I am so grateful that Centennial College has given me the opportunity to participate in their Language and Culture program. Italy has been at the top of my Travel List for a while, and I’ve still only barely skimmed the surface! My goal for this trip was to gain a good grasp of the Italian language, eat as much as possible, and to come home with some new friends and professional acquaintances. I’m happy to say that I accomplished all of the above… but after only two short weeks in Urbania, my Italian language skills could probably use a bit more work!
Urbania was a cute little town, and the people who lived there were just as nice. My home-stay family was very welcoming, and a great help in practicing my Italian! Breakfast was always simple, and afternoon walks around the town never got old.
There were local cafes where you could grab a cappuccino or some vino, and hangout with your classmates while you caught up with family over Wi-Fi. The culture classes we had were a great way to learn how to live the Italian life. My favourite class was definitely the Wine Tasting 🙂
We did many day trips, the first of which was to Urbino, a small town an hour away from Urbania. Urbino had much of the same small-town charm, but with much more art and history.
We visited the Ducal Palace and Basilica in that town, which were nothing short of breathtaking. In Urbino I also got the opportunity to visit the home of painter/sculptor Raffaello, which is now a museum and gallery.
Venice was definitely the highlight of my trip. I have always been told that Venice is a small city, and it is, but you could get lost for hours exploring all the streets and canals. From the gondolas, to the Rialto Bridge, to all the other hidden gems (like the Murano and Burano Islands), Venice is a city you MUST put at the top of your Travel List – I’m making sure I go back within the next two years!
Florence was much larger than I expected. I did not have the chance to go into the Uffizi, but I did spend a fair amount of time wandering the city and enjoying some great food. If you have the chance to visit Florence, go to Pitti Palace and check out their gardens – they are some of the largest and most beautiful in the world!
Gubbio was by far the most picturesque town I saw in all of Italy. From the cobblestone streets to the mountain-top views overlooking the Medieval town, I was surprised to gain such a memorable experience from such a small little place.
I will definitely be returning to Rome. There is so much history here, and more things to do than you can fit into a week. I still don’t know which I enjoyed more – The Colosseum or The Sistine Chapel – both were surreal experiences!
Centennial College and Centro Studi Italiani have put together an amazing program and if you have any interest in Italian Language and Culture, I highly recommend that you look into the opportunities that are available through them. They also have programs to other countries too, so if you have ANY interest in exploring the world and learning about other walks of life, check out what Centennial has to offer!! I simply cannot put into words how amazing this experience was, you just have to find out for yourself! I’m going to see what other places they can take me – Spain next, maybe? Or France? There are too many options to choose from!
Grazie a mille, e arrivederci!