Today marks the one week mark in Italy! It seems like I been here for much longer than that! We've begun the intensive language month where we have Italian class for three hours every morning, four days a week. It takes a lot of concentration, but I'm hoping I'll see some progress in my Italian. Basically my days are structured like this: have breakfast at home, go to class, go out to lunch at one of the many delicious restaurants or la mense (cafeteria), wander around the city, take the bus home, do some homework, eat dinner at home or in town, go to sleep. Pretty laid back compared to my Bowdoin days!
Since I last wrote, I was able to go on another walking tour of Padova, this time with the other BU students. This city is absolutely beautiful (for those of you on facebook, I've added pictures), filled with old buildings and gorgeous architecture. I'm beginning to find my way around the city just by wandering around. We learned that Padova is known as "Il Santo Senza Nome, Caffe Senza Porte, e Prato Senza Erba" (saint without a name, cafes without doors, and a lawn without grass). This is because everyone refers to la Basilica di Sant Antonio as "Il Santo," the cafe was open 24/7, and the Prato della Valle didn't have grass. A cute little piece of trivia. :)
Well, I couldn't write this post without mentioning some of the customs I've picked up here in Italy, including the food. Italians like to eat. A lot. But I've noticed that all the food here is extremely healthy. If there is fast food here, I have yet to find it. Everything is made with fresh ingredients and is homemade. My host mother will make dinner every night with vegetables, fresh meat from the market, cheese, homemade pasta, and fresh bread. Even the cafeteria food is great! So far I've been able to have lots of pasta, pizza, macchiato, cannoli, tramezzini, prosciuto, mortadella, panini, spritz, wine, and, of course, gelato.
I have also noticed that it is very important here to say "buon giorno," or "ciao" to people so as not to be rude, especially when you enter a store. When you enter store, a salesperson will usually come right up to you and help you throughout your entire visit, unlike in America where you usually have to go ask for help. I was shopping for some Italian boots the other day, and the salespeople will literally stand next you and follow you throughout the store! A little intimidating, but good customer service I suppose.
Ok, time for a bit of homework before dinner! A presto!