The GoGlobal Blog

Week 1: Learning My Way Around Italy!

Week 1: Learning My Way Around Italy!

Ciao tutti!

Well, I must say this week has been…surreal? Yes, I would say that word is the best way to describe everything that is happening to me so far! I love being in Rome, it is SO much fun. There are so many things to do around here and to see, and I’ve really gotten a chance to immerse myself in the wonderful culture!

I’m taking Italian 102 and my professor encourages us to use our Italian whenever we can. This is a tip for anyone going to a foreign country: TRY TO USE THE LANGUAGE. I went out with a group of people to a small restaurant owned by two guys, and we tried out our Italian. They helped us out with saying things, taught us words and phrases we didn’t know, and gave us free lemoncello  and cookies because they liked us so much. All because we spoke Italian with them! Everyone really appreciates it when you try to communicate with them in their native language when you’re in their country, and it also helps you immerse yourself in the culture!

I’ve also been learning the public transportation systems and how to get around. It’s pretty scary once you start, but you get the hang of it pretty quickly. The busses are full of people speaking Italian, which I really enjoy because I try to pick out what I can and can’t understand.

Another tip: It’s polite to offer an older woman or man your seat on the bus if they are standing. It’s all about this concept of “bella figura” or “beautiful figure.” The Italians really appreciate beauty, but in all things, such as behavior and manners as well as dress. It’s a really neat idea.

This weekend we went to Herculaneum, which was a smaller city than Pompeii but was also destroyed and preserved (oxymoron, anyone?) by Mount Vesuvius. However, unlike Pompeii, Herculaneum wasn’t preserved by the ash and dust of the volcano but by the actual lava. Therefore, it is more well preserved than Pompeii is. You could still see the frescos in some of the people’s homes, it was beautiful. After this, a small group and I went to Sorrento, which also helped us learn more about public transportation. We took what could be compared to the El in Chicago to Sorrento, and then to come back to Rome earlier today, we had to take TreniItalia, which we had to catch in Naples! It was a lot, but it was helpful to learn!

Everything about Italy is so different, especially when it comes to public transportation, but it’s also somewhat similar. I’ve really enjoyed being able to see Italy in a way that many people don’t get to! I’ll keep you posted about my next adventures to come!

Arrivederci tutti!

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