Io ho finito!

Note: this post has been migrated from my former blog “Parliamo dell’Italia – una ragazza fortunata a Perugia.”

I am finished! Okay, only partly, but I am finished with something! Today marks my last day in Bologna (aahhh, can you believe it???). The time has gone by so quickly and when I look back at everything that I have done in the past 2 months it is just unbelievable. I have been ALL over Italy. I have traveled to Rimini, Cinque Terre, Portofino, Verona, Venezia, Torino, Milano, Roma, Napoli, Pompeii, Sorrento, Modena, Ferrara, Ravenna, and Perugia and it has just been unbelievable. And I did all this and still managed to pass my first real Italian University class here — with a 63% average. Ahaha, maybe I shouldn’t be advertising this information (I swear I am smarter than that), but that’s the great thing about study abroad (at least in this program), absolutely no grades go back to DU. The professor signed a slip stating that I received all 4 credits and I was done. Pretty sweet deal huh?

Currently I am just trying to pack. This is even harder than the last time I tried to pack because I have acquired A LOT of stuff. Much more than I left room for. I mean seriously, just with 3 new pairs of shoes alone I was already having issues. Now add in the clothes, gifts, and 29 pounds of chocolate I still have leftover from the EuroChocolate festival and we have major issues. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought the Rainbows after all?

I am not really sad about leaving Bologna. I mean, I have had an amazing time here and it has been the perfect way to spend my first 3 months in Italy, but I know that I have so much more ahead of me – including actually learning Italian – that I can’t be sad about it. However, I will miss the dryer and the amazing water pressure / combination of hot water that we are blessed with here in Residenza Studi Superiori. Oh and also wireless internet. These things will be long gone starting tomorrow so I have to start learning to be Italian right now.

I am off the Florence for the next 10 days for a little hiatus between this program and my next one (Bari). I can’t wait to go shopping there and am already trying to figure out how I am going to fit at least one new purse into my already exploding bags.

I will try to update from Florence if I can get connected, but otherwise I will do it as soon as I can. I will also try to include another informational post about what I am actually doing in Bari since I guess that is important.

Ciao tutti! Un bacione dall’Italia!

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I have found my place

Note: this post has been migrated from my former blog “Parliamo dell’Italia – una ragazza fortunata a Perugia.”

This morning I walked into La Bottega di Dorando with my roommate. The lady behind the counter greeted us with, “Buon giorno, ragazze! Due cappucini?” Yep, I have found my place.

Being a creature of habit and comfort, I always seem to find a place, wherever I go, that I will frequent until I absolutely cannot anymore. Freshman year at DU it was the 3rd floor of Sturm, in the little secret nook that overlooks Asbury Ave. and the Club Sports Tower. I still go there often, but Sophomore year I picked a second place: 3 tables in on the right on the first floor of Penrose Library (maybe this was a reflection on my classes and workload). Here in Bologna, it is the bar on the corner of Via Aldrovandi and Via Armando Quadri. It is nothing special, but it is constantly inhabited by old people. Translation: it must be good.

And it is. For 1.20E I can sit at a table for as long as I like, have a cappucino and a glass of water served to me, and read my book. When (notice not if) I get hungry, I can get a brioche or some other delicious pastry. And when I need a break from reading I can just people watch out the window and listen to the classic music that plays on the radio. Often this consists of various musical numbers that sound very Greek-esque. The ladies who run the place seem to love it and frequently turn the volume way up and dance around.

I also love my bar because they believe in treating a purse like it is worth something. This morning, my roommate dropped her purse to the floor near her chair, while I inconspicuously sat my bag in its own chair. I often do this and was never quite sure of the etiquette, but this morning I learned something great: purses belong on chairs. When the lady brought us our cappucini she looked at my roommate’s purse on the floor and exclaimed, “Non metta la tua borsa sul pavimento! E sporca!” Translation: “Don’t put your purse on the floor! It’s dirty!” She then proceeded to set it up on a shelf on the wall.

Seriously, do you need any more information to be convinced that I belong here?

I am only holding out for one thing: a “ciao” and not a “buongiorno” in the morning. The “ciao” is the ultimate acknowledgment that you belong and I can tell that these ladies strictly believe in that courtesy. I’ll keep you posted.

Boring, but important

Note: this post has been migrated from my former blog “Parliamo dell’Italia – una ragazza fortunata a Perugia.”

Every week when I read my Dad’s The Week magazine, I force myself to read the section titled “Boring, but important.” Why? Because it’s important. So because I can’t sleep I am going to fill you all in on all the boring but important information you should know about my time in Italy. This will also be nice because then I won’t have to answer all your boring, but important, questions. Because I get bored too.

I am spending 8 months in Italy. 3 months as a studentessa straniera (foreign student) at the University of Bologna/University of Denver center. 1 month (December) working for an unpaid (but credit receiving) internship in Mola di Bari – a small, Southern coastal town. No, I do not know where I am working yet. And finally, 4 months (January – April) in the central town of Perugia, as a student at the Umbra Institute there.

Currently I am taking 2 classes a week. 1 that meets M/W 11-1 and is taught by a DU Geography professor. We are learning about environmental issues in Italy and how they are affected by the different geographical regions of this country. We take field trips almost every Friday to the towns we study about (Rimini, Cinque Terre, Venezia, Milano, Napoli, e Roma) and then we write a 2 page reflection paper. It is very challenging.

My other class is an Italian language class that meets T/Th from 4-6pm (I have to get up super early pretty much every day here). It is full of international students and we spend 2 hours learning and speaking la lingua dell’Italia.

I live in what is called the Residenza Studi Superiori aka a dorm minus a dining hall. I have a roommate from DU and we have a small kitchenette, spacial area, desk, and a big bathroom. A maid comes every Wednesday and scrubs our whole apartment and changes all our sheets and towels. It is fabulous.

The Residenza is about a 20 minute bus ride from Il Centro (aka the center aka “LoBo”) and we take it every day to go to class. Walking is possible but one night after being out at a discoteca after the buses stopped running it took us the better part of 2 hours to walk all the way back. So we don’t do that often. However, I have yet to try it without having danced to Shaggy for 2 hours prior and/or wearing brand new Steve Madden flats that were eating away at my toes and heels.

Directly behind our Residenza is the Ipercoop (aka Target) which is where we do most of our shopping. We tend not to buy produce here though because there are outdoor markets open every day right outside our DU class building so going there is a lot more fun. The guy who works there now gives me a huge smile when I walk up because I am the girl who ordered 6 fish, not 6 peaches, and he always insists on making sure peaches are what I really want. When is peach season over, by the way? I enjoy being his entertainment for now, but 3 months is semi a long time.

I spend my free time cooking (Stir Fry Mondays), attempting to read Harry Potter e la Camera dei Segreti in Italian, actually reading, obsessively checking my email, Facebook stalking, watching NFL.com game highlights (I now follow 3 teams: Bears, Broncos, & Ravens), eating obscene amounts of gelato & Nutella (often together), and just in general being Sarah DeNapoli.

And the title of my blog means “Let’s Talk About Italy: A Lucky Girl in Bologna”

Hello and good night.