As for keeping a somewhat consistent flow of amusing and adventure-inspiring blog posts whilst abroad, I am the worst.

I have had a home in Cortona for just over three weeks now and have yet to post a single update about my life these days. Let me just say - this place is absolutely beautiful. For the first week and a half or so there was a cold front in town, a MORE than welcome change from the sweat-drenched frenzy that was Rome, Italy.
Naples and Rome were both adventures in their own right, and I would never turn down an opportunity to revisit either place. However, Cortona is homey. There aren't street vendors trying to bamboozle you into buying fake Ray-Bans or mysterious goo-blobs that make sound when you throw them (this is a very real and very perplexing phenomenon in Rome). The streets are cobblestone, the pizza slices cost one Euro, the bells at Santa Margherita wake us up early, the cypress and poppies make the already-colorful meadows stuffed with gold and green even more picturesque. Window boxes and potted plants sit on every doorstep. The walls and their visible layers of medieval, renaissance, and modern masonry quite literally show a story of the history this city holds. Gelato happens everyday. Sometimes twice. I often eat my in-between-classes lunch on a stone ledge overlooking what could easily be (and actually has been) the backdrop to movies and books and plays and art whose sole purpose is to grant the viewer a respite from anything less than absolute splendor. The air smells like jasmine more often than not. Mornings consist of jogs along a road cut into the mountainside, and painting in a deconsecrated chapel with vaulted ceilings and good music. We do yoga in the golden hour on a hillside terrace-field of wildflowers, my goodness... It's ridiculous. Laughable, even. Whenever I feel like it I can saunter into town and visit The Annunciation or Severini's prints. Puppies. CUTE, cuddly, waggly-tailed puppies are everywhere. I love it.

Cortona, as far as I can tell, is laced with magic.
I know it's still part of Earth and is inhabited by hundreds of humans and therefore is sure to have its occasional flaws and shortcomings, but for some reason they are harder to come by here. I suppose that's part of the beauty of traveling - the inevitable tendency to immerse oneself in the magic of a place and still slip away before we start to question if the rabbit was hiding in the hat all along, or if it was one big illusion; or if the happiness trifecta of gelato/back-alley symphonics/evening strolls is a regular part of life here, or maybe just a fluke... But for these few short months, I'm welcoming the innumerable moments of winsome delights with WIDE open arms. Because it's Italy, it's summatiiiime, it's beautiful, and it's only for a few more weeks.

More photos and tales WILL soon follow. Or so I claim...