Living like a Local

Written by Caroline October 30, 2017

My host mom cutting our many desserts.

Exploring Italian mansions with my host mom.

My adorable class!

Students having fun with their Halloween shadow puppets!

Teaching a Halloween lesson!

Yummy croissants at Forno d'Asolo

        Last Thursday, I had a truly Italian experience. My day started with a company tour of a well-known and highly successful pastry company in nearby Asolo called Forno d’Asolo. Forno d’Asolo is a major supplier to bars (what Americans know as cafes) of frozen croissants and other pastry products. I had so much fun learning about the company’s history and vision, touring the impressive facility, and, of course, eating fresh croissants. Tomorrow, some of my classmates and I are giving a presentation on our visit to our Introduction to Management class. Thank you for having us, Forno d’Asolo!

           Later in the day, I got to tutor 7-year-olds at Istituti Filippin, our neighboring school. The kids were adorable! We did a lesson on Halloween, and they asked me questions about how Halloween is celebrated in America. We sang some Halloween songs and made shadow puppets. I loved talking to the students about what they are going to be for Halloween. They helped me with my Italian and we worked on their English. I see some of the students I taught around on campus, and it’s fun to say “ciao” as they walk by!

            To end the day, I participated in one of CIMBA’s popular events called Add-a-Seat. Add-a-Seat gives students the chance to have dinner at a local Italian family’s home. My host mom for the night picked me up from school with her two daughters, one of which also attends Istituti Filippin. My host mom did not speak any English besides “thank you” and “okay,” which made me rely on my limited Italian. Luckily, her daughters spoke great English and were helpful translators.         

            We had a great night getting to know each other. On the way to their home outside Padova, they took me to the unique town of Citadella. For dinner, in true Italian fashion, we had four courses. Even through our language barriers, we had great conversation and laughed about the differences between Americans and Italians, showed pictures of our families, and even watched some Italian Disney Channel. By the end of the meal, I was so stuffed with spaghetti, bread, peas, tiramisu, and love for my sweet Italian host family.

            I was struck by the warmth of my host family. Immediately after getting in the car with them at CIMBA, they invited me to spend the weekend with them to explore Padova and Venice. And even though the mother and I could barely speak words to one another, I still felt comfortable with her. It was difficult to say goodbye, but they assured me I always have a home in Italy with them. And I truly feel like I do!

            I am grateful for the very Italian day I had last week and all the opportunities CIMBA provides to immerse myself in Italian culture. However, this weekend I head off for my nine-day trek to Brussels, Amsterdam, and Prague. I’m looking forward to the adventures to come! Ciao for now, Italy!


Ciao from PDG,



CIMBA Café Hack: The coffee in Italy tastes much different than American coffee. It has a tang to it that is a bit shocking at first. So, I have started mixing a cappuccino with the regular coffee for a more familiar taste and double the caffeine. Perfect for an early morning!