We’re All Mad Here

Waking up, once again, to a cold room, I finished packing and went down for breakfast. Not too hungry, I had a yogurt, juice, and a cappuccino.

Gubbio has to be one of my favorite stops. We started with cappuccinos, (yes, another one) in a little hole in the wall place. It was a great cup of coffee and it only cost €1,5.

That jump-started everyone to begin the tour of the city.  I loved listening to the stories our tour guide told with each stop we made.

Fun fact: Older crucifixes show Christ with his feet apart (2 nails) on the cross. This was because when the crosses were discovered, there were four nails: two for the hands and two for the feet. At some point in time, one of the nails was destroyed. In order to have the three make sense, they put one foot over the other; now it is 3 nails instead of 4.

Another fun fact: See this picture:


See how there is a big door and a small door (It’s a window now.). In the middle ages when they were built, the small door was the door for the dead. The doors were opened only when taking out a corpse. By closing it, it signified that no unwanted visitors would enter the home, including spirits.

We visited the “Fountain of the mad people” as well. “Mad” in terms of thinking freely. People in Gubbio consider “mad” a compliment, a good thing. It’s a sign of being different. In the city, you can get “certified” as a mad person. If you walk around the fountain 3 times, splashing yourself with water, you are officially considered “mad.” The square where it is located is a place where people would come together and talk about everything, be mad together.

Before going to the shops, we stopped at a Pizzeria. Everything about that place, other than the man, was so charming. The food was wonderful. As I did my presentation on the food and wine, I learned about the region’s truffles. So of course when I saw the mozzarella truffle pizza, I ordered it. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so incredibly delicious.  A few people ordered dessert, and Julia and I had espressos. When the coffee was gone, the grinds in the bottom reminded us of Harry Potter and the tea reading, and, at the same time, Julia and I said that it looked like “The Grim!” I’m happy to know that Harry Potter is a well-known and cherished thing with the people I hang with.

At some point during lunch, someone mentioned how it felt like we were surrounded by mountains, and it was. It felt like the earth—the trees, the mountains, nature—was giving us a hug. Compared to many places we’ve seen both in Switzerland and Italy, this place was cozy.

After lunch, nearly all the shops were closed until 2:30 (afternoon break—a very common thing in Europe and around the world) so we walked down to the main square and chatted. We stopped in a shop (I won’t say where) because I wanted to pick up a present for my brother for Christmas. I found something, and am really happy about it. (I’ll reveal the place and the present after he receives it.) A couple of other people bought calligraphy pens, which were really cool. Makoto and I spotted a set for writing music. It had a tip for writing the bar lines and a few other tips for the notes. It was one of the most interesting things I’ve seen in a while.

That night, we went to Todi, probably my new favorite place to be. It’s a cute little town. We stayed at an old monastery. Katie, Lexie, and I had a huge room with 6 beds plus the room next to ours was connected and opened, containing another 6 beds.

We went out for dinner as a whole group at “Panne e Vino.” The food was good, but the conversation is the thing I will remember. Beginning fun, ending personal, the four of us, Katie, Tyler, Makoto, and me, were nearly the last ones to leave—the last being Professor Lazzari’s table. The only reason we left then was because it was too warm in the restaurant.


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