Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center


Tastes of Toscana: A Breath of Fresh Air Embodied in a Weekend

Written by student, Baylee Corona.

From the delectable food and wine to the breathtaking sights of Tuscany, this incredible trip exceeded my expectations. The villa we stayed at was absolutely gorgeous, with picturesque views and the most hospitable hosts who blessed us with the luxurious amenities and extraordinary meals, from eggplant parmesan and pork gnocchi to the most delicious tiramisu I’ve ever had.

Speaking of food, one of my favorite parts of the whole trip were the wine and prosciutto tastings. We paired nine different wines and three types of olive oil and balsamic vinegars (one of which was aged for 30 years) with delicious foods like prosciutto, salami, pecorino cheese, and one of the best lasagnas I’ve ever had (I am SO making it when I get home… I hear the recipe is online). We were also given a tour of a local prosciutto farm, where we learned how they ethically raise the pigs and then tasted slices of prosciutto from the different parts of the pig.

Besides the food, we went on incredibly interesting guided tours of famous sights,- led by the sweetest, most enthusiastic tour guide who I LOVED- like the breathtaking Duomo in San Gimignano, the Piccolomini Library and Museo Civico in Siena and the beautiful grounds of the Montestigliano villa. We were also given ample free time to relax in the villa, roam around the incredible cities of Tuscany, take pictures, visit local shops & fooderies and make irredeemable memories with our friends.

The “family dinners” were the best parts of the day because we all came together each night to wine, dine and connect through our shared love of food, travel and laughter. The bonus karaoke night on Saturday was the most fun I’ve had in a while and it was such a delight to dance and sing and forget about my worries in this beautiful space with such a wonderful group of people.


I will hold these blessed memories with me forever and I highly recommend this trip to anyone who studies at the JFRC in the future.