This is my third month in Milan, heading towards the end of my semester here. It truly has gone so fast! I can’t believe I’ll be back in Minnesota in about a month’s time. I do feel like I’ve been able to integrate into the culture. At first, I could easily be picked out as the American, but now I’m able to blend in with the general Italian population. I am going to try to attempt to keep up with my Italian dressing habits back home, but I do miss wearing sweatpants to class. Also, picking up a few Italian slang words has helped me blend in. If you ever find yourself in Italy, try a marocchino rather than the everyday cappuccino. I guarantee the barista will be impressed.
Catania: Sicily’s Home of Mount Etna
Outside of school, the greatest learning experience is compiled of so many, I couldn’t possibly just choose one! One of my favorites was during my spring break. My roommate and I went to Catania in Sicily, which is southern Italy. We stayed in a hostel owned by a man and his friends. It was one of the most amazing experiences I had! We were able to interact with them and talk to them and learn tons about their culture. The culture in Southern Italy is completely different than Northern Italy. Southern Italy is more poor than the north, which is why their daily fish and fruits/veggies market has an amazingly cheap price. You could get a fresh plate of oysters for only €3 (which contain about six oysters), whereas a dozen oysters is approximately $36 in the United States. Their atmosphere there as well is more relaxed and laid back, whereas Milan is a bustling city similar to New York City. The highlight of our Sicily trip was when we climbed Mount Etna, Catania’s active volcano! Never in my entire life would I think I’d ever be able to climb a volcano! I also found out afterwards that it recently erupted in December 2018. We had private guide who was also the brother of the hostel owner! He took us on off beat paths that tourists didn’t go on. It is something that I’ll always remember about my trip.
Last modified: May 6, 2019