I fell in love with Italy. The architecture. The Food. The People. Their customs. Their art and history. Their language. Amore. The Italian culture, in general.
I wish I was able to travel to Venice, Verona, Florence, Rome, Palermo, etc…but that will be for another time. The following Italian cities still made me fall head over heels for Italy:
San Remo, Italy: The Italian Riviera
Now, the first part of my Italian adventure started in sunny, San Remo, a resort town on the Italian Riviera. It is widely known for its casino…but I did not go here to gamble. Instead, I took a chance and accepted a teaching position from the organization, Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational (ACLE). Their new hires had to attend a mandatory TEFL orientation in San Remo before teaching in a classroom.
In the orientation, we were taught the essentials: classroom management, the specifics of the English language, activities and games to play with Italian students, etiquette in our host families’ homes, etc. At night, however, we drank wine, ate huge plates of pasta and even danced in the discotheque! Overall, the orientation allowed me to meet plenty of people from different parts of the world. Cheers to having new friends from the UK, Ireland, Australia and the U.S.
Milan, Italy: Fashion Capital
The first school I taught in was Milan. I had the youngest students appointed to me: aged six to nine. I loved my students even though at times they proved to be difficult.
Furthermore, my host family was spectacular! They brought me to eat sushi in Monza and toured me around downtown Milan to see the city sights and try gelato from Grom. I was too excited to see the city. After all, Milan is recognized internationally as one of the world’s most important Fashion Capitals. I was reminded of Milan Fashion Week and luxe Italian brands such as Gucci, Armani, Emilio Pucci, Valentino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Miu Miu, Fendi, Moschino, Missoni, Bottega Veneta….
We also drove by Milan’s main upscale fashion district, the “quadrilatero della moda” AKA “fashion quadrilateral”, which includes Milan’s prestigious shopping streets: Via Sant’Andrea, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia, Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga.
Unfortunately, due to time constraints and my busy work schedule (lesson planning, marking, script writing for the students’ final play, etc), I did not fully enjoy what Milan had to offer.
However, on the last day, two other awesome tutors and I walked around Piazza del Duomo; “Cathedral Square”. This piazza is the main city square of Milan and marks the center of the city. Next time, I will definitely schedule enough time to wander about in this posh city.
Genoa, Italy: European Capital of Culture
My final stop in Italy was Genoa. Genoa is a beautiful city and brags the fact that it was Christopher Columbus’ birthplace. Just as well, the city has impressive landmarks such as Piazza De Ferrari, St. Lawrence Cathedral built in Romanesque-Renaissance style and ancient Genoese walls such as Porta Soprana. Personally, my favourite part of the city is its Old Town. Getting lost in the cobblestone alleyed, winding streets (more like a labyrinth if you ask me) is always fun in the historic area. Enjoying ‘aperitivo’ or bar hopping with friendly, trendy locals was a great experience in the old town. The cuisine in Genoa is quiet the delight. After all, the city is known for its pesto and focaccias. My host mother made a quiet tasty pesto pasta…mmmm
In conclusion, Genoa really exceeded my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I’m glad I went to Genoa and it has become a city in which I formed meaningful friendships with my coworkers and made unforgettable memories. FYI: I taught in a Catholic School with nuns. An elderly, senile nun punched me for not being fluent in Italian. How’s that for fulfilling something in a bucket list?… Getting punched by a NUN!
C I A O!!!!