I had written my first blog post I participated a student organisation in Florence, called ISF, which means ‘International Students in Firenze’. This was probably one of the best things I have done here, because thanks to this organisation I did meet some people here. There are 4 student organisations in Florence and it is pretty important to participate with at least one of them. These organisations organize a lot of events which makes it easier to meet new people. I have also visited several cities with this organisation.
The first visit that I did with this organisation was a visit to San Gimignano, Volterra and Monteriggioni. The trip started at Santa Maria Novella train station where we took the bus to our first stop, namely San Gimignano. When I got off the bus I noticed that it was really warm outside. It was like one of the first days of the year that it really felt like summer for me, but we were only March.
When we entered the town, our guides gave us some explanation about the multiple towers in the town. Every rich family in the town had a tower and how bigger the tower was, the more power the family had. After the explanation we were wandering around looking to eat something for lunch. The pizza looked great but one of guides recommended us to eat a panino. I didn’t really like it and I regretted that I didn’t eat the pizza.
After lunch we got in the bus and drove to our next stop, namely Volterra. Volterra wasn’t really a nice town. It’s known for its rich history but there really is nothing to do or to see, so some other students and I decided to just sit down in a bar and drink a coffee. We didn’t really know each other so we started talking to get to know each other. It was really interesting because everyone had another nationality. There was someone from Nicaragua, England, France, Spain and Oman there and myself from Belgium.
After the coffee it was time to go to Monteriggioni. Once we arrived there it started raining a little bit so half of the participants stayed in the bus. I got out and visited the town. Well, there wasn’t a lot to visit, but it had a certain atmosphere that I really liked. Apart from that the views are amazing. We drunk a glass of local wine in the wine bar and enjoyed the last moments of the trip. Unfortunately the time had come to leave so we got in the bus and drove back to Florence. This was right away the end of the trip.
After this trip I participated in a few other events that ISF organized. Every Wednesday evening I join an aperitivo at the bar ‘Moyo’. An aperitivo is like eating at a bar as much as you want at a low price. Mostly it is somewhere between 7 and 10 euros. I really like this event because it is a nice bar to sit with friends and they forecast soccer matches from the European Champions League. A downside is that the it is a really expensive bar if you are not a member of ISF. For those who like sports, like myself, ISF organises a soccer match every Thursday evening.
The tour operator where I work, called 'We Like Tuscany', also offers a tour to San Gimignano and Monteriggioni. This is the Vernaccia wine tour. San Gimignano is known for the Vernaccia wine because the grapes that they use for the white wine grow around the village San Gimignano. I haven’t attended this tour yet, but I think it is a really interesting tour. On this tour you visit San Gimignano, have a multi-course Tuscan lunch and learn about winemaking techniques. Of course is there also a tasting of the local organic wines included.
This is the end of my second blog post. I hope that you enjoyed and I will get back to you with another update as soon as possible!
Intern at the tour operator ‘We Like Tuscany’
Via Romana 41/43 RED Florence