Staying in Genoa for the past two weeks truly has been living “the sweet life.” Not only because I have had gelato religiously every day, but also because of the amazing apartment the program was able to arrange for me. I was lucky enough to get an apartment with another Pitt student and stay with the nicest host lady. She is what one would think of as the typical Italian grandma. She is very hospital, caring and is a retired university professor! I wasn’t’ expecting to have a host lady or a roommate and I am used to living alone so it is a bit of an adjustment, but it is working out well. The apartment is on the very top floor, making it hot at night since most Italians do not have air conditioning. That is one minor complaint and the fact that we have access to a terrace makes up for it and more! From there I can see all of Genoa and get an amazing view of the sunrise in the morning.
As with Pitt, the walk to classes are around 10 minutes. On the way to class I stop at the local coffee shop, or bar in Italian, and get an espresso and a pastry or brioche. I have gone to the same bar for the past 2 weeks and the barista knows my order now and gets my espresso ready when I walk in. To top it off, it only cost €2, compared to around $10 that it would cost back home. One reason for deciding on this location was to get the experience of living life like an Italian and this has been one way to accomplish that goal. After the brief coffee break it is time to walk to class. Also, at 11:00 everyone takes a “pausa di caffè” to enjoy another espresso. Given I normally drink 4 cups of coffee a day, I love the coffee culture here!
I knew our classes were not going to be in an Italian university and was expecting they would be in an office building. To my surprise, our classes are held in an old palace! Palazzo Ducale to be exact. The view from the classroom is stunning and from the window you can see the old stock exchange, Borsa di Genoa. Our class from Pitt is small and consist of 5 students which I like. What I also like is starting this week we are going to merge our conversation class with students from Harvard. I am looking forward to the opportunity to working with and meeting students from another university that we can share this experience with.
Ciao for now,