1253 hours of living the dream

So this is it – my last post. Reflecting on exchange as a whole, it has truly been incredible and one that I will never forget. I have to say I enjoyed every moment, every experience – and it was honestly all I could possibly ask for. Over the past two months I’ve come across so many new things and learnt SO much (both Italian and otherwise); it’s ALL been extraordinary!

I should also take this opportunity to thank my wonderful family and friends for supporting me the whole way through, without you all things wouldn’t have been able to turn out the perfect way they have…and also to anyone who’s been reading my blog. Sure, I’ll never know who you are and hence won’t be able to thank you personally – but it’s hard to believe that it’s been viewed a staggering 2000 times altogether!

Also to all my regà: grazie mille per tutto – vi manco già; ci vediamo presto, per favore! I’m definitely going to miss the Italian pronunciation of my name, as difficult as it was getting used to at first, and what everyone would call me in class given how much they love and thrive on abbreviations.

Although it felt so good to be able to wear a singlet, shorts and thongs this morning – I feel as though there’s a part of me still living in Italy. Walking the streets felt somewhat distant, and to concrete my musing, three shops on the main street have completely changed as of two months ago. But it’ll be okay – Sydney is still by far the place I call home and even though Italy was amazing in every way – it’s time to come back to reality. 1253 hours of living the dream. School starts on Monday, and I have a huge year ahead of me. But that doesn’t lessen the possibility of return next year, right? I know I’ll definitely be back…after all, I did throw my coins into the Trevi Fountain in Rome haha.

From day 1, my initial impressions were formed by immediately associating a new place I’d go to with one that I’d already visited in the past. In the end, the pastiche consisted of a little bit of Sydney, a bit of Katoomba, a bit of New Zealand, a bit of America, a bit of Canada, a bit of China, and even a bit of Mongolia. After all these signposts…I guess it’s time to make a new framework in my mind: Italy.

Grazie ancora, mi sono divertita. Fino a quando ci incontreremo di nuovo, arrivederci!

xxxxxxx

Serè

PS Just got back from the shops again – I actually meant to say seven shops had changed in some way instead of three…obviously wasn’t looking hard enough yesterday! [29/1/12]

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Buon Natale da Roma!

Christmas Eve: Yesterday I revisited the beautiful city of Rome and saw the most incredible places! Sure, I’d seen photos of places like St. Peter’s Basilica before, but I guess I didn’t quite realise the magnitude and splendour of these landmarks before I experienced them myself. To be honest, they’re absolutely magnificent – one definitely has to go and see Rome for themselves sometime!

So during the course of the day, I went to St. Peter’s Square, saw the Pantheon, walked all 138 of the Spanish Steps, threw my coins into the Trevi Fountain, and just generally embraced the festive Christmas vibe of places like Piazza Navona and the Piazza di Spagna, among others. Rome is one of the most amazing cities of the world in so many different ways!

In other news…Merry Christmas from Italy! I trust everyone had a lovely day regardless of your whereabouts and what time zone you’re currently in – remembering the true meaning of it all!

‘And they shall call him Immanuel – which means ‘God with us.’

xxxxxxx

Serena

PS to my dear family, it definitely felt a bit weird being so far from home today – and I wish we could have celebrated Christmas together instead of being separated over three different continents. At least our combined skype session made up for a large part of it though. I love you and miss you all!

[St Peter’s Basilica from St. Peter’s Square]

[All’interno – Basilica di San Pietro]

[Fontana di Trevi]

[Piazza di Spagna]

They say ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’

After about 30 hours of travelling, I’m finally here. In Ariccia!

Currently its 2:51am in Sydney (hurrah, loving jet lag) but it’s 4:51pm here in Italy. The flight from Milan to Rome was surprisingly really enjoyable, I managed to have a really good chat with a guy from Rome who gave me a quick crash-course on conversational Italian and ended up giving me his book which was SO nice of him.

Once I got out of the airport, the first thing I noticed was the weather. Dare I say, from my last impressions – the weather in Rome is better than it is in Sydney (at midday-afternoon at least), even though it’s winter!

After meeting my host parents (who are lovely by the way), we drove to their house, followed by lunch after Valerio (my host brother) got home from school. Lunch itself was alright, I did try a shot of espresso for the very first time, it was actually pretty good!

Italian though! Ah it’s so hard, everyone speaks so fast! The urge to just speak english is unbelievably overwhelming, but I just have to keep reminding myself that english is not the reason why I’m here. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. But after all, I’m in Italy – and as they say, ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ I hope it soon gets a bit easier though!

Afterwards, we abbiamo fatto una passeggiata around the town centre, which was really nice. Italy is such a beautiful country, I love it already!

A domani,

xxxxxxx

Serena

[Ariccia town centre]