Orientation to Gorizia

Gorizia Travel Blog

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the entrance to our hotel
I apologize for not posting all this sooner but we are just so busy with everything going on!

Sunday May 27 was our first full day in Italy.  After sleeping in we all (about 15 of the 22 people in the group) went to lunch at Agli Archi, a brick oven pizzaria a block from the hotel.  You get a huge personal pizza for about €5-7 depending on your toppings.  At 1 everyone was required to meet at the hotel and do the cultural orientation aka a walking tour of the town.  Shannon, our program director, showed us where the classroom building is, several of the local churches, the grand castle on the hill behind our hotel, the laundry place, grocery store, post office, the main shopping street called Corso Italia which leads to the train station.
view of Piazza Sant Antonio from the entrance to our hotel
  All said we walked for about 2 hours all over the town.  The weather was overcast but the rain managed to hold off until we all got back to the hotel.  We are right next to the border with Slovenia so we passed several of the tunnels and checkpoints that connect the 2 countries.

Sunday afternoon people settled into their rooms and tried to get the internet to work at the hotel but failed because the power went out (lighting or one of the americans blew the circuit with her hair dryer LOL).  Jennifer, CHris, Zach, Siddarth, Joaquin, Meredith and I walked downt he street to the sunset cafe and got some gelato and espresso and sat under the plastic awning on the sidewalk to chat and wait out the storm.  We talked about school, majors, weekend travel plans, parties and lots of fun stuff.  After dinner everyone piled into Betsy and JEnnifer's room for Vino Club- a tradition we started for Sunday and Monday nights where we each take truns buying a couple bottles of wine for the group and watch a movie.  Tonights feature was Star Maker, a recommendation by our Italian Film Ideology Professor.  THe brief he gave us was it was about a man who travelled through Sicily claiming to be a talent scout for movie studios and would charge people 1500 lira to film a screen test.  THis sounded pretty amusing but the actual story was very dramatic and sad because he was scamming these poor farmers in the 1930's and ruinging people lives.  He had a run in with the mob, drove a girl to insanity, and ended up being improsoned for several years.  Needless to say it was not the happy go lucky film we had all been prepared to watch.

Monday started at 7:15 when my roomate Mary and I woke up to get ready for breakfast downstairs and class at 8 am.  THe hotel puts out an amazing spread for us int he morning with cereal, milk, juice, rolls and jam, and either pieces of fruit or fruit tart.  And of course coffee.  I am not a coffee drinker but most everyone else is and they are just in heaven because everything here is so cheap and tastes amazing!  Prof. Senf from GA Tech was passing through Gorizia on her way home from a conference in Transylvania so she lectured at the morning class (Horror and Fantasy in POst War Italian FIlm) about the role of the gothic genre in horror.  WHen class finsihed at 10 I walked around the town and stopped at hte market to get some food for luncha dn some snacks and drinks to stow away in the room.  THe weather continued to be overcast and by the time documentary filmaking class started at 1 it was defiantly pouring.  Umbrellas in hand we walked the 4 minutes from the hotel to the classroom building where we met our ITalian program coordinator Cristiano and the 6 students who would be helping us as translators.  Everyone was really nice they introduced themselves and told us what they were studying and where they were from.  THen we started to talk about possible locations for our documentary since we had to choose a topic by THursday.  We decided to take a walking tour of some of the major locations on Tuesday during class so we all broke off and went to get some gelato and talk with our new friends.

After 3 one of the classes had a film screening but I did not so I went back to the room and did some homeowrk and took a nap.  Dinner was amazing as always and a couple of us bought some wine to share at the table.  Around 10 we called some of our translators and arranged to meet up at a bar on the Corso Italia to hang out.  Mondays are the day off almost everyone in Italy so most places were closed and no one was out that night but our group is so big that we make the party wherever we go.  At the bar we ordered pitchers of different drinks and talked with each other and the translators.  Jennifer and I met 3 guys who were just passing by that were on the univesity football (soccer) team and they invited us to come to their big match on Tuesday evening.  We told them we would not be able to attend because the University and students hosting us were throwing a big party for us but they said they would meet up with us there.  Everyone we have met has been so nice and friendly and its only been like 48 hours here!  THey keep asking why we came to Gorizia because it is such a small town with nothing big to draw people here but I explained that is where the program is and that we are really enjoying living in a place where you can walk everywhere and everyone knows you.  My new friends Andre, Giovanni, and Conrad said goodnight (in Italy they say Ciao Ciao with a little hug and give a kiss on each cheek- its totally cute and european!)  I think I could definatly get used to this!
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the entrance to our hotel
the entrance to our hotel
view of Piazza Sant Antonio from t…
view of Piazza Sant Antonio from …
photo by: amanda576