Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A few of my favorite things . . .

1. Hearing my Italian roommates sing songs in English, specifically Yellow Submarine
2. When the Italians talk to each other it always seems like they're arguing
3. When they're actually arguing I'm afraid someone is going to die
4. Buying fresh fruit from little stalls everywhere
5. Learning how to say where I'm from: Sono americana, di Arkansas (pronounced OUR-CAN-SEZZZZZ)
6. Taking a million and a half photos of the Campo and Palazzo Publico
7. Watching the little kids in costumes run around the Campo on the weekends throwing confetti everywhere and shooting silly string each other (and then on Monday morning all that confetti magically disappears)

8. Counting how many kids on the Campo are dressed as Spiderman
9. Wandering around and discovering that I have been taking unnecessarily long routes to get places
10. Going to the market -- I discovered why Italians are so fashionable, their markets are amazing! I don't think I even saw half of the stalls. I walked around for a while then realized I could see no end to the madness and went to go study.
11. Going for gelato every day, and sometimes twice a day
12. Weekend trip to Lucca and a Carnival festival in Viareggio on Sunday!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Il Dolce Far Niente

So, I'm here, and it's magical! For the first day I felt like I was walking around an amusement park--Renaissance Land if you will. I've looked at pictures of these buildings so many times that they somehow seemed unreal to me, yet here they are! Walking around feels like home now that I'm somewhat oriented to the winding streets, and since I mastered "Il dolce far niente" ("The sweetness of doing nothing") quite some time ago, I fit in just fine as I wander around in no hurry at all.

I'm living in an appartamento with 13 other girls (eeks), but fortunately I'm in the double and my roommate is a lovely Italian named Gloria. We have a wonderful time making gestures and somehow understanding each other despite the fact that neither of us speaks much of the other's language (in fact I find myself wanting to speak Spanish which does help a little). But she is very sweet and patient with me, and since Italians apparently like to clean a lot she keeps me accountable in tidying up my side of the room. And, we have a beautiful view looking out over part of town and into the countryside which makes our room all the more enjoyable.

Every day that I walk around I am amazed that I'm here. It's so easy to walk through town and just look in the shop windows and focus on dodging speeding cars and mopeds, but once I look up to the facades of the buildings and remember that most of them were built in the 13th century I just say, "wow". Literally. It's a wonderful feeling.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bon voyage! Well, almost. . .

Two more days until I leave for this lovely little medieval town!

Well, first off to New York for a day to see my brother James, and then its time for my 8 or 9 or however many hours flight to Milan! After flying to Florence I will have my first test of Italian language as I attempt to navigate my way to the train station to get to Siena.

What an adventure this is going to be!