We strolled through the beautiful Venetian streets capturing great photos and memories of our time there. My dreams coming true right before my eyes, seeing the spectacular city. I was so giddy that I didn’t care about only having four hours of sleep on the sixteen hour plane ride it took to get over here. My first flight was great! I was right behind first class, aisle seat next to two gentlemen who were very kind. That plane ride was only about five hours so I decided to stay awake so that I could sleep on my next flight that would be nine and a half hours. My layover was in Philadelphia and that airport is HUGE! I had to walk from one side to the other and it was about fifteen minutes (I’m guessing) and that whole walk was through a MALL! Serious! There was a GAP , Victoria Secret, Nike store, and more! That was crazy fun to walk through, but I didn’t want to stop to buy things, knowing I was going to Italy. My layover was two and a half hours, so I enjoyed a glass of wine while I waited. There was this big commotion going on where the planes got mixed up on us. We ended up getting a smaller plane than was planned. So they kept announcing over the airport intercom that there weren’t enough seats for everyone on the plane and that they were willing to give airfare credit and accommodations to a hotel and food in order to catch the next flight out the next morning. They needed five people to give up their seats and no one seemed to be taking the offer. The amount they were offering jumped from $500 to $1,000 for airfare credits. I almost took the offer, except I had plans to keep.
After we were finally able to board, we all realized that because of the aircraft switch, every ones’ seats had been changed. I got stuck in the middle section between two older gentlemen. I was furious! I specifically requested an aisle seat, because I get claustrophobic. I tried to speak to the flight attendant and she apologized that she couldn’t do anything about it, even though she was letting others switch seats. I was flabbergasted! Thinking about it now, I wish I would have made more of a commotion. That was the worst flight ever! I was uncomfortable sitting between these two men who kept hogging the armrests to both sides. They almost never got up so I couldn’t walk around or use the restroom, so I just held it. Then trying to sleep! I had to lean forward on my fold down tray and hold myself since I had almost no wiggle room. I couldn’t fall asleep due to my anxiety and paranoia. Let alone, the fact that the man to my left made a frustrated sigh noise at almost anything that happened on the plane. It was just terrible, I wanted to cry. It was a relief when we finally landed. I was exhausted and cranky, but as soon as I walked outside my mood instantly changed to excited.
Now that you heard about my terrible flight experience, back to my trip to Venice. We only spent the day wandering around the city, looking at all the marvels they had to offer. Shops staring at us as we walked by, architecture that made me want to cry and hidden street corners that screamed of those paintings my grandma always had in her kitchen. We had marvelous food where the service was divine. It was a real dream come true and it was only the first day! We left late that night to rest up, arrived back at the house around one in the morning. I almost couldn’t sleep because I didn’t want to miss anything. Eventually I closed my eyes and let the exhaustion take me away, for our adventure had only begun. We woke up early the next morning to catch a train to ROME! We spent three days in the ancient city of Rome. I got to see the Colosseum, the Fountain of Trevi, Vatican City and all the touristy locations of Rome. Except the ancient catacombs and aqueducts, but I will go to see those the next time I go back in October.
If you go to the photo album on my blog I have uploaded all my photos that I took on my trips. 🙂 A little advise for those who want to walk around everywhere in Italy, WEAR GOOD WALKING SHOES! I know that’s normally a ‘DUH’, but I thought I had good walking shoes and it turns out I didn’t. Biggest regret ever! At the end of the day I wanted to cry because my feet hurt so bad. I held back the tears and kept pushing forward due to the fact that I’M IN ITALY. I wanted to keep walking and see everything, no matter how much my feet hurt. So make sure you have good shoes when you go on these trips. A week of walking all day every day really takes it’s tole. One other thing, I’ve been having a hard time finding good walking/trekking shoes that are not name brand expensive over here in Italy. That could also just be where I’m located. I saw more shops in cities like Rome and Venice than I do in my smaller town of Bologna. But keep in mind that you may not be able to buy somethings over here that you could in the States.
If you haven’t gotten the message already from previous posts and photos, I’m in Italy everyone! Specifically a city named Bologna – (/bəˈloʊniə/; Italian: [bo ˈloɲːa]; is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy.
So far my favorite things about Bologna are the sights, food and my school that I have been placed in, which is the International School of Bologna. This city is beautiful, just like any other in Italy I’d imagine. There are hidden gems all over. Portico archways are all over, some with marvelous fresco paintings that stop you in your tracks. My walk to the school everyday is through a portico archway, although not as beautiful as the one in the image to the right. It’s still so mysterious and other worldly than what I’m used to in the states. Although I’ve only been out to eat once at a restaurant here in Bologna, it was a delicious meal. Bologna is known for their tortellini, so I got a dish with a white cream sauce, shown in the image below. Grocery shopping her has also been wonderful. All the food is fresh and less processed than in the states. The fruits and veggies even taste better, as though you can tell there’s no added growth hormones or pesticides.
Arriving at ISB (International School of Bologna) has been most enjoyable. I have found the staff to be a joy to talk to as well as learn from. I’ve sat in a few classrooms and it’s been fun for me to see their teaching styles. As well as trying to get to know them as individuals. The school here is very small which has been a bit of a challenge as well as a relief. The small community aspect to it has been pleasant for getting to know everyone, even the students. There are more opportunities for classroom collaboration with other teachers which I look forward to testing out in my lessons. So far the students I’ve gotten to know have been great. Yes, some of them already show signs of trouble, but I also see sides to them that I want to bring out in the art classroom. I’m excited to work with everyone here and learn from all the possibilities.
Another thing with the school here, at least the International school, is the difference in class organization and scheduling. I don’t really want to put too much on here in detail, because it’s not
like I’m a professional to judge anyone here. It’s not my place and some of it is just my opinion, on things, such as classroom management. The school’s values are the same in which we learned in the education program over in the States. They believe in creating student based learning instead of an old school style learning where the teacher tells a student to learn and remember something. No body likes to learn that way. Since I’ve only been at the school for one week so far I haven’t been able to get involved too much yet. I’m still learning my way around. Although, there are a few after school clubs I want to get involved in, such as sewing club and possibly an art therapy club. The people have been friendly and most of them tolerable of my lack of the Italian language. I really need to work on that! I enjoy conversation with people and am having a hard time doing so with the language barrier. I haven’t noticed too much of a culture shock other than not knowing the language. One struggle has been finding resources such as clothing and home goods. Most places I have gone to are quite expensive, name brand stores for clothes and shoes. I’ve been trying to find better walking shoes than the ones that I brought and they’re all very expensive. There are no department stores here, like a Target, Walmart or Fred Meyers. That’s really been the main struggle so far with being in another country. I don’t want to spend an obscene amount of money on clothes or even a blanket, since my living quarters provides very uncomfortable bedding. Then again, my thought’s go to the fact that this is an amazing opportunity I have been presented with and it’s only a short amount of time to have this experience.
With all of that in mind, I just mean to present that my first impressions so far are just different than what I’m used to in the States. Furthermore, when it comes to the food, it’s amazing! I wish I could afford to eat out all the time, because I’m never disappointed with what I get. Making home cooked meals here is even different. The food provided here in stores is less processed than what we receive in the States and it’s been wonderful to stress less about what I’ve been eating. And don’t get me started on the coffee! Also, when in Italy, get gelato (see picture)! I could go on, but moving on.
As I said above, I really wish I would have learned the language more before coming here. I hope I do learn more while I’m here, but in the mean time I feel terrible because I can’t go out and talk to most people. I would love to enjoy a conversation at a cafe or bar and not feel rude about not knowing their language. If anyone plans on going to another country for a good amount of time and the main language is not English, learn the language! It will make things less frustrating. I believe I’d have more courage going out to explore if I spoke Italian. Anyone want to tutor me??