St. Michael’s Abbey and Eataly

I feel like I can’t stay focused on one thing right now. I’m jumping from sending emails to changing the music I’m listening to to blogging to just thinking about life. So much going on! But while it’s oddly overwhelming, it isn’t bad. I’ll be glad when I have it all sorted out.

Today we visited St. Michael’s Abbey, which is waaaay up on a hill looking over Piedmont. Our program director Alyssa said that it was a prime lookout location during many wars (including World War II) for this reason. The abbey itself was built around 1000 AD and has been added onto ever since. It gives its visitors a gorgeous view of everything surrounding it, from the local city of Avigliana to a tiny corner of France. The building itself was awesome too, because it’s made out of stones and just feels old, yet not run down. I’m putting some pictures below so you can see how pretty it was:

Looking up at the Abbey

View from the top of the Abbey

Some of the walls on the inside of St. Michael’s Abbey

I really liked visiting the church of the abbey. There was chanting going on inside, most likely a recording, but it was still nice. I’ve really taken to the churches here. Religion is much more prevalent in Europe, it seems – maybe just because it’s been here for so long that it’s really become ingrained in the people, the places, the way of life. I’ve been to four or five churches over the past week and each time I’m struck with a sense of wonder that I don’t really get from churches back home. I feel like I actually fit in these over-the-top, super-ornate buildings. I can sink into the pew and just enjoy the beauty and wonder of it all.

My mom taught me when I was little to say a three Hail Mary’s and an Our Father whenever I enter a church that I’d never been to before, followed by a special prayer, a wish of sorts, that I want God to hear. I’ve been doing that here, and it’s been wonderful. I always find something new to pray for. And going into all these churches makes me want to go back. It makes me want to start going regularly at home. So I think I’m going to. I know I’ve said this before, but I want to make a conscious effort when I’m at home and when I go back to school to go to church every week. I’m kind of excited about it, actually. I miss church, and I think going will be good for me.

After getting back from the Abbey, my friends and I parted ways for a few hours to get ready for dinner. Then we went to Eataly, which is the Whole Foods of Italy, complete with multiple restaurants inside the store. I got a margherita pizza, which ended up being delicious! I actually ate the whole thing 🙂 We also got gelato afterwards, and I had a Smarties-flavored scoop. It was pretty tasty. Now I’m at home, doing a thousand things at once (not one of which is working on my Cuisine final… oh well, I’ve got a few days to do that, I’m not worried!). I’m off to bed, to wake up and go to Milan in the morning. Quite the life here in Italy 🙂


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