Day 1 in Italy – Complete!

Ciao friends,

The number of times that I have actually said “ciao” today is actually crazy. It is the “catch-all” phrase here, and has literally saved my entire day. However, I apparently look Italian enough that when I say “ciao”, the natives try to engage in a very fast-paced conversation with me. I desperately want to understand them, but I cannot for the life of me.

Today was probably one of the most fulfilling days of my entire life. I managed to navigate 2 foreign airports (and narrowly avoid disasters) all on my own. I met the family that I have been talking to for over two months. I tried new foods, saw new sights, smelled the air, and have enjoyed every second thus far. I don’t even want to go to bed because I’m so happy, but I’m actually so tired that I’m shaking.

A few of my highlights from today were…

  • Smelling the air in Italy. It sounds crazy, but everything and everyone here smells like sweet, expensive perfume, but in a good way. I absolutely love whatever it is that I’m smelling, and want to smell like it forever.
  • Trying horse meat for my first time. It is illegal in the United States to sell horse meat, so obviously there would have been no way for me to try it. It tastes like a lighter, more delicate version of horse meat.
  • Trying the wine!!! Francesco (my host father) loves red wine, and was very excited to learn that I like it, too. He had me try some of Sicily’s best red wine, and it was a Frappacato wine. I can’t remember the name of the producer. It was so delicious, and not heavy like red wine in the United States.
  • Giving my family the gifts that I brought! They enjoyed the presents that I brought, and it opened up a great conversation about Pittsburgh with them. I tried explaining Primanti’s to them, and Francesco now really wants to try a sandwich.

If every day goes as fast as today, these next 65 days will be gone before I know it.


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