A decision to take up a language course in a little Tuscan city, turns out to be a trip of a lifetime for one woman. Read this exclusive excerpt from our February issue. Text by Chow Ee-Tan.
“In Spring 2013, I landed in one of the most intriguing and beautiful Tuscan cities to pursue an Italian language course. I have been learning la bella lingua for about three years but progress had been slow. I knew the best way to advance a language is to be in its native-speaking country, and my Italian teacher also encouraged me to do so.
Since visiting Italy as part of a European tour many years back, I have always harboured the desire to return to the country one day, not just for a whirlwind visit but to go to other places outside the `Rome-Florence-Venice’ locale. Many have wondered why I like Italy so much, to the extent of studying the language, which is hardly used in the world besides its native country, let alone in Malaysia! But I’m deeply innamorata (in love) with this nation that’s so steeped in history and heritage, so grand with relics and architecture, so breathtaking in nature and landscapes, so splendid in arts, music and culture and so delectable in cuisine. I also like the passionate and open character of the Italians, including their outspokenness. In fact, feel I am more Italian than Chinese in my blood!
So, after mulling over the desire to go to Italy for two years, I finally took the plunge and planned my journey. I did some research online and decided to study in a private Italian language school in the charming city of Lucca. My plan was to visit a friend in Bergamo, just half an hour by train from Milan. I would then travel to the South, to the less touristy regions of Basilicata and Puglia after my five-week studies in Lucca. I was `killing two birds with one stone’ as I embarked on an amazing and unforgettable study-travel sojourn on a viaggio da sola (solo travel).”
Read the full feature in our February issue, out in stores now.