What I Learnt In Italy


21.9.2012 – 1.07.2013  My Erasmus year.

I both cannot believe it’s over and can’t believe the ending took so long to get here.  As I’ve told all my friends as we casually exchange ‘we must catch up soon’ comments on Facebook, it’s been an intense year.  Some moments have been fantastic, some moments terrible.  Some fun times, some hard ones and some sad ones.  Some that look hysterical in retrospective and some I’m still annoyed about.  I’ve certainly learnt quite a bit.  Since this isn’t my learning journal — I’ll save all the deep psychological stuff for my university — here are some of the things I’ve learnt this year, light edition.

Gelato is acceptable only at the following times: lunch, afternoon snack, aperitivo, dinner, dessert, post-night out treat

I’m not really into Italian childrearing techniques

People who say Italians don’t wear trainers have never been to Italy

It snows in Italy.  A lot in the North.

I might prefer Southern Italy.

I will never love pizza.

Or pasta.

or gelato (except from here)

Italians really do order two courses at restaurants.

un po’ di zucchero fa bene : a bit of sugar does well

There is no ice in Italy.

Always validate your ticket, always.

You will be involved in a train strike.

Coffee from a machine tastes disturbingly similar to coffee from an Italian bar.

I have no problem believing that 25% of Italy doesn’t think the internet has a purpose.  That number, in fact, seems quite low.

You don’t know what’s going on, but no one else does either (and it’s okay, no matter who acts like it isn’t)

It’s good to be able to study somewhere that isn’t a library or a cafe

I’m an organized freak, not a neat freak.

English is a surprisingly melodic language.

I don’t, in fact, eat that much cheese.

There really is no way in which I won’t eat a vegetable.

Italian university grades make no sense.

Writing two 3,500 word essays in a foreign language can be a surprisingly enjoyable experience.  If you take away the stress and deadlines, that is.

I really quite like trying to stress double consonants well.

Any lessons you’ve learnt recently?


2 thoughts on “What I Learnt In Italy

  1. sheezamageeza

    This is funny! Did you really come away not liking pizza or pasta? I’ll have to read more of your blog to find out why…
    I got caught by the two courses thing at a family dinner in Italy, and quickly learnt how to emphatically cry out: Basta!

    1. Emilia Post author

      I’m not sure I’d say I left Italy not liking pizza or pasta, rather I’ve had enough of it to satisfy me for quite some time. You definitely do need to learn how to say enough when eating a big family dinner! I will never ceased to be shocked by how elaborate they could be! 🙂


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