Ciao a tutti!
It’s time for your weekly update on my life in Rome! Are you excited?
This week has been great. On Friday my Italian course, which I had been doing 4 hours a day for the previous three weeks, culminated in an exam. In a weirdly efficient system for Italy, when we’d finished our paper, we handed it to the teacher and waited for it to be marked. This meant that we knew our grade straight away, and more importantly whether or not we’d passed. And I did pass! I’m moving up to the C1 Italian class! This is not a true indication of my level of Italian in the slightest, but I’m proud nonetheless.
To celebrate, those who could make it from our Italian class went out for pizza at Marmi to giggle at the English translations on the menu and eat amazing pizza. Then we headed out to Caffè Perù for drinks, and I tried my first ever caffè corretto – a shot of coffee ‘corrected’ with a shot of grappa. I actually had mine with Bailey’s instead of grappa though because I am secretly an 80-year-old lady.
Also note the useful translation of crème brulé
Then I headed to Mons, which is a super cool hipster bar within walking distance of Caffè Perù because my lovely friend Emanuela was singing there. I’d never heard her sing before and I was amazed at how truly talented she is! She was accompanied by a guitarist and a cellist, and did covers of a whole host of my favourite songs – Michelle by the Beatles, La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf, Neunundneunzig Luftballons by Nena, Teardrops by Massive Attack and even Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet. It was the perfect setting for a perfect evening.
We got back late and I spent most of Saturday asleep or pottering around the apartment, taking my time over breakfast and tying up some lose ends from the week (you guessed it, Erasmus paperwork. It never ends).
On Saturday evening, I went to meet Mhairi, Heni and Viola who was visiting from Milan for her birthday on Sunday. We went out to a lovely restaurant called Mò Mò which I will definitely be going back to. It was such a sweet restaurant, a little bit kitsch but with style and served amazing food that I expected to pay a lot more for. We shared some bruschetta and cheese for a starter, then I had a creamy salmon pasta dish for my main (I’ve fallen in love with fresh pasta), followed by the most gorgeous dark cherry and chocolate pudding I’ve ever had. Of course, it was all washed down with wine and cocktails (my cocktail of choice was called a ‘rossino’ which was just prosecco with strawberry purée. Delicious). I didn’t get particularly good pictures of the restaurant or of the food, so I’ll just have to go back another time to photograph it properly. Oh well…
On Sunday, which was International Women’s Day and Vi’s birthday, I went shopping on Via del Corso before meeting up with the girls again for a night of more prosecco, wine, cheese, delicious cold meats and general goodies.
I got the tram home to find these mimosas from Martina in honour of International Women’s Day. I had a lovely weekend, full of friends, laughter and food, which are three of my favourite things.
Grazie Martina :)
This week has (in theory) been a week for getting down to business and sorting out my timetable (I hope you appreciate that it took all my self-discipline not to finish that sentence with ‘and defeat the huns’). So far, I’ve started a class in ‘Nozioni di linguaggio giornalistico’ or ‘Notions of journalistic language’ which I’m actually quite enjoying (much to my surprise), despite there being 2 sessions of 3 hours each per week and that the room that we study in smells quite strongly of B.O. The teacher is engaging and funny (which I’m told is a rarity) and speaks clearly, which of course is a bonus for me. The downside is that he doesn’t go easy on Shauna and I because we are Erasmus students; he loves to ask us (in Italian! In front of the whole class!) about our opinions on the current goings-on of the Royal Family or matches between British football teams, even though Shauna continually reminds him that she’s Irish. This week, we watched Citizen Kane dubbed into Italian, which was an odd experience especially as it kept cutting back into English without warning, often several times within the same scene. I enjoyed the film though, especially as I actually managed to follow it.
I’m never ever going to be too old for care packages from my mum :)
Otherwise, I’ve been to a French class and an Italian history class. Being in Italy makes me appreciate my level of French a little more; it was such a relief to hear French and feel a bit more comfortable conversing with a teacher. As for the history class, it was long, dry, and the teacher spoke very fast and without putting up any notes on the screen. On the plus side, we got a 20 minute coffee break. In an ideal world, I’d take something more interesting but in all honesty I’m not convinced that another option that doesn’t clash with my other classes even exists and it’s not worth getting lost in the labyrinth that is the Roma III website looking for something better.
That’s all folks! Same time, same place next week?