Travel Love: Things I’ve learned about Italy

I’m a languages student in my 3rd year of uni (on a four year course), which means that I’m currently on the dreaded Year Abroad.  It has to be capitalised because, according to my uni department, it’s one of those very Important Life Experiences that you absolutely must make the most of.  Not at all intimidating then.

Because the languages I study are Spanish and Italian, I’m starting off the Year Abroad with 8 months living in Milan, Italy.  I arrived at the end of September, meaning I’m about halfway through.  So, since I love a good list, I thought now might be a good time to share a few observations I’ve made since being here.

  1. Not all of Italy is the beautifully warm and sunny holiday destination we think it is.  In fact, a lot of the weather in the north (where I am) is depressingly similar to the UK.  Though happily without the rain.
  2. Yes, they really do eat that much pasta.  Normally at least once a day.
  3. Same goes for pizza.  Though perhaps not as often.
  4. As a general rule, Italians are terrifying drivers.  From what I can tell, the rule of the road is that whoever is bravest (be they car, moped, bike, bus or pedestrian) gets to pass.  So if you walk purposefully across a pedestrian crossing, you probably won’t die.  But only probably.
  5. The further south you go, the more terrifying the driving is.
  6. Italians (or at least the Milanese) dress better than us.  When I boarded the plane at Manchester Airport in my baggy grey hoodie I felt totally comfortable.  As soon as I stepped off at Milan Bergamo, I felt completely out of place.  And they will never, ever, leave the house in trackie bums.
  7. Italian kids are way more spoiled than British ones.
  8. Everyone thinks they should speak English and are always shocked when they find out I can speak Italian.  I’ve had a pharmacist apologise to me for her lack of English – imagine that happening the other way round in the UK!
  9. It’s impossible to get a word in edgeways in any conversation, you just have to keep speaking over the other person until they stop.
  10. They all think Berlusconi’s insane too.
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5 thoughts on “Travel Love: Things I’ve learned about Italy

  1. Pingback: I get surprisingly attached to some easy reads « Books and Other Loves

    • Yes, I have to do it as part of my course, but I get to choose what I do. So we pick where to go and whether to study or work. I’m studying Spanish and Italian, so am heading to Central America after this – can’t wait! 😀
      I’m sure I’ll end up with plenty more to post about before I go home.

  2. You study languages too! Did you do the Erasmus scheme or did you work? Whereabouts in Central America are you off to?
    Sorry for the scary levels of enthusiasm- I’m just finishing my Year Abroad (I’m still in France, even though term’s finished).

    • Not at all scary, I’m a big fan of the enthusiasm! 🙂

      I was a language assistant in Italy (very happy to be back home for a while now), then I’m off travelling in Central America in a week. Going backpacking with my friend, we’re starting in Mexico and working our way down to Costa Rica for 3 months – planning to put the money I earned this year to good use!

      Do you just study French? Were you on Erasmus this year? x

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