If you were asked to spend a year living in a different location, where would you choose and why?
Italy of course. I’ve written before about my desire to get to know that country better. In the year between high school and college, my daughter studied Italian in Rome for a month, and then in Bologna for another month. She loved both places, but I think Rome was her favorite. In fact she returned to teach English to Italians for about 6 months after college, but found it very hard to work and live in Rome — expensive and crowded.
Nevertheless, I have long wanted to do much the same thing. Going to an Italian school would give structure to my day — intensive classes all morning — then the afternoons free, and the weekends too, for sightseeing and soaking up Italian Roma.
I’ve thought it through pretty well, and it is indeed possible. My husband’s somewhat on board with the idea, but whereas I’d just book and do it, he has to think about things longer and become convinced, and be able to give himself an excuse for doing it.
There are so many choices for studying Italian all over Italy, so one could commence study in one place, then move on to another, see much of Italy in the process and being able to converse with the residents. There are so many places in Italy that would be perfect weekend getaways, especially with their train system.
There are lots of places to rent while studying. The schools themselves help students find accommodation, but if my husband and I went, we’d probably look for a short-term let. There are many small apartments in Rome for travelers — I find booking an apartment, cottage or small house a great alternative to staying in hotels and B&B when we travel generally. When the kids were young, such a arrangement was a God-send.
When my daughter lived in Rome she stayed in Trastevere (photos below), a beautiful section of the city on left bank of the Tiber across from the hustle and bustle of the busier and more touristy parts of the city. It’s like a little village. The apartment she lived in with two friends was an old prison, obviously quite modernized from it’s original state.
I will do what I can to pursue this “plan”, but won’t do it on my own. I’m a bit too old to go alone, and that would put some constraints on going some places, too, especially for evening strolls. Keep your fingers crossed!