Episode 2: Casting out my cultural net

Thank you all for waiting patiently (extremely patiently) for episode 2 of my personal travels to Italy.


I sat down in a corner and reviewed my instructions on what to do once I arrive at Fiumicino and then realized how early I arrived, 3 hours ahead of the group flight.

Two hours passed by as I casually walked up and down the airport taking the sounds and smells in. I never smelled an airport that good, with so many pastries, pizzas, and sandwiches being slung around. The notorious smell of coffee was strong and present. The air crackled with sharp and emotional Italian being spoken. There was plenty of English but who cares about that?! I’m already a master at that.

I spent the last hour reading my Italian guide book and practicing as best as I could. Six different groups of fellow Americans have come and gone. I looked up and at last saw a sign that said “USAC Viterbo”. I joined the assembling group and so began the rounds of introductions between everyone. We’ll be together for five months so might as well start out on the best foot we all can.

Ten minutes of introductions and I soon realized how diverse our group would be; students from both west coast and east coast universities, a handful (4) of us from the Midwest, and what came as a shock to me, the differing ages of everyone! We were as young as 19 and as old as 30 to 31.  80-85% of the majors were non-business majors; journalism, English, creative writing, biology, art history/management. I was sure to fit in as an accounting kid. But don’t worry, I also troubleshoot Italian computers like no one’s business.

The group bus ride to Citta di Viterbo was a heavy mixture of jet lag, renewed energy, and excitement of living in such a beautiful country. It would only be the beginning of many trips along the countryside of Italy. The rolling green hills, spacious skies and trains zipping by created a phenonmenal sensation of travel and wonder.

Italy would become a fresh start for me indeed and I intended to take every opportunity that came knocking on my Italian apartment door and take a giant, adventurous leap forward.










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