Having studied Italian after a short wander in Italy was a pretty quick decision by myself. When I was in college, many of friends asked me for what reason I chose that language. I hated that question, however the all situations here regarding language learning make pretty much common sense. People here think language must be used, so they hesitate to learn a language that they can’t use right away. But I don’t even want to imagine myself studying Chinese for example in place of Italian.
I got to visit Italy for the first time about 5-6 years ago. Some of my college friends and I were sent to Milan, Florence, Venice and Rome as project members, kind of. The trips went fine at the beginning, no argues, no tears, no serious worries at all. Milan was so stunning as expected. Florence was one of the best cities in whole Europe, I still remember all the good memories from that city. Visiting Duomo and Prada, talking to Argentinian tourists in the hostel, having good local cuisines…
Oh dear, I think I need to be back there soon. Venice on the other side, quite painful to talk about. We conflicted for a few hours and then the girls began to cry, I didn’t know what to do…Maybe I should have tried stopping them cry and making them happy. I think it somewhat ruined my visit in Venice. Rome, decent, not so bad, not so good.
Studying Italian always has been on my bucket list and I’m doing so. I love this language. So melodic, nice and emotional. I’ve been told that I’m reserved and emotionless. Hmm, if you think so too, you just haven’t gotten to know me enough. I do, I just don’t like showing my emotions publicly. Perhaps that’s why I like Italian as it completely shows what the speaker wants or doesn’t want. The hand gesture is a plus! That’s what Italian is famous for and I totally love it. Every time I’m in Italy for a visit or whatever my purpose is, I always attempt speaking their language as much as I can, I feel so content and satisfied when people understand what I describe. I may not sound so perfect but leastwise I’m able to say what I want to say and understand that language at a decent level.
My favorite Italian sentences
1.Buon giorno, Un cappucino con un croissant per favore!
3.Mamma mia, che bella! (I thought it was a joke when Salvatore said Italians always use “Mamma mia”, but it wasn’t… They use it all the time when they want to express an amazement!)
4.Uno, due, tre, quatro, cinque, sei, sette, ma come si dici questo in Italiano?
5.Cara mia, vuoi uscire con me sta sera? (The most common phrase Any women can hear from Italian guys in Italy :D)
During my stay in Verona, Simone and I got to visit a bar nearby and I met up Riccardo, Elena and Carlo. Riccardo has very unique experiences. I hadn’t seen any Italians having studied Chinese and speaking it well before I met him. He then asked me to go for a funny challenge. Guess what? We crossed the mountain by his motorbike. Damn, I’m asking myself if I would dare to go for it if I weren’t drunk enough 😀 Thanks Richy for that amazing experience! I videoed it while we were driving, let’s see what I can do with the video.
Italy is just Italy
My Italian adventures weren’t all sunshine or butterflies at all. As simple as it sounds, there’s no perfect country on the globe. Sometimes things took a slight turn for the worse, but not anything I couldn’t solve. The drivers totally made me crazy and it’s a good example to start this discussion with. My friend Simone said Italian drivers don’t like to share their parking spots to others, which means parking could be disastrous in Italy. And most of drivers I saw were quite inpatient, especially in Bologna all the hum of traffic wrinkled my brain so bad. I can’t even imagine driving my own car in Italy, I hope I’m wrong though!
Compared to other European capitals, Rome looks pretty old-fashioned, many travelers complain that the city is so dirty and smelly, but I like the way they keep their capital. Rome has one thing to tell you guys.
“Paris, London, Brussels, Zurich, Berlin, I don’t care who you are, I’m Rome, that’s who I am. I don’t want to look as superficial as you do and modernity is just not mine!”
If you are fond of cleanness, Rome is supposedly not your city 😉 But obviously you can’t ignore the beautiful city, because there are too many things you gotta see.
Incredible things about Italy
1.Many young Italians stay with their parents even until 30. There must be various reasons why. Family is one of the biggest factors for Italian culture, especially in the south.
2.Mama boy, Papa girl – It may be my bad stereotype, but there seeimgly are many mama boys and papa girls in Italy. It’s so sweet when A (sufficiently grown up) son gives a kiss to his mom and vise versa on the morning.
3.They have a huge regionalism, perhaps the hugest one I’ve ever seen, even bigger than Spain’s, not to wonder though, They became fully unified in 1870, a lot later than their neighbors. I’m really curious what the first word I hear from the people will be in Naples.
4.If you can’t make your hands move, you’d better not learn Italian language. I wonder they don’t get exhausted by moving their hands all the time.
5.Peaches are incredibley cheap in Italy, and they are so good!
6.Feminism thus far successfully has been built up. (Of course my opinion)
The best way to enjoy Italy
The food, oh god, how can I miss this part? Don’t ever be shocked even if you gain some weights in Italy. Pasta, Pizza, Lasagna, Risotto and all the sweets!
I used to start my morning with a very bitter espresso (I think Italy has the bitterest coffee in the world ever!) and some nice breads when I was in Italy. Every morning, all the cafeterias and bars get busy with people. Coffee is like an essential entertainment for Italians. If you want to make your Italian adventure awesome, don’t hesitate to eat and drink and talk to people. Speaking Italian is a plus 🙂 I miss holding a strawberry gelato on my hand walking the old town of Verona…I really do.
My personal descriptions
- Milan : A big city for shoppers. Full of Asian tourists (mostly shopping addicts). Wealthy, Multi-cultured and loud
- Florence : (My favorite city) Peaceful, artistic, charming people, Best Duomo ever, Outstanding city architecture
- Venice : Touristic, Superficial, Beautiful, Cold
- Rome : Old, Historical, Touristic
- Verona : Peaceful, beautiful, The closest city to my expectation of Italy
- Bologna : Old, student friendly, nice architecture
Having visited a lot of cities in Italy you’d think I’d be satisfied but I’m definitely not. Italy is too beautiful and impossible to explore for twice. I can’t wait to be back there and speak Italian with people, hold a Gelato, eat like the locals. The characteristic smell of vinegar and Pizza whenever I walk through the old town. People arguing as loud as they can, drivers seeking for a parking spot and not ever giving way to the other, uncountable numbers of cars on the street and everything.
Things that I want to do next time
1.Visit Naples and eat Napoletana Pizza!
It’s incredible I couldn’t make it to Napoles yet. Pizza, Pizza and Pizza! Many Italians told me how bad organized the whole city is, but I wouldn’t believe before I see it and even if it’s so, I wouldn’t mind!
2.Stay in Sicili
It’s also has been on my bucket list and I’m looking forward to making it happen soon!
Salvatore, A friend of mine that I met in Malaga, Spain is from Sicili. Hopefully I will be lucky enough and not to be in any troubles with Mafias 😀 (Another negative stereotype about Sicili)
Mastering a foreign language is next to impossible, yet, I want to improve it as much as I can while I’m back there. I will always carry my mini dictionary with me.
4.Il calcio e la pallavolo
As a sportive guy, I know how shameful it is not having watched any single football (Il calcio) and volleyball (La pallavolo) matches alive in Italy. That’s actually my plan for next time.
Grazie, Pace ed Amore.