What I Love About Italy and What I Miss About the US

Matthew Sill
November 6, 2019

Now that it is November, I have been in Italy for over 2 months! The time has gone by so fast and I have gotten to see and experience some incredible things. I thought I'd share my experience on what it's like to live in a foreign country for what I believe to be a significant amount of time. Italy is incredibly beautiful, the food is amazing, the culture is vibrant, and the people are fun. Spending this much time in Italy has given me a chance to form opinions about the lifestyle here. There are many things I have come to love and appreciate, and there are also many things I miss about the United States. I'd like to share a few examples of what I love about Italy and what I miss about the US.

What I love:

THE FOOD!! Before coming to Italy, Italian food was already my favorite type of food so I am biased, but this country has not disappointed. The first few weeks here, my roommates and I ate out frequently and experienced lots of mouthwatering, authentic Italian food. After a few weeks of eating out and in a desire to save money, my roommates and I started cooking our own meals. Groceries in Italian markets are inexpensive but still very good, which also makes the food experience here positive.

Getting around. Everything in Milan is very close in proximity so if you’re not walking, you’re taking the metro. Public transportation is very efficient so you never have to worry about getting gas, finding a parking spot, or paying for an Uber. Commuting by foot is convenient and it allows you to interact with people much more than you would driving around in a car.

The language. I am nowhere near fluent in Italian and 90% of the things I hear I have no idea what is being said. But the language is beautiful to listen to and is filled with hand gestures and body language that is different from what I am used to in the US. This gives a different perspective on how people communicate and I love to learn about it.

What I miss about the US:

The pace. In Italy, it seems like things move at a different pace than in the US. Service is a little slower, things take a little longer to get done, and there doesn’t seem to be much urgency in day to day life. Many people may like that slower pace and appreciate the lack of urgency. However, I like the fast-paced culture of the US and the efficiency at which things are done.

The carefree dress. I miss being able to wear shorts and not feel like everyone is staring at me. The Italian fashion is gorgeous and everyone looks so professional all the time. Because of this, it’s perceived as weird to walk around with shorts and a t-shirt on. Although I appreciate the fashion in Milan, I look forward to wearing whatever I want when I get back to the States.

Little conveniences. There are lots of little day to day activities that don’t have much of an effect on the ease of living but I have come to appreciate while being in Italy. For example; because the food is so good and so fresh here, you have to go to the market every other day, rather than being able to buy lots of groceries in a single trip. Another example is that most Italian homes don’t have dryers so you have to dry your clothes on drying racks. There are many of these small details that have made me realize how convenient everyday life is in the US.

The past 2 months have taught me a lot and I look forward to learning more in the last month or so of my study abroad program. I can’t wait to continue to travel, explore new cuisine, enjoy different cultures, and of course, keep studying.

Matthew Sill

<p>I am a collegiate rugby player for Claremont McKenna College and I enjoy the outdoors and physical activities. I like to spend most of my free time playing sports or exploring the outdoors but aside of athletics I like to woodwork and craft objects like jewelry boxes, wooden puzzles and other small projects.</p>

2019 Fall
Home University:
Claremont McKenna College
Arroyo Grande, CA
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