Over the Christmas Holidays, I decided to refresh my Italian by taking a 1-week Advanced Italian Course at the language school we work with in Rome, Italy. Upon arriving, I was pleasantly surprised by the attentiveness of their staff and the accuracy of their level test which placed me in the appropriate C2 classes. My instruttore, Giuliano, was warm, friendly and highly knowledgeable in Italian grammar and culture, helping me in my attempt to perfect my ‘Condizionale’ or Conditional conjugation of verbs. The class was a small group of 4 Italian-speaking foreign students, so my lessons were very individualized and tailored to each student’s specific needs.
My morning (9-12) classes allowed for ample sightseeing in the afternoon and evening hours; as you might imagine there is plenty to see and do in Rome! I spent my first day visiting the grand Colloseo (Colloseum), followed by a quick ride on the line 2 Metro to the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain), which was by far my favorite Roman tourist attraction. Continuing on my journey, I encountered countless ruins as well as the Roman Soldati (Roman Soldiers), who guarded the ancient marbled structures in hopes of pitying the inevitable moneta, or coin, from the less seasoned traveler.
As it turns out, my trip to Rome was far more exciting than I could have ever planned. Halfway through my course, Italian university students decided to bombard the San Pietrini streets near Piazza del Popolo in protest of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s proposed education and tax reforms which, according to my instructor, “benefited only rich and wealthy politicians and not the general popolo.” My classmates and I were intrigued by the instructor’s thoughts and comments on confusing Italian political agendas; and I gained a great deal of understanding with regards to Italian politics.
During the weekend, I took the two-and-a-half hour train ride down to the waste-ridden, quaint, Napoli, my new favorite town. Naples was facing a Garbage Crisis (with some trash piles as high as small buildings) further emphasizing Italian resentment against Berlusconi and his inability to solve common problems. Aside from that I can confirm that all rumors about Naples are in fact true…that is, they do produce the most AMAZING pizza I have ever indulged upon! And by the way, if you’re planning on doing any shopping, I advise to save it for Naples, which will definitely give you far more bang for your buck!
To conclude my Roman holiday, Sunday was spent visiting the Citta’ del Vaticano (Vatican City) and although I arrived too late for mass, it was an inevitably spiritual experience. My first trip to Rome was a successful one, and it will definitely not be my last!
Be sure to book your language course at the school in Rome – you will not be disappointed!