Hey guys, for the last few weeks with my school I took part in the italian exchange whereby I was paired up with a lovely girl called Stefania de Marchi who firstly came to stay with me in England for the duration of a week, then I had 1 week before I flew to Italy to stay with her for a week. I study italian at AS level at school so when I came over to italy we spoke italian and Stefy was in England we spoke english. Not only did I have the best time but it also really helped me improve my italian.
To see a video which my friend made of the week: CLICK HERE
Day 1: Travelled to Gatwick airport by coach. Bought my first ever mac lipstick in duty
free called “Crosswires”. Arrived in beautiful sunny Venice and hauled my stuffed suitcase onto the coach. Drove to San Bonifacio, to their school and were greeted by all of Class 3D, eigerly awaiting our arrival. I was re-united with Stefy and we then drove to Soave, where she lives, which is village famous for it’s historic castle and wine. After settling into my new room for the week, we met up with my friend Amelia and her correspondent Sara. Sara and Stefy showed us around Soave which was just lovely- original stone walls, bars and gelateria’s with buckets full of character. That night Stefy’s parents took us out to a Pizzeria and I had my first italian pizza of the trip, I choose the Proscuitto- Buono! That evening we met at a bar with the other exchange students in San Bonifacio.
Day 2: On Sunday we had a free day where our exchanges could decide what to do with us. Sara and Stefy decided to bring Amelia and I to Verona for the day and we would meet with the others later on. We spent the day shopping and I bought a cute skirt from a shop called Stradivarius. It was a really hot sunny day which meant we could see the monuments of Verona in their full beauty and although I have visited Verona before, I re-kindled my love for the immense beauty of L’arena, colourful shopping streets and lively Piazza delle Erbe. Later on, we met with the rest of the group and visited Juliet’s Balcony, despite being very crowded this is a must-see in Verona. The walls were graffiti-ed with love hearts, adorned with chewing gum (which I can’t decide whether this was gross or creative), letters and padlocks. After that, I had my first italian icecream and I had noiccola (hazelnut) which was just devine. Then came home and ate dinner with Stefy’s family- Alessandra (Stefy’s mum) is such a fab cook.
Day 3: On Monday, I took a bus to San Bonifacio with Stefy and in the morning I sat in on lessons at her school. The first was an italian lesson and we chatted for the whole lesson in italian with the lovely students- it was so much fun. The second lesson wasn’t as fun because it was a maths lesson but we chatted to a few of the students, one of which was a stunning girl who goes to Milan every Friday to model! Then in the afternoon we went to Verona again and had a guided tour around some more of the monuments of Verona. This day wasn’t so enjoyable as I suffered from bad hay fever but once I bought some pills everything was better.
Day 4: Took a coach to Milan, a lovely sunny day again but slightly colder. First, we visited a state university and it was design week so in one of the courtyards lots of modern exhibits were being set up. Then we went into the main square and ate our lunch. After, we climbed the 250 steps up the Milan Duomo to look at the stunning picturesque view out onto the city. After that we visited La galleria- it was so glamorous, with all the posh restaurants and designer shops. La scala was situated at the other end of La galleria and here we got to watch a rehearsal of the Opera and also visited the museum. We then had some free time to go shopping and I had a scrummy donut with crema. Then we travelled back on the coach and had such a laugh, not even joking I cried with laughter 10 times!
Day 5: On Wednesday we went to Lake Garda with the Italians and also the french exchanges. Stefy and I and a few others had breakfast in a cafe before we went and I had a lovely brioche with chocolate- yum! We then had a tour around Lake Garda and visited the castle and then the town. At lunch I had a biscotto icecream and we sat in the park and ate our lunch. We then went to Garda town and sat down and ate crepes, here we came up with nick names for all the members of our group: I am “the lady in paint” because everyone thinks I look like someone from a painting, Carolina is the “chocolate dog” as that day she stepped in what she thought was chocolate icecream but it turned out to be something else after almost licking it, Amelia is “nutella virgin” as has never tried nutella before, Floss is “the mollusk”- not sure why, Molly K is “black cat”, Molly B is “4” (long story), Kate is KP, Vicky is “silhouette” and Charlotte is “shades”. That evening after arriving back we went out for another pizza and this time I had a classic margherita.
Day 6: On Thursday we took a day trip to Venice and the italians came with us too. We took a train and everyone was falling asleep, so I tried to stay awake to make sure we didn’t wake up arriving in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great in Venice as it was very grey and cold but the beauty of Venice still shone through. We made our way around Venice, visited a church and then walked to Piazza San Marco. Here we had some free time and I took this opportunity to pick up some presents for my sister and mum. We also had to do a quiz but ended up asking a gondola man and he gave us all the answers haha! Later on got a cherry icecream and we hung out as a group in the Piazza. Overall, it was a fun day, just a shame about the weather.
Day 7: On Friday I took the bus to school with Stefy and whilst we waited for the coach we did some folk dancing with the dance teacher- it was very cringey but funny at the same time. After that we took a coach to a perfume factory- it alright but we all felt a bit ill by the end of it due to the many strong scents. Then Charlotte and I went and got a thick italian hot chocolate which was delicious but had to dash as a creepy man had come to talk to us haha! Then we went back to the school and chilled and sung songs. I then went back with Stefy to her house, ate lunch and then went to the shopping centre, did some shopping and then met with the others for a crepe. That evening we had a fun party with all the exchanges.
Day 8: On Saturday we had to say goodbye to everyone and I few tears were shed. We then went to the airport and I bought italian Elle. Our flight was delayed by an hour and we also had to wait an hour for our luggage to arrive at Gatwick.
I had such a great time on the exchange and loved practicing my italian. I will really miss all the lovely, welcoming italians and especially my exchange Stefy who couldn’t have been more kind and lovely- I will miss her and hopefully we can meet again someday.