On Coffee:

It’s no secret that Italians LOVE coffee. I have been offered coffee morning, noon, and night. One sip in, and it’s not hard to understand why.
I often drink coffee for a daily dose of caffeine. Until Italians showed me the light, drinking coffee was a chore. Here in Ascoli, I am more than happy to order an afternoon or post-dinner espresso.
Today’s adventure was brewing my own cup of joe. Since my wallet is not deep enough to go out every morning, I must settle for coffee at home. This challenge extends beyond purely Italian culture because I have never made coffee in America either. Yikes! This morning, Hannah and I set off to learn the secrets of their coffee pots and uncover their delicious methods. Here’s what we found.
**In Italy, a caffé (coffee) refers to espresso, the main drink. To order a regular coffee, it would be called caffé americano.

Step #1: Fill the bottom of the pot with water.

Coffee!

Coffee!

Step #2: Fill the tray with coffee grounds.

(The water is beneath the coffee tray)

(The water is beneath the coffee tray)

Step #3: Screw top half back on & put over low heat. (It is important the flames don’t go up the side of the pot.)

6

Step #4: Wait. It will bubble up and fill the top with delicious coffee.

7

Although I will certainly be stopping at the café for a professional brew, at least I have the skills I need to make my own Italian coffee!

Melanie, Ascoli Piceno Summer 2014

"The number of courses in Italy surprised us: antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno, dolce. I had always thought Europeans had smaller portions, but maybe we were just understanding it all wrong. The four of us all opted for pasta dishes–deftly avoiding the squid ink fettuccine"
- Hannah, Ascoli EcoG Summer 2014

"The number of courses in Italy surprised us: antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno, dolce. I had always thought Europeans had smaller portions, but maybe we were just understanding it all wrong. The four of us all opted for pasta dishes–deftly avoiding the squid ink fettuccine"

- Hannah, Ascoli EcoG Summer 2014

Took three planes in the span of 12 or so hours. Lived in Europe. Ate fish…let’s not talk about that. Ate ham straight off the leg. Fell in love with a dog that’s not my own (sorry Poco). Ate authentic gelato. Ate tapas. God I love tapas. Visited an olive oil mill. Ate new vegetables (cauliflower, lentils, chickpeas, etc.). Had authentic Spanish churros. I should probably start focusing more on other things besides food…Visited a bullfighting ring. Got called boring for wanting to go home at 2 in the morning. Enrolled in a new school. Made new friends. And so much more. And there is so much more to come.

When listing off all that she did in her first week in Spain..

Shouse, Granada Spring 2014

Here are my Top [9] things..

that I will miss about Spain (other than my family of course):

1) The Slow way of eating. I can go to a coffee shop and sit for nearly 4 hours without getting kicked out and with only having ordered one coffee that cost a euro. Meals take longer too and are much more of a time to reconnect than just to eat.

2) Siesta. This is needed. To be able to rest after lunch and just relax is something  never did. Here I have learned that for my sanity, stress level and to just enjoy life a little more, La Siesta is the best invention ever.

3) The Nature. There is a way to go hiking or get out in nature so close to very city. To put it lightly there is one hiking trail that literally brings you back into the city. I don’t think you can see anything so beautiful so close to Boston or New York. Everyday I walk to school and see the Sierra Nevadas, almost every day we go to a park ( which there are many) and lie in the grass. There is so many ways to connect to nature in such a bustling place. 

4) Plazas. There a so many plazas filled with shops where all you do is sit and have a coffee or walk around and meet up with friends. Maybe it’s more than the plazas I will miss, maybe it’s more like the atmosphere that surrounds them. Everyone is outside, everyone is enjoying themselves, every one is simply living life. The Spaniards make time to do that; enjoy life. In america we are so set on goals and objectives, if e all just chilled out a bit it would be such a better place. 

5) Walking everywhere. I love being outside. I love that Granada is so walkabe. It’s small enough you can walk the entire distance of the city. You always find something new when you walk and everyone is so friendly that you always catch a smile from someone, or see friends catching up or an adorable little baby learning to walk. there’s always something beautiful. I have come to love the time I have to just relax and be by myself as I walk around Granada and just take in everything!

6) The food, but most importantly the coffee! It’s so strong, so delicious and nothing like American coffee. 

7) La rebajas. Every store for three months twice a year goes on sale…everything is on sale. Enough said.

8) Talking in Spanish… I like it and i’m not 100% fluent yet.

9) The accessibility of traveling. It’s so cheap and Europe is so easy to travel through.

Kimberly, Granada Spring 2013

Speaking of splashes of color, blue skies made a rare and much appreciated appearance just in time for our walking tour, offering a refreshing new view of a city that had thus far been draped in a different kind of blue

Anon, Budapest Spring 2013

Each experience I had was for a reason and I genuinely believe that. I learned more from my mistakes than I did from having everything go exactly as planned. Sometimes you need to get lost to find what you’re really looking for
Ashley, London Spring 2014