A summarized take on my experience in Italy

April 28.
- Italians are remarkably thin for the carbs their cuisine prides itself upon.

- Italian driving follows no rules. Driving in between the lanes, if you’re lucky enough to be on a road with lanes, is optional. Traffic lights serve as guidelines; Speeding up while squeezing through an alleyway crowded with pedestrians, is the norm.

- It’s cheaper to get a shot of espresso (which you drink while standing over the cafĂ©’s bar) than a bottle of water.  Cappuccinos are not acceptable after 12 pm. Restaurants do not offer free tap water.

- Men range from either downright friendly or absolutely creepy—with no middle ground to even the two. Italians as a whole are wonderful—always willing to help with the limited range of English words they may or may not know. They, unlike the French, understand you don’t speak their language, yet do appreciate the effort for those who try. 

- Tourist information stands will forever be closed and expect hostel tourist maps to leave off every street you possibly need.

- Don’t rely on public transportation to get around Rome. The metro goes relatively nowhere and signs to guide tourists are largely absent. The hope: you’ll hire a tour guide, all government sponsored. Clever, really. Our solution: splitting cabs and a Rick Steves guide book

- Italian is a beautiful language—it rolls off with such rhythm, a smooth note to their every word.

- Let’s Go Europe (my travel book bible) says Venice has more tourists than locals. I found Florence more of a tourist breeding ground than Venice. Because canals cut through all of Venice, locals are dispersed among the tourists; I enjoyed watching the locals set up their markets and opening up their shops each morning.

- Italy is a beautiful country with so much to offer—culture, food, history. It’s a country I look forward to revisit—but next time, without a week alone. The week taught me I enjoy company, I enjoy a shared experience. It’s a good lesson to learn. And with it, I continue forth onto the final month of my study abroad program. Peace of mind that I return to a city that I know, an area that I love and an environment in which I have friends to share the moments of our remaining month, together. 

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