Arriving safe and sound in Perugia on July 2nd, my coworkers, students and I settled in to the Foresteria San Franesco on Via A. Pascoli…which can also be defined as a true college dormitory. Though it’s been quite some time since I’ve shared a bathroom and had a roommate, it has been a reminiscent experience of life in the Ledges dorm at Quinnipiac. Once we all unpacked and got comfortable we set out to do some exploring and of course, eating.
The city of Perugia doesn’t have the striking antiquities Rome encompasses but is still a beautiful, quaint town set in the "cuore verde d’italia” (green heart of Italy) in the Umbria region. A new fact I learned this past week is that Italia is divided into twenty regions and Umbria is in the central part of Italy. The city of Perugia is fairly small and is known to be a city of art, history, monuments and culture of Etruscan and Roman decent. The center of the city (or centro) is best known for Palazzo Dei Priori and it’s Fontana Maggiore. Once the sun goes down and the candles are lit, the city center is filled with people both young and old dressed in their best, strutting their stuff down Corso Vannucci with the main goal of eating, drinking and living la dolce vita.
During our first week, we went to the Univerista per Stranieri Perugia to take an Italian language entrance exam. Much to my amazement I placed into an intermediate Italian language class after a written and oral exam. However, after two days in the class I soon realized there’s a lot of Italian that I still do not know and I switched into the level below. Having learned all of my Italian knowledge studying abroad in Rome, I seem to have kept it hidden in the back of my brain for the past four years. I quickly discovered that ho capito anche ascolto piu parlo…I can understand and listen more than I can speak. Since the entirety of each class is only spoken in Italian, I’m going to take a walk on the wild side and guess that I’ll be speaking it in no time.