Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bergamo, Snow, and 5 MONTHS!

Ohhhh snap, I just realized I only made one blog post in January! How unprofessional of me. Now I have to think back three weeks to what all has happened in the life of me…hmm. Let’s start with the Rotary trip to Bergamo. Two Saturdays ago Rotary district 2040 took its monthly trip to Bergamo, a city about 45 minutes east of Milano. To be honest, I didn’t really expect much from this place. On the contrary, when we arrived it was perfect weather and I absolutely loved the city. Bergamo is divided into two sections: Città Bassa (Low City, the modern part) and Città Alta (High City, the ancient Roman-founded part). To reach the Città Alta you have to take a super-steep mountainside tram thing. The High City was so beautiful; it was just typically Italian, like straight out of a postcard. We saw Roman churches, streets, and even a Roman clothes-washing area thing. I adored the Low City as well though because it was so different than other Italian cities I’ve been too—the streets were wide and lined with trees, and it actually felt more American to me. :P All in all, I really enjoyed our visit and I can’t wait to return!
super-steep mountain tram thing
Città Alta <3
the group :)
Bergamo just has this humble beauty about it...
All of January we enjoyed fairly warm weather here (for Milano at least) until this week, the first week of February. Suddenly the temperature dropped, an intense snowstorm descended, and everything iced over. I’m going to start having to wear more layers than the customary 4 I had been wearing. Having lived in Indiana for six years, the snow isn’t that much of a shock, but we must remember I have lived in Mississippi most recently, so I definitely am not equipped with appropriate clothing. Thankfully, my gracious host family provides me with extra warm clothes. J

Speaking of my new host family, I love them!! They are just wonderful. My host parents even took me snowshoeing last Sunday, something I had never done before! It was MUCH more difficult than I could have imagined, but by the end of the day I felt very proud of myself for having scaled that mountain in the Alps.
view from the top 
my new host parents and I 
I went to a disco for the second time a few weeks ago and it was so much better than the first time I went. I am planning on going to another one tonight as well. J Today is my official 5 MONTH mark, and it kind of throws me off. As of today, I have been here five months, and yet it feels like I just arrived sometimes. I am halfway through my exchange. Everything that has happened so far happened in 5 months, so that means I still have that same time period to have even more crazy adventures! So incredibly strange to think about. Anyways. Where I was going with this rant was this: having a limited amount of time left, I have resolved to travel a lot more. With Rotary we are going to Venezia this month for Carnevale (already been there), then Cremona in March (already been there too) then to Roma in April. However, there are MANY Italian and European cities missing from this short list. These include, but are not limited to: Firenze (Florence), Genova (Genoa), Pisa, the islands of Sicilia (Sicily) and Sardegna (Sardinia), PARIS, Amsterdam, Spain in general, Germany in general, and London. I may go to London with some school friends in late June but that’s a long way off. Therefore in the meantime I will definitely plan some weekend excursions to cities like Firenze and Genova, but the international trips will be trickier.

I finished my second book in Italian and am now reading a biography (in Italian) of the famous ballet dancer Roberto Bolle, who is based at La Scala here in Milano. My goal is to see him dance before I leave Italia, although this will be extremely difficult as he is in high demand when it comes to tickets. I received my first semester report card and I am pleased with the results. However, now I must do more interrogations and tests like I did last semester in order to have good grades this last semester! I swear I have become so lazy when it comes to school.

In exactly two weeks I will return to Venezia, armed with my authentic Venetian mask, ready to take on the Carnevale crowds. Many exchange kids have not been there yet, and the atmosphere is apparently so ridiculous that it is sure to be crazzzzzyyyyyyyy. CAN’T WAIT! :D