And to think that we are all just tiny, absolutely minuscule in comparison to how big the world is. And yet we are still cared for and loved. Insane! It's funny to notice that we try to be big, it really doesn't work. Anyway!
I found myself all over again, there.
In aereo. I was never ready to leave, but then I am also ready to get back home! Check in and boarding was straightforward and the view from the plane window is stunning! I can't wait to send thank you messages and emails. I have a lot to thank my Italian family for. I am safe in the knowledge I am loved by them in Urbania, and that there is always a place for me if I wanted to go back. Franci is like the brother I never had, and Eli the sister. We are very similar. I love i Gnucci. I am so grateful I know them. Va bene!
Scuola for the last time. I love Barbara and Corinna, Claudio and Roberto a lot. They are such great people and I have learnt a lot from them. I have cleared up alot of confusion with my grammar. They looked after us so well and attended to all of our needs so gently. They were so generous to give us a cookbook too - I will definitely keep in touch with them.
The last lunchtime too was really special. It was all just so incredible! I missed Eli however. I will never forget the time I have spent here in Urbania with these beautiful people, speaking a gorgeous language, eating incredible surrounded by the most picturesque architecture. Bellino!!
19 February 2015
I love this beautiful family so so much. I have a lot of time for them. They are so precious to me and such a huge inspiration. Dinner and Pictures for the last night. I can't believe I am leaving tomorrow!!
Yesterday was also my last day at Piazza Duomo with Marco. He was great, very friendly and understanding. It was lovely to get a glimpse of what it is to work in Italy and how fashion works out there. I nuovi arrivi for spring and summer were really lovely: they were actually from Darling! It was so lovely of Marco to give me a gift! I am so glad I have something nice to take home with me! It was a really really great experience! I am so glad I am building up contacts too! They have all said come back again and write to me and everything! It is nice to know that there are people here who are willing to look after me! Grazie Mille Marco!! 🎉🇮🇹
I loved this so much. This was probably one of the highlights of the whole trip. La Casa Tintoria was so gorgeous I loved the location of it (next to a large river) and how it was doctorated inside! They grew all fruit and vegetables in their gardens, and everything we made today was from scratch. It was so special and such a privilege to watch and work with very experienced Italian cooks. They knew all of the recipes by heart. Just the simplest touches and tweaks made all the difference in the world. We made pizza (con pomodori, olio, basilica, spring onion) panini (bread + ham) tagliatelle (farina e uove) from scratch - I can't believe I learnt how to make proper pasta - Then, vanilla ice cream! The staples of Italian cuisine. It was just nice to watch them get to it in their natural environment: the kitchen. It was so peaceful, they know the deep joy that comes with food and eating together. They know what flavours work together instinctively and they teach their children the same!
Dodi is a HUGE inspiration. She has encouraged me to explore food and flavours more, to be a better cook; a better person. I am so grateful I met her. She is so gentle and compassionate. I loved getting to learn from her. I am so privileged to have gone there and worked with her to create some really really great food! She is beautiful and I am grateful for this unforgettable experience and time spent with her.
We went to school again but only for an hour as it was the farmers market in the streets today!! It meant that we left earlier to see everything before heading off to La Casa Tintoria.
Però these for breakfast will never fail!
Ho difficoltà alzarmi sta mattina.
18 February 2015
Sta sera abbiamo cenato colle due tempeste: Diego, 5 e Jiaccopo, 2.
It was so great to see them again! Diego hasn't changed a bit. He is so mischievous! We talked about a lot and shared English music with Eli. I can't believe she got up at 06h30 after going to bed at 4h00. Sembra energetica oggi anche!! A me? Stanchissima! Buona Notte!
Had a shower and a quiet late afternoon nap! Carino!
Cioccolata calda in piazza.
Sto pomeriggio in Urbino! It was so lovely to come back here again. It is so beautiful and hold some strong connections to the Renaissance. I am so glad, I appreciated everything a lot more this time as we have studied il Rinascimento in great depth! It was also really cool to learn about local history. Urbino is so characterful, and is also a university city. There is beautiful architecture everywhere and I am so glad we went!
At the bus station waiting for the coach to Urbino. Fa freddo in grande!!
Scuola was good today! We got up late (alle 10h00) and it was a nice easy morning. We simply talked about last night and cultural differences amongst other things.
A pranzo! We are back in Caffé Centrale again! Carino!
Il Carnevale was a real learning curve for me. There were so many young people aged 14-21! It was so crazy! We all dressed up in costume and got ready together. But it surely was an insight into i giovani italiani. I really didn't know what to expect but we were warned. We went into the gym, and people were already drunk, they lit up immediately. It was crazy. I guess, it was 23h30 and smoking is simply part of the Italian culture. The music was loud, but that was a good thing. I also really liked the fact that everyone is friendly and all of the young people in Urbania were together in one place. At times I found the boys quite threatening, but they didn't mean to be! I guess it reminded me that Italy is not perfect. Otherwise, un bel tempo, it was so interesting to see, I am so lucky I was able to go!
17 February 2015
È l'ora di mangiare
I worked at Piazza Duomo again. He complimented me on how good my italian is! He has some incredible clothes, but is very fussy and particular... as any clothes and fashion designer would be. There were a few customers that came in to have a look ai nuovi arrivi or get some fashion advice. But there I found myself again: folding shirts, creating looks, sharing things on social media, attending to customers and wow. It has really encouraged me to explore my own personal style. One thing to mention, Italians are very body confident. They are also friendly and hospitable to everyone even strangers. They always have something to say and are never ever negative. They achieve excellence in all spheres of life and attach importance to the things that matter in life. Sometimes, I seriously wonder why I am English.
The sun is shining outside! And we managed to find a nice place to eat - La Pecora Nera! The food was so delicious here;
Carlotta: tagliatelle col ragù
Emma: rigatoni alla carbonara.
It also means we have time to have a shower, as il Carnevale iniza dopo la cena alle 23h30 e finisce alle 03h00. We need to get ready! I can't believe I am living this!
L'architettura qui è eccezionale
This morning was really good at school! We learnt so much! It was so great to learn more about il Rinascimento and the history of Italian art! We also learnt a lot about il Carnevale!
I get to celebrate it later as today is martedì grasso - l'ultimo giorno di Carnevale prima di Pasqua! It is so interesting - all the important festivals happen in the North but that is not an excuse to do nothing, as according to Italian tradition, there is always something to celebrate. The famous festivals come il Carnevale Veneziano, i Corri Allegorici, la Sartiglia e la Battaglia di Arance are so fun - it is also very interesting to think and learn about why they are doing it! Honestly, it is a great privilege to be here, to learn about culture to simply learn and become!!
Oggi, ho dovuto alzarmi alle 06h30. Prestissimo!
love love love loved dinner with the family tonight! These were some of my favourite times last time I came!
16 February 2015
Nel pomeriggio I worked at Piazza Duomo numero 3. It is such a lovely shop filled with the nicest clothes, for men and women. I got straight to it and found myself folding shirts and jeans, creating outfits, being in charge of social media and talking to clients. I never ever saw this coming! The owner was very nice although sometimes particular. I am just so amazed I am even doing this! I can't wait to go back there as it is a lovely shop and I get to think about what to buy for others! And I get to speak more Italian and learn more about la vita italiana! Buona Notte!
At lunchtime, there wasn't much open as Italy closes and goes home for lunch. However, we were lucky enough to find Caffè Centrale dove abbiamo mangiato un panino e una pasta. It was so lovely.
Afterwards, Carlotta ed io went home and rested for a bit. We went downstairs and we helped make i dolci per la cena. It was so incredible to use authentic Italian recipes and just get involved. We made una crostata - an Italian speciality for Carnevale. We also made una torta al limone. It was so zesty!! It was probably one of the highlights of my morning!!
Today we had our first lessons in Scuola Italia. It was so special to see Corinna and Barbara again! A student teacher was there and we spoke in Italian the whole time. It was so cool! I learnt lots about the Italian School System and I was so surprised at how much I am able to understand and say. I hang off nearly every word they say. We had conversazione e un po' di grammatica. We revised direct and indirect pronouns - it was so nice to clarify! I can't wait for lessons tomorrow!
15 February 2015
Siamo qui. Coming back to Urbania was exactly what I needed. The flight went well and it was nice to look out of the plane window and reflect. I know I will come back after this utterly refreshed.
Claudio, our airport transfer (who is also Corinna's husband) was really great, he put both of us at ease. He was so interesting and we talked the whole way home. We talked about all sorts of things, from work and family to the history of Italy; music and Carnevale, Italian law and food. So so cool that we can just do this. I am not struggling with language at all. Even though we got lost on the way home, it was funny and surely made for the memories. I noticed he spoke with his hands whilst driving. Che bella!
We are on the plane about to leave! It is so crazy to think about how much changes in a year, a month even. The potential in life is endless, and really sadly, it often gets overlooked and written off. But this adventure is my ongoing one, and will continue to be! If you told me 4 years ago that I was going to work in Italy for a week, I would never have believed you. Now, here I am, about to board the plane to work in a fashion and clothes shop for a week. Pursuing my dream and using my gifts, learning and discovering, growing and becoming. I am so overwhelmed at the beautiful opportunities I have been given.
14 February 2015
I am going Italy tomorrow, flying on my own (i.e. no teachers or parents or adults!) with Charlotte to work! It is so crazy to think that I knew no Italian 3 years ago! I am so so exited to put all my language in action, to learn more and to be with everyone! Opportunities like this don't come often, it will be so unforgettable and I know I will enjoy every minute of it. I love Elisa and her beautiful family; Corinna, Barbara and everyone a scuola - I have been really inspired by them and I have missed them very much. I am so blessed by this, and even more excited to see where this adventure takes me this week!