La dolce vita – “the good life”

Written by Abbey November 22, 2019

As I write this, I am listening to a neighboring tenant slap their rug against their windowsill to remove the dirt and dust, watching the steam billow out of my coffee mug, and welcoming the hint of coffee in my breakfast tiramisu.

When I decided to go abroad for a semester, my mind was focused on the sights I would be seeing and the food I would be eating but never the culture and character I would be building. The greatest change that I see in myself is my ability to listen. In America, we move very fast and we love to talk and assert our presence. In Italy, however, I find myself hungry to listen to Italians speak and interact with each other because they put more weight into their friendships.

Because we are located in such a rural location in Paderno del Grappa, you can walk to the nearest coffee shop (my favorite) and instantly hear Italians talk over coffee and an array of pastries. Slowly, I have learned that sitting down for a coffee and a pastry here in Italy will bring you more insight than any statue, church, or fountain ever could.

Now that I am in Week 9 of studying here, I know that I will bring back this culture from Italy and instill it in my everyday life. From putting my phone away whenever I am sitting at the table, trying new things at every restaurant (with advice of the owner), and indulging in the presence of those around me.

Whether you are in Italy or anywhere else in Europe, I challenge you to talk with locals and learn something new because it will teach you something new about yourself.


Ciao for now,