Buongiorno a tutti!
I arrived in Parma, Italy in mid-September when summer was still at its best and temperature around +30’C. Parma is a beautiful city of 187 000 inhabitants, which is small for Italy. The location is perfect for exploring places, for example by train you can reach Milano in 1.5h, Bologna in 1h and Modena in 0.5h.
I’ve gotten to know the local culinary culture by visiting a cheese factory where they make the world famous Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano. My favourite! Goes well with the local spakling red wine Lambrusco. Lots of pasta and pizza also, though pizza comes from the south of Italy and isn’t typical for the north.
Very soon after arriving in Italia you also realize, that Italians generally don’t speak English. Even at the university, the welcome lectures for international students were held in Italian and everyone expects you to know and speak Italian. The con is that you easily feel an outsider if you don’t speak the language. The pro is that you learn it REALLY fast because you have to 😀 Luckily they provide language courses at the university.
I’ve managed some travelling also, most memorable being Cinque Terre at the Italian Riviera. There are five small villages at the coast with unimaginably scenic views and small alleys to wander along.
My exchange is now a little over half-way. I’m looking forward to more unforgettable experiences in this country of culture, art and good food. Arrivederci!