Posted by c-Lo on Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Last week was more busy for me, but fortunately, I still managed to go out a couple of times! On Tuesday night, my neighbors were throwing a party and they invited me, so I went to try and meet some new people. To my surprise, I was basically the only person who spoke English (besides me neighbor) so it was one of my first real opportunities to talk to people my age in Italian. I found that my Italian is pretty decent but I can really only speak in the present tense so they probably think I talk like a little kid whose trying to learn to speak. I was there for like 3 hours and barely spoke English though so it was awesome to be understood in Italian! I met some really cool people and I will have to give them a call so we can hang out and I can practice speaking more. It's interesting that the Italian college parties and the American ones are so similar even though the two places are so far from each other. I was expecting everyone to be dancing like crazy but we were all just talking and listening to music.
The next evening I went to Old Fashion with Oscar and had a fantastic time. We got there early for an Aperitivo (the only one I have seen at a club) because it was supposed to be Mexican food, but we basically ended up eating chicken nuggets which was really disappointing. The rest of the night I just danced a lot and met some new people so it was great.
On Thursday, I just stayed in to rest (since I had gone out the previous 2 nights) and because on Friday I went to Bergamo with the guys from Scandinavia. For dinner on Thursday, one of my roommate's friends came over and we ordered pizza for dinner. I made the mistake of ordering a pizza with french fries on it but I learned my lesson because it wasn't very appetizing! I wish I would've taken a picture of the group in Bergamo because there were about 8 or 9 of them and then me (I don't exactly look Swedish).
Bergamo is a small city roughly 40 minutes NW of Milan by train so it was perfect for a short day trip. The city was pretty small and I think it has roughly 100,000 residents. The best part was that the train ride was only €4.50 (unfortunately, as you will find out later, the ride home was MUCH more expensive). Once we got to the city at 11am we all went to McDonald's for breakfast and then walked around downtown Bergamo. One thing that I learned this weekend was that Europeans LOVE McDonald's when they are traveling because it was so cheap. I literally went to McDonald's 5 times in 2 days and it would have probably been more had I not refused to eat there for dinner! Needless to say, I will try to eat there as little as possible while I am in Europe!
The really cool thing about Bergamo is that there is a lower city and an upper section of the city which is in the hills. The top part of the city was used as protect the residents from invaders and basically had a wall around it to keep people out. Fortunately we took a Gondola-on-a-track so we didn't have to climb up! The upper part of the city was much older than the lower section and also much more beautiful. I am guessing that part of the city was built first, because this is where their Duomo and other big churches were.
We also saw a fortress/castle-like structure which was really cool. Unfortunately the weather was terrible (rain/snow) so the views from the hill of the lower city were not as great as they could have been, but it was still beautiful. It was crazy how fast the weather changed though because when we first got to the top of the hill we sat at an outdoor cafe to drink a cold beer and by the time we finished it was raining! While we were sitting outside the pigeons attacked the left over food on the tables next to us and it was pretty entertaining to watch the waiter try to swat them away.
I would say that Bergamo was not as beautiful as the other cities I have been to here in Italy, but being so close to Milan I would definitely go again because it was still really nice and old (especially the upper city). On the ride home we forgot to stamp the time on our train tickets and we had to pay a 50EURO fine- which is something I won't ever forget to do again!!!!
Until next time, Arrivederci!