Nel blu dipinto di blu, felice di stare lassù…

Come si può parlare dell’italiano senza dire che è una delle lingue più belle del mondo? Come musica per le orecchie, l’italiano è anche la lingua del sole, del dolce farniente, dell’opera, di Manzoni, della pizza e del gelato (sempre i riferimenti al cibo)! Si potrebbe scrivere una vera storia d’amore tra me e la cucina italiana, che non manca mai di sorprendermi, anche se è soltanto una pizza margherita. Ah, la semplicità della margherita… Non so se parlare di cibo è veramente una buona idea, potrei parlarne per tantissime ore e questo m’incoraggia di fare razzia del frigo.

Perché ho deciso di aprendere l’italiano? Ho scelto di studiare le lingue romanze, francese e spagnolo principalmente. Ho studiato lo spagnolo per due anni al liceo e non volevo perderlo. Ma ho avuto anche la fortuna di poter studiare l’italiano, un sogno diventato realtà.

IMG_2790

(Vista dal Piazzale Michelangelo, Firenze, estate 2009)

Mi piacciono tutte le lingue, veramente. Se avessi una superpotenza sarebbe parlare tutte le lingue del mondo (anche con tutti i dialetti). Ma ho sempre voluto imparare l’italiano e tutto legato alla sua cultura. M’immaginavo che imparare l’italiano sarebbe abbastanza facile dal punto di vista del vocabolario ma forse non tanto dal punto di vista grammaticale. Ciao, caro congiuntivo! Ad essere sincera, avevo già studiato il congiuntivo spagnolo, quello che mi ha aiutato molto allora non posso lamentarmi.

Amo tanto l’italiano che nel’ultimo anno di laurea, ho deciso di andare a Siena per tre settimane, per migliorare il mio italiano. Volevo proprio andare nel ambiente toscano, conoscere altri italiani ma anche gente di culture diverse. Ho avuto la fortuna di visitare altre piccole città vicine a Siena, come Montepulciano, San Gimignano o Volterra. Non esiterei andare vivere in Toscana (comunque vediamo un po’ l’evoluzione della situazione economica e tutto questo tra alcuni anni).

Un’altra cosa che mi ha fatto innamorarmi dell’Italia è il cinema italiano e altri film come Vacanze romane (con Gregory Peck e la sola e unica Audrey Hepburn) o La baia di Napoli (con Clark Gable e Sophia Loren). L’umorismo italiano con tutti i gesti non manca mai di farmi ridere. Forse perché a volte mi fa ricordare l’umorismo rumeno.

Audrey_Hepburn_and_Gregory_Peck_on_Vespa_in_Roman_Holiday_trailer

Naples

Per finire con un più grande sorriso, ecco una delle canzione italiane più emblematiche!  🙂

Siena – Un anno dopo

I’m getting quite nostalgic these last couple of days. Nothing too dramatic, of course but I will always remember this time of year as my first real adventure (well, doesn’t that sound serious?). This time last year I was attending a summer school in Siena to improve my Italian skills and to get more and more familiar with the Italian culture and way of living. It was basically a dream come true. It was a way for me to compensate for not having an Erasmus experience. Three weeks don’t equal six months, for sure, but I couldn’t complain!

I’m still keeping in touch with two a-ma-zing girls I’ve met there and it’s always great to catch up and remember our time in Siena! I’m so proud and grateful to have met such great people! (Ulrike and Erin, I’m looking at you! :D)

IMG_0515

I’m also very curious about this year’s Palio, which is in two days! I can barely stay calm, I’m so anxious to see who’s going to win! I’m crossing fingers for the Selva contrada! No offence to the other ones but this contrada will always be my favourite as it’s the one that welcomed me with open arms! I really wish I could go there and see the Palio with my own eyes but London’s charm is keeping hypnotised for one more month and a half. One month and a half. Time, you seriously have got to stop rushing.

It’s really exciting for me to be in London this summer and I could never compare Siena to London because these two experiences are very different. But it’s funny how spending your summer in a productive way can feel very fulfilling!

And to finish on yet another nostalgic note, here is a song that will always bring back memories: Song for Sienna by Brian Crain.

A special thank you for my Dad who made me discover this song! 🙂

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ricordi di Siena*

Image

(* Memories from Siena)

The idea of starting a blog popped into my mind when I was in Siena this summer, for a cultural experience. I had the opportunity to go to a summer school in order to improve my Italian. Needless to say it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life so far.

Ricordi di Siena(The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia) 

The school I went to (Scuola Dante Alighieri) offered not only language courses but also cultural and cooking classes, not to mention at least three cultural activities per day (museum visits, movies, restaurants or conferences). There was no way of getting bored. Anyone who did, well, that means they didn’t get the whole point of this experience. I actually feel lucky to have had the opportunity to learn so many things in only three weeks…

Before coming to Siena, I had read a few things about its history and some cultural facts. Of course, the images in your mind after reading those things are nothing compared to what you discover once you get there (oh hello, Cross-Cultural Communication course… this reminds me of you!)

For many people, Siena rhymes with “Palio”… undeniably, it is probably the most cherished event for the Sienese people, as it represents everything they’re living for. I didn’t have any kind of clichés about this famous Palio, because (to be honest) I’d never even watched it on TV. Though, I had heard many things about it and what I could remember were “horse race”, “crowded” and “noisy”. Anyway, since a few friends convinced me that I shouldn’t miss this for the world, I decided to book my trip in August, so I can be there in the middle of the Palio and not miss the real deal.

Siena is actually divided into 17 contrade (districts). Basically, a contrada represents everything for a Sienese: what makes their uniqueness, along with their values and beliefs.  So, this is why, during the Palio, everyone is cheering for their own contrada… to put it more simply, their teamAfter understanding what the Palio is really about and how much it means for the Sienese, all the clichés were gone in an instant. Now, of course, many people still criticise this horse race, shouting that it’s against animal rights and that it encourages violence between people. Sadly enough, these people (generally foreigners) have no idea about what this tradition stands for. Of course, their reactions are quite understandable if they only base their opinion on what they see on TV: the three-minute race, with everyone going crazy and shouting… therefore, seen as “useless”.

palio_siena_naif1

I wish I could post a decent video but unfortunately, I wasn’t actually in the Piazza del Campo where the race took place. Good old lazy (and careful) me preferred watching the race sitting in a pizzeria (eating the best pizza in the world, but that’s another story). Long story short: the Palio is a breathtaking must-see event. Definitely not just a horse race.  

Without further ado (this text is even longer than I’ve planned), here are some samples of my sight-seeings… more to come on Flickr 😉 

(My walk to school, every morning)

(Always a thrill taking pictures of the Duomo peek-a-booing)

(La Contrada della Selva – the Forest District – where I lived. The best one, it goes without saying)

(The winning Contrada of 2012: la Contrada del Valdimontone – Valley of the Ram – or the McDonald’s District, for all the red and yellow)

(The Accademia Musicale Chigiana, displaying the 17 district flags)

(The Duomo, where the winning Contrada’s first ceremony takes place, amongst other events)

So, Siena, thank you for surprising me and taking my breath away every single day. No one could dream of better summer holidays…

Finally, I must thank two special ladies for making my stay in Siena even more fun and adventurous (ok, crazier!). Erin and Ulrike, if you’re reading this, I’m saying it again: a major thank you!!! Erin, thank you for being the best roommate anyone could ever dream of and for the inspiring 1AM conversations! And Ullie, thank you for the weekend trips in “la macchina del sole” singing along Caro Emerald, Jovanotti and Robbie Williams! Who could have thought tanning was so easy when you’re driving in a convertible? 😉 And, of course, San Gimignano couldn’t have been as fun without you two! 🙂

Enough talking for me, today! More tomorrow… Enjoy!

(All pictures by me, unless hyperlinked)