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21 questions about my semester in Italy, answered

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Emily Maybanks is part-way through her third year abroad - the first semester of which she has spent in Forli, a town close to Bologna in northern Italy. Here she answers 21 questions that reflect on her past few months.

Home is…? 

Apartamento 18 on Via Bruni in Forli. I lived with four girls of different nationalities - British, French, Japanese and Russian. 

Building you’d like to buy? 

The library, or Eataly. The library especially, because I loved going there to read Italian children’s books. Eataly because I could make their delicious hot chocolates all day.

Best meal? 

The all-you-can eat buffet at a restaurant in Modena. It was shortly before Christmas and I was starting to miss food from home (read, roast dinners) and at this buffet there was such a wide range of food - including roast potatoes and chicken curry. It was amazing.

Best value for money meal? 

Pizza slices from Pizzaria Sole on Piazza Saffi in Forli - you can buy individual pizza slices for less than two Euros each. 

Favourite place to shop? 

La Feltrinelli… a book shop where I spent so much time admiring the notebooks and all the books in different languages.   

First thing you do when you arrive in Forli? 

Walk up Corso Della Repubblica, the main road where most of the shops are.  

Best drinking spot? 

Hot chocolate from Eataly is amazing, it’s just a shame I discovered it really late - they do the best hot chocolates for two Euros.

Best first date location? 

Parco Urbano is lovely. Not only to go on a date - I went there on my own and sat on a bench and wrote in my notebook and watched the rabbits freely jumping around.

Earliest Italy memory?  

Stepping off the plane on 23rd September 2015 and being so scared; it was the first time I’ve stepped on Italian ground and I was on my own, so it was quite terrifying - but I’m glad I’ve done it.

Favourite discovery? 

A restaurant in Modena where we had a lunch buffet just before Christmas and they had a huge choice of food including roast potatoes.

Best cultural spot? 

Venice was just how I had seen it in photos - except greyer and wetter. I’ve always wanted to go to Venice and it was special to share the experience and the culture with my mum.

Favourite club? 

Moquette. I only went here once because I’m not into clubs but they had a buffet, which was great, and they played really awesome but cheesy music, like Cotton Eye Joe.

Best place to end a night out? 

In bed! Because you have to feel refreshed for a new day.

What would you do if you were Mayor for a day? 

Reinforce speed limits for cars, because they drive too fast and I’m never sure if they’re going to stop or not which is quite scary at times.    

Building you’d like to be locked in overnight? 

La Feltrinelli book shop so that I can read all the books without having to buy them - plus Eataly is next door so I could nip there for hot chocolates in between books.

Best time of year to visit? 

Late summer because it’s warm but not too hot and not as busy as it would be in the height of summer. Towards November it started getting really cold and I started to wish that I had packed my coat…

Thing you’d miss the most if you left? 

Bread & Breakfast cafe because their focaccia with onions is gorgeous, but I’d also miss the view from the balcony of our apartment - in the distance there are hills and in the foreground lots of rooftops and church towers.  

Best way to get from A to B? 

Train. I like Italian trains, they’re usually on time and they’re really clean and tidy.

Best view? 

The view from the apartment balcony (see number 17). Going to miss the view from the balcony for sure. But maybe in Geneva, I’ll have an equally as awesome a view to shout about!

Who’s your local hero? 

Probably our neighbour because he fixed our heating when it started getting really cold. 

What’s next on your list? 

Part two of my year abroad in Geneva, which I am excited about - but also just as nervous as I was before I went to Italy!  

 

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