Spending time with my friends in southern Italy was a great introduction to living in a new culture for a few reasons. First of all, I was able to adjust to the language and way of life with people I know well. Additionally, my family friends have experience living in America as well, and speak English, even though I tried my best to only speak Italian!
One lesson I learned about speaking another language (specifically on my five hour car ride from Rome to Bari with my friends Francesco and Antonio) is that getting your point across is much more important than conjugating a verb correctly! My Italian greatly improved as a result of my time with my family friends - it definitely got me ready to speak only Italian with my cousins in Northern Italy!
I really enjoyed my long weekend in Valenzano - it is definitely not Lizzie McGuire's Italy, but it is beautiful in its own way. I plan on utilizing my next few posts to highlight some of my favorite memories of my weekend in the Puglia region!
A street in Valenzano!
photo credit: panoramio.com
To start off, my favorite part of visiting Bari/Puglia/Valenzano was that I was able to get to know my family friends better - especially my friends Francesco and Antonio, who are both closer in age with me than any of my first cousins are. I absolutely loved sitting on the terrace eating lunch and dinner with Nuccia, Michele, Nonna Carmela, Francesco, Antonio, and even Roy the adorable puppy!
My Nonna's best friend Carmela (aka Nonna Carmela) is a fantastic cook - I definitely ate well! Pasta, pizza, cotoletta - my mouth is watering just thinking about all the food.
I was also introduced to the amazingness that is cappuccino. Now, I must have some form of espresso drink at some point in the day.
Southern Italy was a fantastic introduction to life in a foreign country. My one regret is that I was so nervous/jet lagged, I forgot to take pictures!