To The Beach, and Back
It’s a sunny Wednesday morning here and our Ohio State students along with one student from Geneseo and another from The U. of Gerogia arrived yesterday. As for everyone else they are still looking well-rested and tanned after this weekend’s trip to the coast. Our trip started with a tour of ancient mines originally excavated by the Etruscans (the pre-Roman civilization here in the Tuscan region) and used all the way through the 1960’s. Our guide explained that the area just inland from today’s popular beach town of Follonica is very rich with mineral deposits that are coveted for their metal-making qualities. While in the mines, we also had a close encounter with a bat! Luckily the bat wanted less to do with us that we wanted with it, and after buzzing the group from above, the animal quickly retreated.
After the mines, we headed to the beach for our first installment of relaxation at Torre Mozza. It should be noted that our volleyball skills as a group need some serious coaching.
We stayed the night in the town of Massa Marittima, a Sienese stronghold during medieval times and a place of refuge for Sienese nobility during attacks from Florence. Nowadays, with city-state wars a part of history, it’s a quiet, little town on the top a hill about 30 km. inland from Follonica and the coast. We ate some local cuisine including a spectacular meat dish of wild boar, a local tradition. As soon as we were done eating many of the students ran as quickly as they could to the closest television to watch the USA play England in the World Cup. The 1-1 tie was accepted with a sigh of relief as the mighty England had many worried. Saturday’s match was just a pre-curser Monday’s Italy-Paraguay game. It’s safe to say that at 8:30 PM Siena time, everyone (students, host families, staff, etc…) here at SIS was rooting for the home team and after another 1-1 tie we’re eager for more action.