Back in May, I went on an eleven day trip across Italy with my Music and Italian Cinema course. At the end of our first week, we packed our suitcases and took the train to Florence, where we hopped on a van that took us to . I had never even heard of Siena before this trip, so when we pulled up to this tiny city tucked away in the Tuscan countryside amidst rolling hills of family vineyards, I had no expectations. Siena’s population is around 60,000. Most of its residents live in the City Centre which is quite literally a scene from a James Bond film. When we arrived at the hotel and dropped off our stuff, my mom and I were super hungry and had a few hours of free time before our tour. Siena is home to some of the tiniest shops and restaurants, there was food in every nook and cranny.
My goal was to try pizza in every city on our trip, so we found a two table pizza shop called Chianti and Pizza. The slices were HUGE. So huge that my mom and I shared a piece, and it was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had with real cheese, sauce, and dough, none of that processed stuff. I even had a Coca Cola made with real sugar and could taste a difference between that and U.S. made soda. Anyway, the Chianti and Pizza has been owned by a guy and his wife for years. He hand makes the pizzas and she rings up their customers. We told him where we’re from and he told us that he makes music (we figured since he sang old Italian songs while he tossed the dough). After some small talk, he said, “I’m going to sing for you,” so he grabbed his acoustic guitar, sat on a stool, and belted Italian tunes while we ate our pizza. It was the first time on the trip that I felt like I had the real Italian experience. We were so impressed with the shop and its owners that we bought a bottle of their house wine which came with the owner’s CD. We played it when we got back to Tulsa and to our surprise, it turned out to be an Italian rap mixtape. Che divertimento!