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Osservazioni Dopo Dieci Giorni...

Observations after my first ten days in Italy

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View Off to Italy on IndiainItaly's travel map.

Wow - I've been here a week and a half already and the time has flown!

NOTE: This entry is finished - sorry!!!! Should be finished with photos and more very soon!!!

At the end of my last entry I wrote about going to the Citta Alta, so firstly, here's the report on that. We set off at about five, so what I saw of it I saw in the dark and the fog, but it was absolutely bellissima. With Elena and three friends of hers we explored this old and beautiful part of the city - which as I discovered is separate part, built up well above the rest with the help of huge stone walls. Originally, it was built as a sort of fortress against invading Venetians. We walked up to la porta (the stone arch/gateway) and le mura (the city walls), and they were pretty impressive, although they clearly didn't prevent a Venetian invasion, because we saw quite a few stone lions on fountains etc. which are the symbol of Venice. We had pizza together and also went to see the two impressive and typically Italian churches in the Citta Alta- which are literally ten paces from each other!

Apart from that I've pretty much been going to school, meeting various friends, I went to church with the Barcellas and so on. So, after one week in Italy, I thought that I'd share a few of my observations about the differences between Australia and Italian Vita Quotidiana (daily life).

  1. Coffee - The coffee was my first observation! On the way home from the airport I had some coffee that Fabrizio had prepared and brought in a flask. I drank some but after that just couldn't have any more! No, not because it was strong, but because it was so incredibly sweet! As it turns out this is quite a normal thing. A normal coffee is black in a little espresso cup, but lots of people seem to add a good teaspoon or two of sugar to this tiny cupful! Otherwise, they drink 'latte' (milk), which is actually hot milk with instant coffee.
  2. Uniform - I knew this before I came, but there is no school uniform in Italy. Except in PE, when we have to wear a navy tracksuit. But without an official uniform there still seems to be one - jeans!
  3. Breakfast - Breakfast is very much as sweet meal, the Italians find the very idea of eggs and bacon or any sort of savory breakfast very strange! What I love about breakfast is that it's perfectly normal to eat cakes, tarts, biscuits, pastries and whatever other sweet goodies you like for breakfast... The other strange thing is that there is no toaster! They no what toast is but when I asked for toast we had to cook it in the sandwich toaster!
  4. Lunch - At school there is only one break of 15 minutes, at about 11am, and then we don't arrive home until 3pm, or on a Friday 2pm, and when we get home Giampiera has prepared a hot lunch for us. The problem is, I'm starving when we get home from school and I eat plenty, and then I'm not really not hungry when dinnertime comes around.
  5. Dinner - Even after a hot lunch, dinner always seems to be an affair of at least 3 courses! We will have some sort of carbohydrate as the Primo (pasta, focaccia, risotto etc.) Then vegetables, some sort of meat and bread as the Secondo Piatto. Then we will sometimes have cheese, always fruit, and usually something sweet as well. (Especially if I have anything to do with it!)

Posted by IndiainItaly 08:42 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

From Medieval England to Scuola Sacramentine, Bergamo

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I haven't found the time to write anything on the blog for so long, and now there's plenty of catching up to be done!
Last Sunday, my second last day in England, we went to a Medieval Christmas Fayre in Ludlow. This was really a Christmas market with medieval theme, but proved to be very atmospheric, and overall a very enjoyable final day trip in England. My favourite aspect of the whole thing was that it was all held in the old castle grounds.
Looking over the Medieval Fayre from the Bridge over the Moat

Looking over the Medieval Fayre from the Bridge over the Moat

Get your Medieval Outfits Here!

Get your Medieval Outfits Here!

Holly and Produce at the General Market in Ludlow

Holly and Produce at the General Market in Ludlow

All the stallholders were dressed up and many were selling medieval or Christmas themed goods, and there was plenty of mulled wine available to warm everyone up in the wet and windy weather (still!). There was also an area of interactive historical activities such as a falconry tent and archery.
The Storyteller's Booth at the Medieval Fayre

The Storyteller's Booth at the Medieval Fayre

The Locals Examine the Offerings at The Ludlow Butcher's

The Locals Examine the Offerings at The Ludlow Butcher's

Pheasant Delivery!

Pheasant Delivery!

In Ludlow we also had the opportunity to see the result of all the rain - the river was absolutely raging! Also on the way to Luton we saw some pretty extreme flooding. There were some paddocks that were completely submerged as far as you could see, and often your only indicator of what was river and what was paddock was a collection of dwarfed-looking boats or a tree line.
The Wild River Teme Flowing Under the Bridge at Ludlow

The Wild River Teme Flowing Under the Bridge at Ludlow

The River Teme in Flood at Ludlow

The River Teme in Flood at Ludlow

Luckily the Ducks Managed to Find a Calmer Part of The River!

Luckily the Ducks Managed to Find a Calmer Part of The River!

Monday night we had a very stressful drive to Luton (just outside London) due to heavy traffic. We then stayed overnight there, as my flight was at 6:40 the next morning. It was sad having to say goodbye to Grandma and Grampy, but I was of course very excited; at last I was off to Italy-this is what I came for after all!

I was met in Milan by a very excited Barcella family, including Stella, their tiny dog. Elena practically smothered me with her hugs, but Stella is another matter - she still growls at me most of the time if I try to pat her, but she will take food from my hand... we're making friends slowly.

I met Benedetta, who is in my class at school, the day I arrived, which was nice because I already knew someone when I went to school. I went to La Scuola
Sacramentine, Bergamo for the first time on Wednesday. School starts at eight, so I'm going to be having plenty of early mornings from now on, but I'm settling in to school really well, and quite enjoying it, despite it being very different to school as I know it. The first day, I kept packing up to go when the bell rang, forgetting that we stay in the same classroom and the teachers come to us. It's really nice that the class stays together for every lesson, because everyone knows each other really well, and they all seem to be friends with everyone. In the class that I'm in there are only 17 people including me, which also makes it very friendly.

Already I feel like I am understanding more and more of what people say. Today I had a science lesson that I actually fully understood!

As for the food - I don't know whether I'll ever be able to eat pasta in Australia again! It's so different, it has so much more body and.... Yum!

Oh, and I have some great news! The second grade (my class) is putting on a Christmas play of Charlie and The Chocolate factory and I have somehow ended up with the part of Augustus Gloop! Luckily I don't have to say to much because I get sucked up the chocolate pipes pretty quickly.

Tomorrow I won't be going to school, but Elena's does have to, so the plan is that in the afternoon we'll go into the Citta` Alta. Bergamo has two parts -the Citta` Alta and the Citta` Bassa. The citta alta is much older and more beautiful, but the main part of the city is the citta bassa, which is where I am going to school. So after tomorrow I should have some more news and some pictures of bel Bergamo!

Posted by IndiainItaly 14:26 Archived in Italy Comments (3)

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