Three years ago today, I was on my way to Italy to study abroad! I can’t believe how long ago that was. I studied for a few weeks and stayed an extra week to travel. I miss Italy so much, and I can’t wait to go back! I thought it would be fun to relive the memories because I have some serious wanderlust. This is the first post of a four-part series featuring the places I visited while I was in Italy. I can’t wait to share my photos with you! I’ll be posting every other Thursday, and each post will be relatively photo heavy because it’s too hard to narrow down the [nearly 3,000] photos I took to just a few.
In all, I visited 15 places while I was in Italy, but I decided to dedicate the first post to my study abroad city, Viterbo. It’s a small city about two hours north of Rome by train. Not very many people here spoke English, and I really enjoyed practicing my Italian with the locals! I studied Beginning Italian at Universita degli Studi della Tuscia (Tuscia University) with most of my study abroad classmates. Because it was only a five week session, we went to class nearly every day for a couple of hours. It was essentially a semester long class packed into only a few weeks!
The city center is surrounded by the original Medieval walls, and living within the walls felt SO cool! I lived in a dorm while I was there; it ended up being a good choice because the apartments had bug problems. There weren’t that many other Italian students there at the time because it was summer, but I’d see them often in the cafeteria, which was located on the first floor (floor 0 if you take the elevator!). The university was on the other side of the city walls, but the walk was nice–albeit a bit scary; their sidewalks are not as generous as ours in the US! I ate a cornetto con cioccolato (croissant filled with chocolate) every day from Caffe San Sisto. My other favorite places to eat were Pizzeria DJ (the sweetest man who doesn’t speak a lick of English owns the place) and La Spaghetteria (which I believe has the most varieties of spaghetti at over 300–the menu is huge!).
While I spent most of my weekends visiting other places, I loved wandering around Viterbo during the weekdays. The streets there are so narrow and the buildings flow from one to the next. Flowers filled windowsills and lined stairs. There’s a fountain in nearly every open area. The people were so nice to us Americans (even though we stood out like a sore thumb; I still remember them saying “Americana! Americana!”). There were two big events in Viterbo that I couldn’t miss–Ludika 1243, a Medieval festival, and La Notte Bianca (the white night), a night where the entire city stayed up all night dancing, eating, singing, and hanging out. There was even a group of ladies doing zumba. One of the songs they worked out to was “On the Floor” by J.Lo!
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ve probably seen photos of my cat, Rosie. She was named after Saint Rose of Viterbo, the patron saint of Viterbo. Every time I think of my kitty, I think of Viterbo, and it makes me so happy. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed the photos! I’ll be posting about my travels in the other Italia Nostalgia posts, so stay tuned!