I don’t have pictures from either of these, so I’ll just run through them.

On our first night in Florence, I was up in the hotel bar when Dwight came by and said he was meeting his friend from home at a club. I asked him which club. “Mara…cana?” I absolutely FREAKED out when he said that, realized that it was Wednesday, the night that we always went, and I knew right then and there that I HAD TO GO BACK!

I changed quickly and met the group downstairs — Dwight, Joe Duffy, Alison Rivers, Liz Chatel, Cameron, and I BELIEVE that’s it…. Since our hotel was right in front of the train station, it was a quick walk — and I showed them Lorenzo de’Medici, Fairfield’s tiny Florence campus.

Going in, it was UNREAL — it felt so AMAZING to be back! It was still a free cover, but drinks were 5 Euro instead of 3 — but they were normal-sized drinks, not the dinky ones from before. The men were as sketchy as ever — one of them actually pulled me by my HAIR at one point!! Joe had to be my pretend boyfriend a few times to scare them off. Heh. But the best thing was the MUSIC — it was exactly the same as a year and a half ago. I had the most fantastic time, drank my usual red bull and vodkas, which I always drank at Maracana, and we stayed on the dance floor for hours — until 3:30 or so. (I’ve closed down Maracana as well as Dolce Zucchero in the past, and they go until about 4:30.)

Between the city, the dancing and the alcohol, I felt high. That’s how it felt.

In Rome, we went out to a place called Dar Poeta for dinner. The group was me, Kelly, Dwight and Juice. The place was listed in Let’s Go as a place where you wouldn’t find any other Americans, and you know how I believe in Let’s Go!

It was a tiny place in Trastevere, a very authentically Roman neighborhood that I wish I had more time to explore. The place was tiny and the moment we walked in, I knew it would be great because nobody even tried to speak English to us!! It was WONDERFUL!

We started out with the famous bruschetta, and got a huge platter of twelve slabs of bread, each covered with something different: olive paste, tuna and tomatoes, zucchini paste, this amazing cheese and corn, and so many more kinds that I can’t remember. Then we got pizza, since that’s the only thing on the menu. Mine had so many things I can’t remember, but the sausage I’ll never forget — that was the best damn sausage I have ever had in my life. Forget Santarpio’s, the awesome place in East Boston with their famous sausage pizza — nothing can beat Dar Poeta!

But more than the food, it was the overall experience. Everyone was young, yelling and laughing. One guy bumped into my chair and threw a “Scusa” over his shoulder — that’s such a small thing, but I loved it! And at one point two guys with a bass and an accordian came in and played music — it was so great. Such an authentically Italian atmosphere!