My first week in Italy It’s been a great first week in…

My first week in Italy
It’s been a great first week in…

At the entrance of Ciciu del Villar

Chilling with my host brother. 🙂

My host brother and his father. 🙂

Mushroom rocks!

About Ciciu Del Villar

The view from the top of the hill.

My first gelato in Italy! 🙂

My first football game. I went to see my host brother play. His team won! 🙂

My first week in Italy

It’s been a great first week in Italy. I’ve been tired, but I find it hard to sleep sometimes. Maybe it’s because I’m still so excited to be in Italy.

Last Wednesday I flew from Los Angeles to New York where I met many people from the Greenheart Travel crew. My first flight was 5 hours. I found it hard to rest on the plane because I was so anxious. I was able to sleep for a few hours on my second flight from New York to Milan. The second flight was 7 hours. The airline Emirates was very nice, and the flight was more enjoyable better because I sat near people I knew and talked to them during the flight. I sat next to a fellow teacher who’s name is Mario. He is an Italian from Canada and we spoke about the times he visited his family in Italy. We met an American girl who had previously served as an Au Pair and was going back to in Milan to become an Au Pair for another family. She gave us some good advice about getting around in Italy for example using blablacar to find a ride if we needed to go somewhere. 

When we arrived in Milan Malpensa, we met with the rest of the Greenheart Travel volunteers. Some of them were from Canada and Australia. It was nice finally meeting everyone in person. We had been talking on Facebook for weeks, so it was nice to put faces to names. We took a bus “pullman” over to a Hostel in Turin. It took about 2 hours, and I was able to fall asleep on the bus. 

After settling into the hostel with my two roommates, Madeline and Tracey, we took a walk around Turin and had dinner. We saw some of the Luci d’Artista, Lights designed by different artists. We also passed by the Egyptian museum, the Mole Antonelliana, and the beautiful Piazzas. We had some time to ourselves to explore Turin and some of the girls and I went to a Bar and got cappuccinos. 🙂 Bars in Italy serve espresso, “cafe” not alcohol like bars in America. The espresso here is amazing. I don’t think I can go back to drinking regular coffee. I love how elegant and historic the city is. There are many old buildings and statues, which I am not used to in California. Being in Italy feels like a sweet dream, and I don’t want to wake up any time soon. 

We ate at a pizzeria, and it was so much better than the pizza in America. No comparison. Everyone got their own pizza. Although every bite was delicious, I couldn’t finish the entire pizza since I’m not used to eating such large portions. The wine and the desert were great. The panna cotta was heavenly. I don’t know how I’ll go back to eating American food. I may change my diet and cook more instead of going out so much when I return to the states. By the time dinner was over, we were all very tired. We took a bus back to the hostel and I slept very well that night up until 6:00 in the morning when I woke up because it was freezing. We discovered later that we had a heater, but we didn’t know there was one and we didn’t know how to turn it on.

We had orientation the next morning where they informed us about what we should expect as a teacher’s assistant. The WEP program coordinators talked about the cultural differences, as well as our responsibilities as student teachers, and the procedures in case something happens to us over here. At the end of orientation we finally met our host families. My host brother, host mother, and teacher went to pick me up. The program coordinators gave us flowers to give to our host families. It felt like we were all getting adopted that day, and in a sense we were. 

My host family is very warm and friendly. I have two host brothers and a host sister who is only one year old. Only my oldest host brother speaks English. I am just starting to learn Italian, but I can speak French. It helps that my host family knows a little French. 

During the weekend, my host brother and I went to the Riserva Naturale Ciciu Del Villar. It’s a nature reserve with natural rock formations shaped like mushrooms. We did a short hike and saw great views of the mountains. It was breathtaking. After the hike, we went to a Bar. It was hot, so I had gelato. My first gelato in Italy. It was nocciola hazelnut flavor, my favorite. It’s the simple things like good gelato that make me the happiest. Perhaps I’m just easy to please. 

After the Bar, we went to get fresh meat to barbecue. Dinner that night was amazing. The main dish was wild boar. My host brother and his dad cooked. I tried different types of wine that night and everything was good. One alcoholic beverage I tried was homemade with alcohol, sugar, and fresh herbs from the mountain. It’s supposed to help with digestion. 

On another note, in Italy, you can actually see all the starts at night. I don’t think I’ve ever seem them this bright. Since California has so many lights it’s hard to see the stars. 

The next day I saw my first “football” match. My youngest host brother is an athlete and we went to go see his game in Carmagnola. It was fun to watch him play since I’ve never seen a football match before and the audience seemed very enthusiastic about the game. His team won! I feel like my host brother looks like a mini Christiano Ronaldo. 

We went to visit my host grandparents after the match. It was great to meet them. They talked to me about Piedmontese, which is the dialect of Piedmont. It’s similar to French, which I like because I speak French and it’s easier for me to understand. My host grandfather talked about how he visited the United States and went to San Diego, Sacramento, and Las Vegas when he was younger. I enjoyed listening to them speak. It made me miss my grandparents. The food we had for dinner was great. My favorite was the homemade pasta with a creamy meat sauce and the gelato of course.

There is a 9 hour time difference, and I’m still getting used to it mostly because when I call my family and my boyfriend during the afternoon in Italy, it is morning in the states. I’ll keep you updated on how school is going soon! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *