International Close-up: Italy

Could you tell us about your connection with Italy?
Debora: I’m Italian. I’m an Erasmus student, I’m here only for the spring semester and came here on the 4th of February.
Michela: I’m 100% Italian, I’m also an Erasmus student and arrived on the 8th of February.
Annamaria: I was born in Italy, and I did my university study in Italy. I came to Izmir in 2005.
Stefano: I was born in Rome and lived there until I was 13. Then I moved to Luxembourg, but went back to Italy to Milan to do my university studies. I came to Turkey in 2005.
Carmen: I’m Italian, I was born in Italy, studied there and lived there until I was 30. Then I moved to Turkey.

Did you face any adaptation problems in Turkey?
Debora: When I came here, I was alone and no one helped me. I had a problem with communication because most Turkish people don’t speak English. Another thing is that you take off your shoes before entering a house. It was different for me.
Michela: At first, I was afraid because I couldn’t speak English very well and neither could Turkish people. That’s all.
Annamaria: Somehow not so much. I’m from Sicily in South Italy and it is quite similar to this area of Turkey. But, what I didn’t like and I still don’t like is that there is so much dirt around, so much garbage.
Carmen: The only problem in the begining was getting used to a new language. It was a big problem for the first 1.5 years.

What is your most and least favourite thing about Italy?
Debora: The best things are the monuments, the culture, the history. The thing I hate most is public transportation and I don’t like political programmes. Also, there aren’t too many job opportunities and students like me have to go abroad to find a job.
Michela: My favourite things are food and culture. The thing I hate is politics.
Annamaria: What I don’t like in my country is the high unemployment and the politics. What I like most… well there are so many things, but especially I like the food.
Stefano: My most favourite is the variety in the country, culturally and naturally. What I don’t like is the lack of opportunity for the young generation in terms of professional development.
Carmen: My favourite things are food and coffee. I really miss Italian coffee in Izmir. My least favourite thing is that finding a job is very tough in Italy.

What are the must-see places of Italy?
Debora: All of Italy; Rome, Venice, Milan, Sicily, everywhere. They are all special places.
Michela: Florence. My father is from Florence, so I love that city. I have been there 20 times.
Annamaria: Everywhere is beautiful in Italy, but you must see Rome and Florence.
Stefano: There are lots of places because Italy is a country with an enormous variety of landscape, culture, gastronomy and architecture.
Carmen: Rome, Florence, and Venice. Especally South Italy is very nice, Sicily.

What do you think about your language?
Debora: It is difficult for foreigners to learn because there are a lot of irregularities, but it is similar to Spanish. So if you learn Spanish, it will be easy to learn Italian.
Michela: I love my language. It is not very complicated to learn. The grammar is difficult but speaking Italian is quite easy.
Annamaria: It is hard to learn because the grammar is quite difficult.
Stefano: It is beautiful.
Carmen: I love my language. It is very musical to speak Italian and easy to learn compared to Turkish.

Could you give any advice to a person who will go to Italy?
Debora: It is a beautiful country to visit, but I don’t like staying there for too long.
Michela: They should visit my city Appignano because it is very beautiful. There are these typical olives with meat inside and bread.
Annamaria: If you go to Italy, you have to travel a lot because there is so much to see. In Italy, everywhere is so beautiful, full of art and architecture. And you have to eat everything possible and drink wine!
Stefano: First of all, I would advice them instead of trying to make a big tour and seeing so many cities in a short while to concentrate on certain regions. First, go several times to explore Rome, then Firenze and then Sicily.
Carmen: Be ready to eat a lot of nice food and enjoy all historical places and nice buildings.

Stefano Pugliese – Lecturer, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design
Annamaria Lapira – Italian Language Teacher, SFL
Carmen Amaddeo – Asst. Prof. Dr., Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
Michela Vigiani – Erasmus Student
Debora Cogo – Erasmus Student