Sunday, January 31, 2010

up on the roof.

the view from the roof of the teatrino (the large studio/rehearsal space). best thing ever at sunset (BTEAS).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

after an afternoon.

I just got back to the Villa Godiola after spending the afternoon in Arezzo at the Saturday market where you can find anything from proscuitto to scarves for dieci (ten) euros or less. Pretty pretty sweet. My friend, Morgan, and I used our new Italian skills and ordered “uno panino con proscuitto e pecorino, per favore.” at a deli. 2,50 euros. SO good.

Allora (so), now I’m back at the Villa to relax until dinner. After a long first week of classes, I’m happy to just sit back and read… or update this blog.

There are a few things I’ve learned after spending a week or so in Italy:

1. Italians have no fear when crossing the street, therefore, neither should you. Just go. If una macchina (a car) is coming, they will stop. In Rome, I’m pretty sure it’s a whole different ball game.

2. Don’t order chocolate gelato unless you’re really into chocolate. It’s so rich, it’s black. I stick with the caramello and nutella flavors.

3. Coffee to-go doesn’t exist. If you want a cappuccino or expresso, be prepared to sit and enjoy it. This is definitely a nice change from the American way of running into Starbucks, grabbing a tall vanilla latte and driving off to the next thing.

4. Italian women love shiny, puffy coats. I see them everywhere usually in black, gray, or a deep purple. Sometimes they'll even have some fur trim on the hood. Definitely not my thing. Sono Americana.

Classes are wonderful. I dance four to six hours every day and am learning Italian little by little. This week we had modern technique with Rita, who speaks very little english, tarantella with Gianni and ballet with an Italian ex-ballerina who can't pronounce my name. The classes aren’t terribly challenging technically, but they make you think about dance in a different way, which is a refreshing change from my classes at Goucher.

Thursday night, we had our first Cabaret. Mostly everyone prepared something. The actors did monologues and the dancers broke off into groups to perform trios, duets and solos. Courtney and I combined our solos from our choreography class at Goucher with a duet we had done in a girl’s senior thesis last spring. It was great to dance in front of people again and we got a lot of positive feedback.

As far as traveling outside of Arezzo goes, I’ve booked two official trips. Venice for carnival February 13-14— a trip which may or may not include us sleeping in a train station one night due to lack of available hostels. Hopefully something works out. If not, it’ll be an adventure. Spring break will be spent in Greece for a week in March with four other girls. I’ll probably end up coming back to Arezzo with a nice sunburn.

Also, I'm going to buy Juno in Italian. Honest to blog.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

that's not my name.

I have always understood the uniqueness of my name. I’ve never come across another Lizbie, except that one time in Wellfleet when I was four and my whole family was waiting outside a restaurant, but that’s an entirely different story. Since it’s a little outside-the-box, I usually have to spell it out. In my 21 years, I’ve seen “Lizby,” “Lisbee,” and “Liz B.” among many others. I have never, however, had any trouble with the pronunciation. Until now.

We travel into town by bus every Monday and Friday afternoon to take ballet class from these two previous Italian ballerinas, so you can assume their first language is Italian. After our two hour class, which is now making walking painful, our teacher asked us what our names were. When it was my turn, I said, “Lizbie,” but she didn’t quite get it. I repeated myself. Still nothing. She had me spell it. “Oh! Lezbie!” A few of the other girls from the Accademia tried helping me out, but nothing worked. Another Italian working at the studio who saw we were having trouble even told her she was saying it wrong. It’s really not a big deal, I just think it’s funny that most Italians can’t pronounce my name even if they tried.

I guess I’ll just have to pick a different name to introduce myself as whenever we leave the villa. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

in the beginning.

Orientation stuff is over and classes begin tomorrow. After a very busy three days, we all decided to sleep in and relax, and upload our pictures of Arezzo as well as our eventful nights. It’s refreshing to not have anywhere to be at any specific time.

Arezzo is a relatively small city (town, maybe?) but large enough to not get bored. Unlike Rome or Florence, we along with some students from Oklahoma, are the only Americans in town. This makes the language barrier a bit more difficult, but once we start taking Italian, we’ll be fine. Right now I can say “Ciao,” “Grazie,” and “Per favore.” The locals are forgiving and many of them know a little english, so it’s not that bad. The funny thing is that they can’t differentiate between American or English accents, so many times we are mistaken for Brits. At least we won’t be “the stupid Americans.”

The food. Ohhhh, the food. Ricardo, the chef here makes us the most delicious meals, which most of the time incorporate pasta. This isn’t surprising at all, considering where we are. Along with cooking, Ricardo is a huge fan of throwing parties in the mensa complete with karaoke, beer pong, and flip cup. I’m just going to stop there, so my parents are ensured I'm going to be receiving an actual education. Hi, Kit and Don :)

Since classes haven’t started yet, I don’t have too much to comment on but I’d rather write a lot of shorter posts instead of a few novels. I figure it’s easier to read that way. I’m definitely enjoying myself, although I do get homesick sometimes. It’s strange knowing that I’m not on vacation, even though it feels that way right now. There is a never a time I wish I weren’t here, and whenever we all talk about the classes we’ll be taking and the teachers we’ll be learning from, I just get more and more excited.

Ciaoooo for now.

Friday, January 22, 2010

picture book.

the view from my room!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

across the sea.

I’m here. I made it. No more riding airplanes or buses, waiting at gates, and eating crappy food. After approximately ten hours of travel, I’m in my bed safe in Arezzo.

My flights were ordinary. Take off, landing, some cracker/pretzel stuff in a bag that kind of tasted like chex-mix but nowhere near as good, thirty minutes of a movie I’ve never heard of (September Issue) and three hours of much needed sleep pretty much sums it up. Customs was fine only after I realized that the Swiss man was asking me how long I was planning on staying Europe, not the Zurich airport (really, Lizbie?).

After claiming both of my bags, each weighing just under fifty pounds, I along with three other girls I met on my flight going to the same program, made our way to the meeting place where we would wait a couple hours before getting picked up by a charter bus to go to the villa. Greeted by a crowd of ten or so other students from various colleges, I was pleasantly surprised. As I expected, we all introduced ourselves knowing that there was no way we would all remember everyone else’s names… not yet. The whole situation was very freshmen orientation/first day of camp, which was comforting.

To be honest, I slept most of the hour ride to Arezzo instead of admiring the view. For the few minutes I was awake, it was gorgeous. It’s Italy. Go watch Under the Tuscan Sun if you want a visual.

The rest of the day was spent unpacking, showering, and napping. The whole villa is chilly since it’s such an old building, but my room is nice. I like everyone I’ve met so far. There are only eighteen undergrads this semester— nine dance and nine theatre. I’m already comparing it to CIT summer minus the life guarding and mountain climbing part (although there will most likely be metaphorical mountains, if you know what I mean). Bonding is inevitable.

Tomorrow and Friday we have orientation meetings planned. A few tours, common sense lessons about how not to get yourself killed or end up in jail, and a walk into town to explore and buy whatever we need.

As Penny Lane would say, it’s all happening.

Monday, January 11, 2010

she's leaving home.

i haven't left yet— not until the 19th. i have, however, spent days, weeks, even months contemplating what next semester will be like, since as of now, i can only go off of what people tell me. for some background for those of you who do not know, i will be attending what basically equates to an arts conservatory in the states. although i will obviously be involved with the dance program, there are also theatre and music programs. every student will reside in a villa at the school, accademia dell'arte, as they live, breathe, and encompass their specialty. if you want to check out the website go here.

hopefully this will be the first of many posts as i embark on an experience that i am told is life changing. ideally, i would like to post weekly, but we will have to wait and see how that goes. right now all i know is that i am beyond excited and cannot wait for the adventures ahead of me.

also, i really hope i come up with a better title before i get there.