Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Why is the first thing I write, every time I write this blog, 'such a long time', 'apologies, I have been too busy to write'? During the initial days of summer I imagined and indeed expected a detailed, almost daily account of my travels, an exploration into language learning and daily reflections. I was apparently mislead by the vacuous transition between the end of university and travelling.

I should have kept up writing, peut-être. My mind now is at a strange decisive moment, I think in both Italian and English, especially for the mundane thoughts that glide through my mind every day. My intense french studies have not been so intense, though with the little that I have done I have remembered a rather large chunk.

I passed a rather enthralling month in Florence, though the tourists from time to time brought me down. The course was not so intense, though enough to teach me much of the Italian language. By the end, I at least could conjugate subjunctive verbs in the present, past perfect and imperfect tenses. I came away with a certificate evidencing that I am at a C1 level. Florence was a perfect base from which to see other Tuscan beauties which in the past I have only skimmed the surface of...

Monteriggioni, a Chianti site referenced in Dante's the divine comedy, a beautiful medieval hill town, 20th birthday spent in the medieval hill town San Gimignano with my parents and boyfriend, a fresher look at Siena, tanning on the coast at Califuria with it's crystal clear waters near Viareggio, cycling around the walls of Lucca after spending time with fellow classmates who were working abroad, viewing the Roman and Etruscan ruins in Fiesole and seeing Florence from the high hills there, drinking Chianti wine whilst looking out at the vineyards scattered across the rolling landscape. I also had the pleasure of visiting Umbria, Asissi for narrow, quiant alleyways embellished with flowers and tiny indications of religious faith in Jesus, strangozzi al tartufo e funghi porcini (long pasta with truffles and mushrooms) in a trattoria with an amazing views of the mountains, green and forested, onto Perugia for the quirky means of transport for entering the city, technology in the minimetro and escalators which bring you back in time to a hill city which hasn't changed much aesthetically, apart from the temporary jazz festival which gave the city an absolute buzz, beside the obvious eyecandy in the area!

In Florence itself I enjoyed visiting gli Uffizi, I need not say more, Palazzo Vecchio, i giardini di Boboli, watching the last Harry Potter film in English with Italian subtitles, discovering where the best gelaterias and vegetarians restaurants were.

Now comfortable in Cremona, I can't provide a long list of the activities I am doing constantly, because I am living life in a manner more Italian I guess... Well, more like my boyfriend. I have completed pokemon nero in Italian, got a little done in the way of French, plus learned the basic regular conjugations of past historic in Italian. I had lunch at the english teacher's house on a terrace adorned with flowers and typically Italian with grape vines above us, an afternoon at the medieval town Soncino in the province of Cremona, with it's well preserved castle and eery torture chamber, another hidden jewel from the tourists who don't dare to tread beyond the confines of Florence, Venice, Rome etc.

My very inexpensive train is booked for France, which means i guess that I should learn the imperfect tense and a little more vocabulary during the next two weeks. I honestly cannot believe how quickly this summer is passing, at least I have not got a hell to return to eventually, Edinburgh is a beautiful city and I am sure my new flat and flatmate will make it all the better. That said, I could easily go on living this continental lifestyle forever, thanks to the sleep, the food, the surplus sunshine and the wee bit of peace.