When the plane takes of it is still dark outside. Belgium is sleeping, while I take my run to Pisa. Ones above the clouds everything has turned to black. Than the sky awakens. I have never seen a daybreak as magic as from the air. The clouds below seem to be a floor of marble, or an endless lake of salt. Suddenly rays of coloured light show the blue of the air.
Because of the clouds we aren’t able to land in Pisa, so finally we touch ground in Genova (to me best known from pesto a la Genovese, which is delicious). A shuttle bus drives us to our final destination. The trip lasts for two hours, but when we arrive the air has cleared up and sunshine warms up the Italian grounds.
I meet my friends and their fellow students and together we visit a palio in the late afternoon. This is a kind of popular festival only held in Italy (maybe even only in Toscana). Different quarters of a town than 'battle' against each other in horseracing, but here in the little Bettolle they make it a donkey race. Of course, donkey's aren't that fast and willing to be in the game, and so they often refuse to run or just go the wrong way. That made the event really funny to watch. On the tribune, every part of town has it place. They chant there own taglines and are dressed in there own colours. They all have flags as well. Represents of each 'Contrada' march in a sort of procession, all dressed up in traditional outfits, and hit the drums. We were the only foreigners at this festival, but never the less we enjoyed it big time. We chose a contrada to vote for and tried to shout as loud as the Italians did. Unfortunately, our team wasn't the winner...
At night we were invited at the 'victory feast' of the winning contrada, where we ate typical Italian sweets and drunk their marvellous wine.
The next day I stayed in Bettolle to learn more about the internship my friends were doing, and to discover the city. We took a walk through the fields and had some chats in the beautiful garden. Olive trees and little blue flowers all around.