Although we didn’t spend much time in Bettolle I went into a small butcher’s shop with Sabrina, Adriano and Alex. While we were there we sampled different cured meats and sausages. It was all very good meat but my favorite part was experiencing the Italian culture. It was the first day we were in Italy and the owners were so friendly and proud of what they do. They were showing us pictures of the animals we were eating and I thought that was also a very interesting difference in culture. We (in Canada) prefer to separate ourselves from the meat preparing process but in Italy they are more in touch with where their food comes from.
My favourite part of Siena was when we got to the top of the bell tower. In Sienna I climbed the bell tower with Sabrina, Adriano and Alex. When we were at the top the view was amazing. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Just looking out over the Italian countryside with all the little villages sporadically nestled in the mountains was so picturesque. In my opinion, nothing is more beautiful than the Italian countryside and the bell tower in sienna was a great place to see it.
Florence is a beautiful city. There is so much history and so many priceless pieces of art but my favorite place in Florence is the Ponte Vecchio. Something about the feeling of being there, seeing all the shops on the sides and the beautiful scenery is truly a spectacular sight. I also really liked the part of the bridge where couples locked a padlock on the bridge so that they will be locked in love forever. While I was there I saw a couple lock a padlock together and I thought it was a very nice tradition. In Florence I also bought a purse from one of the street vendors. I actually really like buying things from street vendors because it really shows the Italian culture. Here we never haggle so I thought it was nice that we were able to experience that part of Italian culture
In Rome we saw so many nice things but my favorite part was when I bought gelato with Sabrina and Adriano. We had stopped for lunch in front of the Fontana di Trevi and I got “un gelato alla nocciola” gelato. It was such beautiful day outside and it was very enjoyable to just site on the side of the fountain and enjoy our gelato. There were many other very nice things in Rome as well. I really liked the seeing the Colloseo. I had been outside the Colloseo before but I had never been inside. I really liked being able to go inside and see where all the gladiators and animals fought. I also found it really interesting to be able to stand in the same place where so many people had stood before me. Emperors, peasants and so many other people had been where I was and I found that really interesting.
Although we didn’t stay in Paestum we saw Greek ruins. The Greek buildings were very well preserved. I found this really interesting because I didn’t know that there were those kinds of Greek ruins in Italy. I knew that there were some ruins from when the Greeks were in southern Italy however I never expected huge buildings that were very well preserved. I had never seen Greek ruins before so that really interested me.
Salerno is a really nice place and we went shopping and saw the beautiful Mediterranean Sea however my favorite part was goings swimming. Sabrina, Adriano, and I went swimming when we first arrived in Salerno. We had just spent the day driving and it felt really good to be able to just relax and go swimming. I also got a really nice shirt in Salerno and had a nice café at a little bar. At dinner I had the best tasting potatoes I’ve ever had. They were excellent.
I had never been to Pompeii before so being able to go there was a really nice experience. Seeing how well the whole city was preserved was amazing. Being able to see the expressions on the faces of the citizens was really amazing. Also, the fact that all the buildings were so were preserved was also amazing. Being able to look at a 1000 year old shop and tell what it sold is really cool so I really enjoyed that.
In Matera my favorite thing was the dance party we had with the American school after dinner. Mr. Femia got out Rosa (his original Calbarese “organetto”) and was playing the tarantella and other Italian songs and everyone was dancing and laughing and having a really good time. In Matera I also really liked going for the walk at night with the whole group and the Sassi were amazing. It was really interesting to see how the people lived so long ago and how they were able to carve their houses out of the rock.
Even though we didn’t stay in Paola and we just passed though it was my favorite part of the whole trip. The stories that Mr. Femia was telling us about his experiences there were really inspiring. Being able to drink that water and see the bomb that didn’t explode and pray in the church were all some of my favorite parts of the trip. The whole time I was there I felt like it was a really holy and sacred place. It was definitely my favorite part of the trip.
We didn’t spend much time in Amantea but I really liked going into the supermarket. I hadn’t been into an Italian supermarket yet in the trip and being in there and seeing the different foods that they were selling and the difference in prices was really interesting. I saw a five gallon bottle of wine for only five Euros. I really liked the supermarket.
Tropea was really cold and windy but it was still a beautiful town. I wasn’t feeling well in Tropea because the Calabrese roads had gotten the better of me however I was still able to really enjoy a piece of pizza from a little pizzeria. I also really liked the beautiful cliffs going down to the beach and I thought it was really funny when Alex picked a giant lemon off a tree.
Taormina was a beautiful city in Sicily. I really loved the amphitheatre. The sun was shining and thinking about all the people that had sat in that amphitheatre before me was really nice. On my way to Taormina I had a really good rice ball on the ferry. In Taormina we also bought some really good oranges that were really fresh and juicy.
My favorite part of Reggio was the gelato. I had the best gelato of the whole trip in Reggio. It was just a small gelato shop and it was really cold but I got a gelato and It was the best of the whole trip. The nocciola was so creamy and delicious. I also took a really nice walk along the promenade and saw the statue of Vittorio Emanuele. The Sea was also very beautiful there.
Serra San Bruno
We spent several days in Serra. Although when I first got there I was a little skeptical I ended up really liking it. My favorite thing that happened in Sera was being able to see my Zio Pasquale. I don’t get so see him much so I was so happy to be able to see him. I also really liked it when we went to the monastery and were able to say the rosary all together. Another thing I liked was the café. There were the most delicious cannoli and excellent espressos. The thing I liked most about Sera was the time that we had to spend with all the new friends that we had made. I know I made lots of new friendships that I have continued to keep up and will continue as well.
Italy was truly an unforgettable experience.