sabato, novembre 29, 2008


This is going to be a long post, so buckle down and get ready.
I went to Cremona! Cremona, which is about 1 and a half hours outside of Milan by train, is not only the birthplace of the violin but it also has the tallest brick tower in all of Europe!(here it is!)
I guess I should start from the beginning of this story(try to follow me here... this might get confusing.)
So in Cremona, there are these Rotary Youth Exchange students. They are in a different district, so when they came to Milano, Grace, Kylee and I took them around our home turf and showed them all of our new favorite places in the city (Which includes our favorite pizzeria, favorite gelataria (ice cream store), and all the big touristy sights, i.e. the Duomo, the naviglia, ect.)

They wanted to return the favor (or maybe we convinced them that they wanted too) so on 11/15/08(Saturday) Grace (another american exchange student who goes to my school and is very nice) and me left to take a train down to Cremona (Kylee was busy). We left around 4pm, and after finally getting on the right train we sat down for what we thought was going to be an easy, uneventful train trip. Our tickets said da(from)MILANO CENTRALE a(to) CREMONA, via(street) CODOGNO.

Now there were no englsih translations, and plus the printing was really small, and the names of the places were really big so about an hour into our trip we stopped at a station called CODOGNO, and Grace and I, assuming that it was our stop after a quick glance to our tickets and seeing the word CODOGNO, jumped off the train. Turns out that CODOGNO is not CREMONA (Codogno was the name of the street in Cremona where the train station was) and we had just gotten off our train about an hour early. We realized this as we watched our train pull out of the station and turned to man and asked(in Italian) "Is this Cremona?" he said, "No, this is Codogno." Me and Grace turned to each other and decided that we should go find another train that would take us to Cremona. So we wander around the station for about 5 minutes looking for the information booth, which we finally we find, and ask the man there which train we should take. He points out the window to a train that is stopped right outside, so we immediately run off and try to get on it. We somehow end up on the other side of the tracks, run back, ask two more people how to get to the train, turn around and look at the information boothman. He is pointing again out the window, but then we realize something! He is not pointing at the train, but at the door that is RIGHT next to him!

So Grace and I, feeling exceptionally smart, get on the train, which happens to be very, very creepy becaues we had to be the only people on it, and it was dark outside (it gets dark at like 5 here). No one got on the train, no one got off the train, and this continued for a good 45 min as we were taken into the Italian countryside. Neither Grace nor I had money on our cell phones (so we couldn't call anyone) so we began to worry quite a bit as we kept going on and the stop for Cremona wasn't showing up. We finally pulled into the Cremona stop, got out, and waited for the Cremonaians to come and pick us up. Which they did in due time, and then we went to chill for a little bit at Margot's house while we were waiting for the everybody to show up. (There are 4 exchange students in Cremona: Margot, Elise, Henry and Brandon.) After everyone showed up we went to go eat dinner (we had this things that are very similar to quesidillas, but they were a specialty of Cremona) and then we went to Brandon's house. After that we went to the center of Cremona and spent the rest of the night there.

(Center in Cremona --->)
Cremona is a great city-it is big enough to have a lot of people, but small enough that the exchange students can actually go out at night there without having their host parents worry that they are going to get kidnapped, sold in to slavery and never being heard from ever again (as it is in Milan.) So on Saturday nights all the kids go to the center of the city to meet up with everyone else. After I went back to Elise's house to sleep and Grace went to Margot's house.
The next morning we went back to the center, where we met up with Margot and Grace. Together we climbed the big brick tower (the tallest in Europe), which had ALOT of stairs, but the view was totally worth it when we finally did make it to the top. We climbed back down, ate some lunch, ate some gelato and then caught the train back home. Our return trip was uneventful, thankfully, so we got back to Milan just fine.

If you would like to see pictures of Cremona, here's the link:

The Last Supper

On 11/8/08 I went with with all the other exchange students in my district here (there are about 25 of us I think) to go see "l'Ultima Cena", or "The Last Supper" by Leonardo Da Vinci. It was so amazing to actually see it in person, not only because of the history behind it but just how amazing it was. It was a lot larger than I thought it was, but now, half a month later, I still feel a little speechless when I talk about it. Pictures are always better than words, so look... and be amazed! (You're actually not supposed to take pictures of the painting (mural would be a better word) because (I think) that the flash of the pictures would damage the painting even more. I took this picture with the flash off, so I don't think I did anything too wrong...)
There it is! The reason there is like, a door cut under the painting is because a long time ago someone thought that there needed to be a door connecting those two rooms and cut one (the building its in used to be a monastery).
I think that this painting is so cool is not only because the fact of that it looks nice, but all of the hidden signs and signals, and how much depth there is to everything. This Leonardo guy is one smart cookie-everything he did meant something. The angles, the shadows, the positions of everyone, the expressions, everything has a reason behind it. I personally am not going to pretend like I know what they all are, but if you want to know, check out wikipedia or something.
Afterwards we went out to get some food and just have a little party wit all the other exchange students, their host family's and tutors. It was a lot of fun. Definitely something I'm going to remember forever.... If anyone comes to Milan, it is a MUST-SEE!

If you want to look at all the pictures from that day, go here:

domenica, novembre 09, 2008

Verona, Como e la dolce vita.

I went to Verona! And Como! Two absolutely GOERGOUS places in italy. The first, Vreona, is where Romeo and Juliet is set. I visited Juliets balcony!
there it is! the AUTHENTIC balcony of juliet! chew on that! the rest of verona is pretty beautiful too. theres this collesium (which i am sad to say i only saw the outside of) and it just looks like italy... the narrow, cobbelstone streets with grand churches everywhere and i just really happen to like that kind of thing, so i know i came to the right country. I was only in verona for a day, but i am sure going to go back! Its again been getting colder, and that seems to be a recurring thing that is happening. its going to get colder, and hopefully there will be some snow in my future! im trying to figure out a way to make this work! The other trip i took was to this absolutely breathtaking lake, the same lake lecco is on but the opposite side. The lake is shaped like an upside down y and on one point of the y there is lecco and the other como. George Clooney happens to have a hosue up there, so you gotta know that its beautiful. dont beleve me? need some photographic evidence?
look at that! i put alot more pictures on my facebook, this is the link to look at them:
just clickon that and you can look at all my como pictures, even if your not on facebook.
and here are the verona ones too, just to toot you horns.
have fun with those.
Right now there is a trip in the making for me up to Cremona, which isint a very big city but from what i heard very, very beautiful! i cant wait to go and see it! life here has been continuing on, with tialian lessons 3 times a week, cooking classes on wednesdays, soccer 2 times a week and fitting everything else inbetween sure keeps me busy! a
tleast they arent expecting me to do too much homework at school yet. I still have some, but not anything like i did back home. i sure that will come... the teachers said that after christmasthey are going to start expecting us to participate fully in their classes! its going to be weird having to pay attention all the time!( im jsut kidding. but not really. it gets hard when you dont understand the whole lesson, and you have to pay attention to every word, and if you get stuck on a word by the time you figure out what it means they have already moved on to a new subject! i hope it gets easier!)
send me some warmth everyone! im going to need it! till next time.... baci per tutti!
italian flag with a really, really old church in the backround! life here is so goergous :)