La Dolce Vita! – This is what comes first in our mind when we think of Italy.
I hopelessly fell in love with Italy when I was 14, the year when I started learning Italian (the most beautiful European language). There is a Hungarian proverb, which says A nation lives by its language It is absolutely true! Hearing and seeing (hand gestures 🙂 ) Italian you have a feeling that they sing and dance all the time. It gives you loads of positive vibes and of course it attracts you. I’ve visited Italy for the first time when I was 16. I spent a couple of weeks there, participating in a cultural exchange program. It was set, done, decided back then: One day I am gonna come back for good.
A couple years later it happened so. After graduating from BA, I applied for a joint MA program, which required me to stay at least one entire year in Italy. I moved to Bologna at the end of August 2012. The academic year started only in October, so I had the entire month of September to discover the city and the area.
Bologna is a typical student city, empty during school break, and full of life and good vibes during the school year. Most of the bars and cool places are around university areas. October not only brings autumn weather, but also students back to the city, and Piazza Verdi gets repopulated again.
Living in Italy feels like, constantly reading a history book. Every street, corner, stone is famous for something, or it is unique in a way. Bologna has its specialties itself. Uniquely the city has 40kms of arcades, what besides being pretty, are also very useful in every season they provide protection (from strong sun, rain etc.) if needed. One of my friends recounted a funny story about their American teacher. When they told her that the arcades are several hundreds of years old, she got scared, and told, she wouldn’t walk under a structure that is older than her own country. 🙂
During my stay, I also learnt that Bologna has 7 secrets. If you want to have fun you won’t read about them, but you’ll try to find out yourself with the help of locals. It is an exciting adventure through which you can learn a lot about local history and culture.
The cuisine of Emilia-Romagna is said to be the best in the entire World. Forbes Magazine says it and I couldn’t agree more. No one beats their ice-cream, their espresso or their 'tagliatelle al ragú bolognese'.
If you get to spend time in Bologna, it is highly recommended to ask a local to teach you how to prepare the famous ragú bolognese, and you’ll be thankful to them for the rest of your life.
Another funny story: I wasn’t a coffee addict, and even if I did drink coffee, I chose the softer; Americano. Without any exception, all Italians looked at me like what? What is an Americano? That is not coffee. It is dirty water, not coffee. In bars if I asked Americano, they used to bring me an espresso with hot water, and I mixed it for myself. Needless to say, that by the end of the semester they managed to turn me in an espresso addict.
If you survive winter which is a bit grey and boring in Bologna, Spring will bring a whole new atmosphere. Musicians return to the streets, so you can enjoy your morning coffee listening to a band playing the main theme of La vita é bella, and then you go to the library with a huge smile on your face. As a student from April on, you’d spend all of your weekends in one of the many parks of Bologna. (unless you travel of course).
Bologna is also a city for bycicles. On certain evenings it is harder to park your bycicle than your car. Given the high price of public transportation and the structure of the city, it is a lot cheaper and actually faster using a bycicle. :)\nLiving in Italy is all about the Lifesytle! You pick it up in a second, and you are gonna miss it for the rest of your life (unless you settle there). I haven’t even recognized I came here to study. There were so many things to discover, so many adventures, attractions, that you simply forget about school.
There is this magic, one cannot explain. Bologna is a lovely city, a traveler has to see once for sure. There are countless little stories and memories worth to share, only if I had time and platform
Highlights and Thoughts
Sun, Happyness, Espresso, Pizza, Pasta, History, Beauty, Fashion
Even though if I can tell only superlatives about Italian life, one has to be aware of, that finding ANY job in Italy (even in the Northern part) is super difficult at the moment even in high season.