la mia vita italiana: update 1

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello

-Paulo Coehlo

Hello, Hallo, Buongiorno, Hola and welcome to my first update from Italy!

I came across this quote last week and thought it would be good for my first post…2 weeks in and even though it was difficult to say goodbye to friends and family, for me the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Also I know it won’t be here forever. It’s apt for my moving back here but can also be true for every part of life –  if you’re brave enough to do something you will always be rewarded. Did I ever imagine I’d study Italian at university? No. Did I ever imagine I would one day end up living and working in Italy? Certainly not. But then again that’s the whole point, if I’d never have taken the chance, I wouldn’t have had all these amazing opportunities open up for me.

When I started learning languages I was honestly only ever really interested in German, I didn’t click with French even though I did it at GCSE and I didn’t give much more thought to what other languages I could learn. I went to university only intending to study German but then a friend suggested we do Spanish too and, I mean, why not? I had some time and after all I was paying for it, so why not get as much out of it as I could? German led me to Dutch and Spanish lead me to Italian.

Even then I only chose to do Italian as it seemed the easiest option of my choice of modules. As much as I love German and everything to do with it, the prospect of studying literature from the Holocaust was just too much. So Italian it was…and here I am, about 2 years after starting a module I only really did for the credit value and I’m happily living and working in Italy! Sometimes I still can’t believe it…people ask me where I live or where I’m working and when I reply with ‘Oh yeah, I work in Italy’ most of the time I’m as shocked as they are at the answer!

You maybe wondering what the blog title means, la mia vita italiana, and I spent ages trying to decide whether to change the original name of ‘Life in Italy’. I wanted to change the name as to make it clearly different from my previous time here and thought a little bit of Italian wouldn’t harm. So the new title of this blog series, which will take me all the way though to mid-June 2017 is ‘my Italian life’.

So, what have I been doing in my first two weeks?

Naturally I’ve started back at work. Nothing much has changed other than a few new teachers and all the kids are a bit taller. It’s great to be back and to be greeted with such enthusiasm every morning (even if its sometimes the only thing they’ll actually say to me in English). I’m only working 12 hours at the moment, yes I know its cushty but we’re still trying to set up the adult classes and it means that I’ve got Fridays off for now. Which means more time for exploring!!

My first Friday back I took the train to Desenzano del Garda and unbeknownst to me it was also the last day of hot weather – 24 degrees in October ❀ It was just as beautiful as ever and quieter so it was really nice to just explore with my camera and take some good photos…

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Porto Vecchio, Desenzano del Garda 
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I also discovered a new area of the town I’d never seen before, very narrow and steep cobbled streets which wound down from the castle to the lakeside. The view from the castle was amazing and then making my way back down through streets was such a great experience. It was so so quiet, colourful and just relaxing to be there…like something out of a film!

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the view from the castle!

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one of the winding, cobbled streets
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I’ve also taken 2 trips to Brescia, it’s such a nice city, especially the city centre around the 2 domes and the main squares. What always surprises me about Brescia is the mixture of people, wealth and just general diversity. I mean, you can find shops selling everything and anything to people from all walks of life. It’s actually quite refreshing. My first visit was on Saturday, just a walk around the city centre and surprise, surprise nothing much had changed…still as lovely as ever.

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Duomo Nuovo, New Cathedral

The second time I went was on my day off and there was basically a monsoon…I was totally drenched, my umbrella snapped mid-storm and I even had to dry my hair with the hairdryer when I got home! Despite the less than perfect weather conditions I did manage to actually explore a lot more, especially around the historical old town which dates back to the roman times!

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Capitolium of Brixia
After walking around for as long as I could in the rain, I visited the Santa Giulia Museum which was totally amazing – definitely one of the best indoor, rainy-day activities I’ve done! Its a former monastery  which has so much history and various different architectural styles. It includes 3 different churches, all of which are beautifully decorated.

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The Nuns Choir, 15th century

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Oratory of Santa Maria in Solario, 12th century

After spending about 2 hours in the museum and when the rain finally let up a bit, I walked to Piazza della Loggia, the main square in Brescia. It’s famous for its Venetian architectural style and astrological clock, both of which make the square feel grand and very quaint.

That’s about it really for this first update. I’ve just been settling back in, unpacking and organizing everything so there’s not that much content this time. But I’ll leave you with this photo of my lovely little town…

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Alla prossima volta! πŸ™‚

(until next time!)

 

 

 

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