I went abroad to Rome during the fall semester of my Junior year. I was blown away when I arrived and saw the status of our apartment. Our kitchen couldn't of been nicer or more modernized, which pleasantly surprised me given my preconceived notions of Italian culture. During my time abroad, I was able to hone in on my cooking skills and pursue my love of cooking and baking-- and what better country to do it in than Italy!?
Sometimes, my roommate and I would venture to the morning market in Campo de'Fiori in search for Roman delicacies and fresh produce. Other times, we would wander into specialty shops to buy the best truffle oil, cheese, or panino bread for our dinner recipes. For dinner, we would walk a block over to Conad, a common Italian supermarket chain, to purchase other ingredients we would need to cook dinner. Usually, we prepared a chicken dish accompanied by a vegetable or salad. I'm not going to lie, we usually based our recipes from online articles because all of the cooking books were written in Italian. HOWEVER, I'm almost positive that our meals were infinitely better than they would have been back home because most ingredients were sourced in Italy or had an Italian PDO (Protected Designation Origin) label. You can read more about PDO here: http://www.cooksinfo.com/protected-designation-of-origin.
We also took advantage of the extra-curricular activities my program, IES, offered us. These activities included: homemade pasta making, wine tasting, and a salumi (which is the correct word and pronunciation for salami) and cheese tasting. One night we attempted to make the home made pasta for dinner. If I'm going to be completely candid, this was not our best meal and didn't turn out as well as it had in the class. Perhaps, sometime during the semester, I will strengthen my pasta-making skills and bring in (what will hopefully be a better dish) for the class to try!