Top 3 Ways To Succeed in the Baking & Pastry Program by student Ashlee Snodgrass

Top 3 Ways To Succeed in the Baking & Pastry Program by student Ashlee Snodgrass

The fall quarter just started and new and continuing students are working hard on campus every day to complete their programs and take steps toward their dream careers! Baking and Pastry student, Ashlee Snodgrass, is a student ambassador and presidential scholar. After graduation next spring, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business and work in a bakery. Her ultimate dream is to own her own bakery. “I think Kendall is such a great school that prepares students to be knowledgeable, organized, s... read more

Kendall College goes to Italy: The Final Chapter

Kendall College, October 1st, 2014 | Category: Around Town, Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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This post is authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines   

We awoke today, excited to explore the ancient city of Rome. This is what a lot of us had been waiting for. We went straight to the Colosseum, where a guided tour, surrounded by gypsies, was awaiting to take us around the Colosseum and the ruins up to the Vatican.

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Some of us wanted a more intimate experience to truly be apart of each of the monuments and so we went off to travel back in time into the ancient ruins and the Colosseum. The Colosseum, also known as the Amphitheatrum Flavium, is located in the center of the city of Rome and was commissioned in 72 AD by Emperor Vespasian. It was completed by his son, Titus, and then altered improved by Domitian. The Colosseum has 80 arched entrances, which use to hold statutes in the entry ways. The entrances allowed spectators to freely enter and each spectator was seated according to rank. The Colosseum was built of concrete and stone and is known to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It is/was the largest amphitheater in the world and can hold between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on classical mythology. Sounds like a great time…

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The Roman Forum, also known as the Ancient Ruins, is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city in Rome. It is located directly next to the Colosseum. It was also the center of Roman public life, where triumphal processions, elections, public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches took place. What is left of this social place is only a clutter of architectural fragments, but being apart of that was surreal. Reading history from a book is one thing, but truly being apart of it is another experience in its own.
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We made our way around the city to then find the Piazza di Spagne (the Spanish Steps), the Piazza di Popolo, the Pantheon, the Vatican, and more. We walked around the shops, had lunch in the city, and then, eventually we all found each other and had dinner as a group. It was a bittersweet experience, because as some of us were excited to go home the next day, we also did not want to live this vibrant, beautiful city. We spent 14 hours walking amongst the city, which will absolutely prepare us for standing on our feet all day in the quarter to come. That, my friends, will be a breeze. Now, I see why Italians must consume carbs.

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The Piazza di Spagne is one of the most famous squares of Rome because the 135-step staircase was inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII during the 1725 Jubilee and it was released in order to connect the Bourbon Spanish embassy to the Church of Trinita dei Monti. The Pantheon is a building in Rome that was commissioned by Marcvus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns under a pediment. It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings. The Piazza del Popolo, which means “People’s Square,” is a large urban square in Rome, and it derives from the poplars after which the church of Santa Maria del Popolo. This was the last stop, where we had macarons and moscato, before getting back on the bus to go back to our hotel for the last time of the trip. It was such a magical experience, but just like Rome was not built in a day, it is hard to see it in a day as well.

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It is in my opinion that in order to grow as a person in life, one must travel. We must spread our wings to the other side of the world and learn about different cultures, different foods, different heritages, and different beliefs. We must connect with other people, even if we do not speak their language. Food has become a universal language. Any person from any country or continent can understand food. This is a language that can the bring the world together as one. In order to peak as a person, mentally, intellectually, and emotionally this experience has to happen. I truly believe that, even though it has only been ten days, we have all grown as individuals. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our trip. Thank you to Aurore and Adriano who came with us throughout the entire journey and finished with us in Rome to dropping us at the airport for our final departure.

My name is Kim Haines and I have been the voice of this voyage. I hope that you have been able to live vicariously through my stories and photography and somewhat share the greatness of this journey with your loved ones that you could not be with.

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Thank you to Kendall College and Dean Zonka for nominating me to write this blog, I am truly honored. Thank you to Dean Zonka and Chef Altieri for accompanying us all on this wild ride, and for watching over us as our guardian angels. As for those of you that were along for the ride, I hope you will use this as a tool to remember the truly amazing time that we all shared together. Buonasera Italia and y Grazie!

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Please follow my blog via my website www.cookingbykim.com as I share my own personal Italian experience and more.
Arrivederci Italia!
Ciao!
Kim and the students of Kendall

#KendallItaliana

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 8

Kendall College, September 30th, 2014 | Category: Around Town, Faculty, Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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This post is authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines  

Last night we roamed around the city of Firenze (Florence). We crossed the river, into the center of the town where the city comes alive at night. Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Ferragamo, Oh my! An Italian Harpo Marx performed in the streets. Were we about to get pick pocketed at this distraction? If not for nothing, we were all incredibly prepared when it came to the gypsies of Italy. The gypsies come from Romania and Serbia, and are highly trained and skilled to target tourists and completely remove valuable belongings without you even knowing it. Luckily, this did not happen to anyone on the trip.
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We started off today with a bang as we had a tour of Florence that began at 9:00am! This was exciting for some of us that value our sleep and were able to sleep in a few extra hours…or at least tried. The cappuccino in Florence was pretty strong. Note for next time: do not consume 2 cups or more of cappuccino before bed.
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“Guys!” said Eitan, “this is your tour guide.” A snazzy German fellow in a panama hat would show us around this luxurious city for the next three hours.
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Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and it is of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany and holds within 370,000 inhabitants. Florence is famous for its history. It is the center of medieval European trade and is considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance. In addition, Florence is also the center of finance. Because of this, it is one of the wealthiest cities of its time.

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The city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti. It still employs an influence in the fields of art, culture, and politics. It is also an important city in Italian fashion, perhaps this is why I loved it so much.

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We said our goodbyes to Eitan and Clarice and now it was off to Rome for a six hour bus ride. But with the way Marco drove, we ended up shaving off two hours of that long journey. Thank you Eitan and Clarice for all of you knowledge and leadership along the way. We can truly call you our friends. Thank you for protecting us and watching over us throughout the entirety of our European vacation. We truly love you.

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All roads lead to Rome! We picked up Aurore and Adriano along the way. The roads in Rome are narrow and virtually impossible for a large car to drive through, let alone a bus, so you can imagine the despair when Marco tried to attempt this. We became stuck on a road that was surrounded by cars on each side of the street. I looked outside of the bus and there were many Italian men swinging their fingers at Marco, telling him to stop and that he could not go through. What do we do now? What I am about to tell you will blow your mind. After arguing for a good ten minutes in italian and a few bathroom breaks later, the whole town literally moved mountains for us. You know those Italian movies where everyone in the village comes together to help someone? Well, these situations truly exist. The Italian men of this town were literally picking up fiats and other cars and moving them out of the way so Marco could get the bus through the streets. I have never seen anything like this.
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We arrived to Hotel Kaire in Rome, which turned out to be a compound. They assigned us to our dorm rooms and off we were to bed to later wake up to our last day in Italy. Roma, here we come!

Wishyouwerehere (5)
Ciao,
Wish you were here!
#KendallItaliana

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 7

Kendall College, September 29th, 2014 | Category: Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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This post is authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines 

We departed for Modena early this morning to go to the Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano around 5:30 am (ish). Parmigiano Reggiano is a major product in the Italian cuisine. We arrived early, of course, as Marco is the Superman of all bus drivers. We waited in anticipation to learn the secret steps of making this well-known cheese. The tour began with a costume change. Please, put on this coat and booties! The Italian woman looked at me and said, “Is this fashionable enough for you?” Si?

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We then moved into the corridor in which we were shown the production of cheese. Such a production took place behind a glass-plated windows. Even though we were completely covered, from head to toe) for an apocalypse, we were only allowed to watch in another room. This was to prevent biological cross contamination. And, who was the master in charger, making the cheese, behind the glass window? Hold onto your hats, ladies gentlemen, here comes the Italian George Clooney of cheese-making chefs. Holy Cow!

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This factory produces 104 wheels of cheese everyday. The cows produce less milk in the summer, because the cooler weather is best. The cows produce about 2,200 liters of milk. In order to produce Parmigiano Reggiano, the process is as follows: warm the milk, break the milk, and create the curd and whey. This is all produced in copper cauldrons within linen cloths.

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It takes 12 months of a quite nourishing production. Three months less, (nine months), would be the equivalent in producing a baby. This creates an incredible analogy for the Italians, because the cheese is their baby. Bambino! Looking through these large glass windows, essentially, gave us the feeling of being in a hospital. Imagine looking in for the first time at your newborn baby, but there is a wheel of cheese instead of a human. Sounds crazy? Well, most people might prefer a large wheel of cheese over a screaming baby.

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Inside of the factory held a room that was filled with a ton of good-looking Italians fellas separating the curd and whey. I will take the front row please. It was hard to focus and pay attention on the tour after George Clooney came out of the wood-works. This factory was truly the spa of cheese, as the wheels are cooled in baths and then humidified in saunas.

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The factory had suffered from a huge earthquake a few years back, causing a millions worth of damage. Therefore, there are pictures displayed around the building with the damaged shelves of cheese. They were able to repair the factory and it is now up and running, better than ever.
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You cannot have cheese without balsamic vinegar, so we made our way to the Borgo del Balsamico to learn the secrets of the preparation of balsamic vinegar followed by a sweet and savory tasting.

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Each bottle of vinegar ranged from 50 euros to 200 euros. Mamma mia! You better be prepared to use each droplet carefully and thoughtfully. Perhaps, back to back dinner parties may be a solution to this pricey purchase.

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The Borgo del Balsamico was located in a beautiful Tuscan house that was gated in a rural community. The house sat on a garden of flowers, shrubs, palm trees, pups, and chickens. The family named their dog after Jacky O’Nassis. Jacky meet Jacky. I guess that it is a good thing that they somewhat support the American government. Viva l’America!

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The vinegar is produced in the attic of the house in century old barrels that were passed down from the owner’s father. Each barrel has a different story to discover.
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We were then served the trinity of balsamic food combinations. First this incredibly fresh ricotta came out and it was served with the gold balsamic vinegar. Next, they served pancetta on bread with the silver balsamic vinegar. And, lastly they served fresh vanilla ice cream with the orange label vinegar. Delicioso.
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After the tasting, we headed back onto the bus to make our way back to the city of Florence. We were all pretty excited, as this was our very first free day to roam the city streets in search of freedom, Italian entertainment, and plenty of gelato. Oh, and did I mention shopping?

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Buonasera Chicago!
Wish you were here,
Ciao
#KendallItaliana

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 6

Kendall College, September 26th, 2014 | Category: Inside Kendall, International, Student, Uncategorized | Permalink | Email this
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This post is authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines

Today we set off for Greve in Chianti, Tuscany to visit a butcher, Dario Cecchini, and his Chianina cattle ranch. Dario Cecchini is known as the “poet-butcher,” and lives by the Whole Cow philosophy. This philosophy represents an important link the in delicate food chain. One kills for food and therefore you must guarantee the animal a good life, one filled with compassion and high quality. The death of the animal must be compassionate as well. He lives by the “no waste” policy. Every part of the cow must be used! Our bus arrived to this small town and were loudly greeted by Niccolo in his apron. “He has a big spirit; a large presence” as my friend Wing would say. Niccolo was the assistant to the butcher. He was full of life.
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The visit to the butcher was an experience I have never experienced before nor will I experience again. Imagine you go to your local butcher and he is dressed in red pants, red crocs, blowing a medieval trumpet horn, cutting porchetta, while ACDC’s Thunderstuck was blasting on a level 10 in the background. Your head rattles a little when you enter the building. Where am I? This was basically Chef Altieri’s heaven. They offered wine a total of five times within two minutes throughout this experience. I do not drink so much wine anymore, but maybe I should start. This was one of those experiences that you truly had to see to believe.

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After processing what we just had seen, we sat down to lunch and were served an assortment of homemade sauces with bread. Here you have the trinity affect again. What sauce is this, Niccolo? “It is sweet and hot, just like love.” Benne! For lunch they served hamburgers and potato wedges with fresh herbs for us meat eaters. I suppose they like their meat very very rare. “The Americanos like their meat more well done,” said Niccolo.
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This was heaven for us carnivores, but not so much for some of us vegan/vegetarians.

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Dario the butcher explained his philosophy behind raising the cattle. When I took the Storeroom and Operations class for the culinary program at Kendall, Chef Dewan showed the class this traumatizing video on the poor treatment of farm-raised animals used for the production of meats. This is not what they do here, this is not their mission. In fact, it is quite the opposite. They love and respect their animals. They offer them a beautiful life of freedom, because the maltreatment of the cows will lead to bad quality and pain. Upon consumption, we will take on the pain that is in the meat. When the cow is happy, the meat is of better quality and then we become happy after consumption. This mission works with me, this is the way to go.

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The cows have a lovely life. They have the option of roaming inside or outside. They are not confined to small spaces, but they are able to roam among the grass and graze when they desire. Life is a choice for these cows. Luigi, the bull, is the man of the house to the 23 lady cows. Speed dating at its finest, ladies and gentlemen. A little baby calf, nameless, runs around drinking the milk from it’s mother. The cow’s milk is not generally used. In previous times, it was used for human babies, but not so much for adults.

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Next, we visited the Castello di Verrazzano winery. There are seven vineyards to be harvested in the end of September beginning of October in the fall to be harvested by hand; about 150 acres. Grapes ferment in stainless steel for three weeks. The wine is then aged in the cellular. The winery makes the wine with their own production, sweet white wine. There are 280,000 bottles produced a season.

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They took us on a tour, where we were able to walk the gardens of the villa, looking for tiny wild boars that resided over the hillside. You could not quite see them, but you could definitely hear them snorting. This was followed by a quick wine and balsamic vinegar tasting.

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Left with the taste of wine and vinegar in our mouths, we made our way to the beautiful city of Florence. This has been a intense trip going from one stop to another and the tiredness has started to set in for some more than others. “We can sleep when we’re dead,” was what we said the first day. Do we regret it now? But wait, guys, there’s more. Once we entered Florence we made one last stop to the center of the city. “Guys!” said Eitan. The site of the city reenergized our hearts, our minds, and our spirits. See for yourself.

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Pasta pomodoro and a glass of vino before bed. Tomorrow we will wake up at 5:00 am to explore parmigiano-reggiano and balsamic vinegar. Until then, Florence, ciao!
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Wish you were here,
Ciao
#Kendallitaliana

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Kendall College goes to Italy: Episode 5

Kendall College, September 25th, 2014 | Category: Inside Kendall, International, Student | Permalink | Email this
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Authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines

We made our way to Orvietto today to trail 248 steps down a well. Orvietto means “old town,” in Italiano. The stairs were wide and long as they were made accessible for donkeys to go up and down to carry buckets of water up the well.

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The well was dark and gritty, but there were windows inside, that would allow the light to shine through from the top. Looking down the well could possibly give you vertigo and if you have a fear of heights like myself, it could also give you a panic attack. Eventually, we made our way to the center of the bottom of the well. We stood on a small bridge that covered the little amount of water left on the bottom. The sun shining through the top of the well reflected off the euro coins in the water that were once used to make a wish. “You have to throw the coin over your head, behind you, to make a wish,” said Aurore. This is how they do it in Italy.

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We tediously climbed back up the 248 stairs, stopping for asthma breaks along the way. For standing on our feet all day in culinary school, you would think we would be more prepared and in shape for this. Well, we definitely were not. We finally made it back to the top where some of us felt like puking up a lung. We have definitely achieved much needed exercise over this trip, which makes us feel a little less guilty for consuming all of the carbohydrates thus far. Man down!

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We then walked down the tree lines streets to the center of the town. The old side walks were filled with fallen chestnuts and colorful leaves. When did the seasons change? Wasn’t it summer when we had arrived? It is said to be good luck to carry chestnuts in your pocket during the winter in Italy to avoid sickness and common colds.
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We stumbled upon this duomo (Cathedral) that was simply stunning. I could sit here and try to explain its beauty in detail, but there are no words. See for yourself!
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We were only allowed pictures of the outside of the church, but what I can you about the inside was that it was an out of body experience. This cathedral could fit ten thousand of your closest friends for a royal wedding. Ava Maria began to play and it really gave you the whole effect. It was an emotional experience. I was in complete awe. We made our way to lunch, where Marco joined us. The owners closed off the restaurant to the outside world and Nona (grandmother), husband and wife, cooked for us. If this is not an authentic Italian culinary experience, then I don’t know what is. The restaurant contained these underground catacombs.

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We were served a bread basket full of dough characters, and an antipasti dish full of breads and a saffron sauce. The second course had three small portions; pasta and mushrooms, pasta and tomato, and a ravioli stuffed with ricotta and squash. Three is the magical number in Italy as it represents the holy trinity. The dessert was the highlight of this meal as it contained four different small portions. Breads, creams, layers of mouse, and fresh fruits, such as figs, were responsible for this course. Grazie, Nona!

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We spent the rest of the day cancelling trips to vineyards to wonder the streets of the town, getting espresso, gelato, and more.

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For dinner, we traveled back in time to a medieval experience. It was not exactly the Medieval Times we are use to, but it is pretty close. It is the Italian way of medieval. We learned about herbs. Herbs were used as a medicinal product rather than a spice during that time. We were also introduced to the production of candles, since there was no electricity. Candles were made from bees wax, which only the rich would use. Did you know that the poor/peasant people could only afford candles made out of animal fat rather than the bees wax? Do you know what that smells like? Non va bene.
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The four-course dinner was served on a credenza. It was presented with a band, a presentation, a costume change, and dancing. Needles to say, we all very much enjoyed ourselves. Maybe a little too much…

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When you are put on a trip with people that you may not know, there is a chance that you may or may not get along. We are all from different walks of life, different cultures, and different beliefs. But at the end of the day, we are all brought together by a common denominator, and that is Italy. We all love to travel, we love food, and there has always been an interest in the great country of Italia. We are brought together by that idea alone. We must remind ourselves how lucky we are to be on this trip, because there are a lot of those who wished they could have accompanied us, but could not, for whatever reason.

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Tonight we said goodbye to Marilena and Giulia. They both have been with us since the beginning, especially Giulia, whom picked us up from the airport. Thank you for taking care of us and listening to our needs. You are some of the kindest and most welcoming people we have met. You are gracious and patient. Thank you for your knowledge, your heritage, and for sharing a little bit of your spirit with us. Ciao! Ti amo.

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“Time to go,” said Marco as the clock struck midnight. Our bus was beginning to turn into a pumpkin. This would be our last night in Perugia. Arrivederci, Perugia, thank you for sharing your magic with us. Until we meet again.

Wishyouwerehere (3)
Wish you were here,
Ciao,
#Kendallitaliana

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