What I did and saw:
ACLE City Camp-
I taught week-long (M-F) camp in Volterra. It was my first camp with ACLE, but after teaching in the US, teaching English abroad, and participating in the ACLE orientation the previous week I felt well prepared. I worked mostly with 2nd grade students, and it was a lot of fun to see their progress in just one week.
A.D. 1398 Medieval Festival-
Every year in August Volterra has a festival set in the Middle Ages. Most of the town dresses up in traditional outfits, and there are many activities available to try that were common in the 1300's. There are even bands using traditional instruments, and a parade of marching bands.
Enrico Fiumi Park-
Volterra has a nice park where many of the Medieval Festival events were taking place. Just outside the park is a Medicean Fortress and old city walls.
Medieval Buildings and great views-
Volterra is full of ancient architecture. I got to see the Roman Theater, as well as some of the old churches and baptistries in the city. There are also some amazing sunsets over the varied terrain.
Where I ate and drank:
Host family and City Camp-
I stayed with an incredibly kind family during my week in Volterra. They served me some excellent, local food for dinner. They also made a nice lunch for me to take with me to the camp each day. Additionally, I also had an excellent meal at the house of one of the other host families.
One night during the week the camp staff went out to dinner at L'Otto Pizzorante. The pizza was great, and the conversation was very fun.
When I first arrived in Volterra with the other teachers, we went to Bar Priori with the camp director in the beautiful Piazza dei Priori. Here we had a snack and a short orientation, then our host families came to pick us up.
L'isola Del Gusto Gelateria-
L'isola Del Gusto is an excellent, award winning gelateria. It is a very small place with no real sitting area, but the gelato is very tasty.
Where I stayed:
As mentioned above, I stayed with a local host family during my time in Volterra. They were incredibly nice, and I spent much of my time playing basketball, soccer, video games, and nerf gun wars with the kids there.
How I got around:
I arrived in Volterra by bus, and was given rides by my host family to and from their house. While inside the city I walked to get around and took in some of the old architecture.
My favorite thing:
There were many things to like about Volterra. The food I ate was amazing and the camp was a fun experience. My favorite things were the amazing views of the surrounding area, the medieval festival, and the kindness of my host family.
My least favorite thing:
My least favorite thing about Volterra was the bus ride there. I can tend to get carsick, and the roads up the mountanside wind quite a bit.
For next time:
Next time in Volterra it would be interesting to learn more about the history of the town and explore some of the town's museums.
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