Finding Your Home Away From Home (or How I Managed to Fall in Love with an Entire Village)

Written by Mallory November 4, 2016

My favorite pizza from the pizzeria.

I can eat the entire thing!

One of my favorite things is to get coffee and a sweet treat from the bakery.

Its crazy to think that its already the halfway point in my time in Italy. Over the past six weeks I have really come to love the town of Paderno del Grappa (or PDG as we like to call it). I’m not going to lie, when we first arrived I was in a little bit in shock. We are pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Going into this, I knew that the campus was in a small town, but I didn’t realize actually how small the town was. After the initial shock wore off and I was able to have some time to explore around, I really started to appreciate the quaintness. PDG has pretty much everything you need with in a ten minute walk: a bakery, a pizzeria, a pharmacy and two Tabacchis (general stores). Because of the size of the town, it is easy to get to know some of the people that work in these establishments. The lady that owns the bakery is one of my favorites. She doesn’t speak a word of English, so trying to order can be somewhat of a challenge, but the food and the coffee is always delicious.

Another person we have come to know over the past six weeks is the owner of the pizzeria. This is by far our favorite place to hang out at off campus. It has a great environment and the pizza is delicious, which is definitely a plus (I love the spinach and ricotta)! We were there just the other night and he asked one of the girls at our table how her run was the previous day.

It’s funny to see our connections expanding out passed the walls of CIMBA’s campus. By far my favorite part of PDG is the feeling I get when I return after a weekend of traveling. It feels like I’m coming home. The pace of life is so much slower than in big cites and, as a whole, the town brings a sense of comfort to me. The Sunday nights after getting back have been some of my favorite memories of the trip. We all get together at the pizzeria and have a usually fairly late dinner. We get a big table together and catch each other up on the trips we had just returned from. Hearing the stories and the experiences people had is so much fun. It especially fun when multiple people went on the same trip because most of the time, some pretty funny stories arise.

Over the last six weeks, PDG has come to be a place I call home. It is comforting to come home and to experience every day we are here. I was a little worried when I first arrived, but I would have never expected to love PDG as much as I do now! It is definitely a place that will always be a part of me.