I love exploring new cities. My first two days in Bologna were spent doing just that! While I only got those two days, before a heading off to a 10 day trip to Greece, I discovered a lot about the city I am calling home for the next 3 months.
Tuesday began with an excursion into the center of the city. Two of my roommates had gone on the orientation tour that I had missed, so they took Megan and I on an abridged version of the same tour. We walked by tons of cute cafes, bars, some grocery stores, and some other small shops. I also got to see two of the three beautiful piazzas in the city. The piazzas are very central spots within the city. Since Bologna is mainly a university town, many students come to the piazzas in the evening, bringing bottles of wine with them to sit on the ground and enjoy the company of friends. That’s a tradition I’m definitely going to participate in while I’m here! Wine is a huge part of every day life in Italy, and Allie said it best: “Here, every hour of the day is wine o’clock.”
After our city sight-seeing, I had to attend a quick information meeting regarding the Italian class I will be taking and I met a few more students in my study abroad program. Getting to know all of the American students studying here in Bologna shouldn’t be too difficult, seeing as our program is only hosting about 40 students in total! The majority attend Spring Hill College, since the Bologna program is called the Spring Hill College Italy Center, but there are about 6 other students from Santa Clara University and a select few from other universities. We had some time to relax, then it was off to the city with our program director for an informational night. Pizza was provided, and we learned the scoop on the two optional trips throughout the quarter; Poland and Paris! I made sure to introduce myself to a few more students, and arranged plans for the rest of my night.
Returning to campus, my roommates and I were joined by a fellow Santa Clara student, Derek. We ended up walking through campus to a little shop on behind the dorms, and grabbed some drinks while continuing our self-introductions and interesting conversations. Our first night in Bologna was winding down, but it wasn’t over yet. Tuesday was my first night out! The girls all got ready, we met up with Derek and headed out. Our first stop, we found a small bar called Café Paris (I thought I was in Bologna?) and started with some €1 shots! Looking for something a little more lively, we decided to explore further, making it all the way Piazza Maggiore.
However, we didn’t find anything as exciting as Café Paris so we made our way back to grab another drink. Back at the bar, I learned the value of speaking up and making friends. We began to chat with some local Italian students and after a few minutes of conversation, they invited us to a discoteca! It had been a long day for all of us, so some girls headed back to the room, but I was not about to miss out on a great night. A few of us accepted, and joined the Italians on their way to the club. Soda-Pops disco-bar was amazing. A “secret” underground club, we made our way down into the loud music and crowded dancing. Although my friends and I didn’t end up staying too long (we were exhausted from the long day), I had a great time. I made some new Italian friends, I stepped out of my comfort zone, and it paid off with a night of adventure and entertainment!
Wednesday became my relaxation day. I had nothing to do, so I managed to sleep in. My roommates and I spent a little more time at the shop behind campus, and ventured into the city for some delicious gelato! Besides that, we spent most of the day indoors with our boxed wine 😛 and packing for our trip to Greece. We had planned to go out to the city again that night, but the wine got the best of us so we spent our night laughing and bonding. A great choice because the next morning we were off to Greece at 7am!
Greece is a ten day mandatory trip, as part of our program. I’m eager to explore and enjoy some gorgeous, warm weather, and return ready to start our classes. Until next time, grazie per leggendo! xx