Music and Dinner at the Fortezza

The past two nights I was at the Fortezza again! On Tuesday, for a concert and Wedsnesday to dine at the Enoteca Italiana!

It was definitely an experience for me attending the free concert by the Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club. Since I’m not familiar with them, I found out that they are in fact a worldwide phenomenon. Many of my European friends have heard of them and very excited in the evening. While the band members are well on in their years, the crowd had everyone from children, the students of UNISTRASI (and a lot of us were in attendance!) to adults/older people. The show started later than expected but people were up and dancing when they finally started playing! I watched as people salsa’d and twirled and everyone was in a good mood when the show ended around midnight. I also had the pleasure of taking the “sightseeing bus” back with my friends. It’s the special 77 bus which goes in twists and turns around Siena and taking [over?] half an hour to get to the dorms instead of the usual 15 minutes.

Then last night, I had a great time meeting and dining with Vincenzo, his wife Susy, and Amy! Vincenzo Marra, who is the founder of ILICA (Italian Language Intercultural Alliance), played a large role in giving the Siena scholarship to AsianinNY and why I’m able to study here! Amy and I were picked up by taxi and then we all had apertifs at Piazza del Campo before going to the amazing Enoteca Italiana at the Fortezza. Vincenzo and Susy were very welcoming and friendly. We talked about my time in Siena and my travels around Europe. They also shared their experiences on their trip to China, and their views about the necessity in inter-cultural acceptance and the need  for a strong relationship between Italy and China. I enjoyed the conversation and company and the food… was stunning! Amy and I were in the mood for seafood and everything we ate was so fresh and succulent. I loved the mussels and prawns that I ate in my dishes. Also the apple pie with ice cream desert was just FANTASTIC! (I’m already craving it again.) Not only that, I had the special opportunity to meet chef Alberto Degortes, who made my fabulous meal. He was very kind and cool. We also received complimentary “passito” dessert wine that was so fragrant and smelled and tasted like very sweet grapes!

At the end of the night, Amy and I were taken back by taxi and I couldn’t help but think back to the the dinner. I was reminded again that at the end of this trip, I will be giving the opening speech at the ILICA convention in September—and doing it in Italian! It makes me anxious and excited just to think that it will be recorded and broadcasted on television. Now I’m going to focus even harder on excelling in my Italian class and using Italian outside of the classroom!


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