After our morning tours, we then checked out of Rome and headed to Tuscania (pronounced tuh-scawn-ya). This is the town that I will be staying in for most of my time in Italy, and to be honest it is already home. The town has about 8,000 people, but has everything that we need. The scenery is gorgeous! I think that the strangest part about being here is all the stares that I have gotten in just my few moments here. No matter how I try to dress, I will always stick out as American because I am so tall and because I am new. There are only four Americans in our town, me and my three fellow Lorenzo de’Medici students through Academic Programs International. Apparently there are only 11 students going to this school this fall. The other students did not go through my program and half of them will be leaving in a month because they are staying in 3 cities over the course of the semester. It is SO strange walking around this town and not understanding the language and knowing that I make up about 10% of the American population in this town!
I am living in an apartment about a 10 minute walk from our school. The apartment is a lot larger than I had expected. We are already getting ready to pick out plants to decorate it with and to place all around our very own balcony!! I live with two other American students, Katy and Melissa, in our four bedroom apartment. Katy is from Washington State (we share a room), and Melissa is from Vermont. The other girl in our program, Lauren, is from Virginia and lives with a 57 year old lady not far from our school. So far, Tuscania looks like it will be a great experience. This town shows us much more of the Italian culture, and we will be forced to learn the language because no one speaks any English. I have been told by the locals here that Rome and Florence have a very large American influence both in the culture, food, and language. They say that it isn’t hard to find your way around those towns because so many Italians speak English as well.
We are slowly getting better at cooking. Our first try consisted of penne pasta and tomato sauce warmed up on our stove. This meal was conveniently provided by our landlord! But our second try was much more successful. We made pasta and tomato sauce with real garlic, salad and homemade balsamic vinaigrette, and garlic bread.