My Italian Adventure: Cesenatico, Cassano D’Adda and Milano – I did also see a little bit of Bologna and Rimini.
My experience of Italy was incredible! I had visited Rome on an RE trip with my secondary school in 2009 and I absolutely loved it. I even made a wish by the Trevi Fountain – when you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you will return to Rome.
My trip to Italy was not for a “holiday”, I was there for work. I had been blessed with the role of an English Camp Tutor for 2 weeks in Italy.
Training week was extremely intense, but absolutely incredible at the same time. From learning different games and songs, to how to create lesson plans and teach so the kids understand; it was lot to squeeze into 3 days but it was a lot of fun. We were also 2 minutes away from the beach, which was a pit stop almost every day. One of the beach bars on the beach sold strawberry daiquiri soleros. BEST THING EVER!
One of the best things about training week is the people I met. The trainers were so lovely and really helped boost my confidence. Before coming to Italy, a Facebook group was created so that tutors could get to know each other. A guy called Daniel created a group for those travelling at roughly the same time, and then we had a WhatsApp group for those of us travelling on the same flight. From the get go we got on so well and I have so much love for every single one of them and I cannot wait to see them again!
The Italians do know how to ensure you leave the table completely satisfied. We had starters, 2 mains and dessert. Best thing was – it ALL TASTED GREAT! (You can probably tell I am a bit of a foodie). During training week, we ate so much and I am so sure that is when I gained quite a few pounds. CHEESE CHEESE CHEESE! So much cheese, I was literally in heaven as I love cheese so much. I cannot remember the name of my favourite, but I was definitely happy. GELATO! Need I say any more?! I actually tried pistachio for the first time and it was AMAAAAZING! Italian food is definitely my favourite type of food. Just take a look at all the photos of the great food!
Unfortunately I did not take photos of the amazing food by my family (I was a little shy to LOL).
MY AMAZING HOST FAMILY!
I literally had the most amazing host family and it is actually a funny story as to how I got them. So basically, there was a girl called Aisling (pronounced ‘Ash-Ling’) – will be relevant in the future. When we got off the train to meet our host families, the girl next to me, Lisa told me “Ashlee, this is your family”. So I greeted them and asked their names, only to find out that the names were different to the one I had been given. I told my Camp Leader and she said that its fine as sometimes they change last minute. So my family and I are driving in the car and they asked me where I am from. I told them London, England and they said “Oh, I thought you were from Ireland”. **Alarm Bells Went Off** So I asked them who were they expecting “Aisling or Ashlee” – they said the first one. That’s when I realised; I had gone home with the wrong family. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I am so glad that the mistake was made LOL.
I got to meet both sets of grandparents, cousins and siblings; who were all so welcoming and sweet to me. I definitely want to learn Italian and be speaking more by the time I see them again.
Olga and Alessandro were honestly the best parents I could have asked for, they treated me like I was their own and made me feel so comfortable. Cristian was the sweetest little boy and I cannot wait until we are reunited with another sword fight.
“Me and my team – cream of the crop” It’s crazy as to how you can throw a team of people together and within 24 hours they are getting on like a house on fire! I’ll be honest, I was super nervous about working with my team, because I had not gotten to know any of them and a lot of them were really close already. Honestly, I have no clue why I was so worried, they turned out to be the loveliest and sweetest people and I am so happy I got to work with them. I was able to get on with all of them as individuals as well as in the team.
My babies! I am missing my crazy class so so much. They were a lovely bunch kids and two weeks with them was definitely not enough. My kids were all really smart and I loved the relationship they had with each other. Some of them were friends at school, the rest just bonded from being camp classmates.
I had one little boy called Andrea, which in the last week we called The Baby. He got that name because he was constantly rolling around on the floor and could never sit still. He was so funny and he signed my leaving card “Andrea The Baby”. That is literally just a sample of what my class was like. They were literally just a bunch of crazy kids and I absolutely adore them to bits and pieces.
We had a song for everytime they spoke Italian (they were not supposed to at Camp during class). “IN THE CLASSROOM, IN THE CLASSROOM. WE SPEAK ENGLISH, WE SPEAK ENGLISH. NO ITALIAN, NO ITALIAN.” – we would just repeat that over and it would be absolutely hilarious.
My girls were definitely great at supporting the boys and keeping them in line. When rehearsing for the showcase, the girls loved all the dancing and were great in teaching the boys everything. I love them so much, I wish them all the best in life and I hope I get to see them again.
There was also other kids at camp that I got to know, who were absolutely adorable!
Milan/Milano, is an incredibly beautiful city. While in Italy, I had two trips to Milan. The first trip was on the Sunday after we arrived to Cassano D’Adda. On the first day we went up Duomo (the famous cathedral in Milano) and had a little look around. I was mesmerised by Milan. Italy in general is beautiful, but I really loved the architecture in Milan. Despite Milan being quite modern, it still had a really traditional look to it.
The middle weekend, Team Cassano took Milan for the weekend and were joined by some of the other camp tutors. We stayed in a hostel which wasn’t too bad and it was only one night anyway. We went out to some bars along the canal (insert name when I remember). It was lively with so any people around, different bars had different genres of music and different vibes. The next day we went back to the city centre, I wanted to do a bit of shopping so I took to the streets while others went to chill in a bar.
OH HOW I LOVE YOU ITALIA!
The trip to Italy came at the best possible time. I had been on a high, which we interrupted by someone negative in my life. Being around so many positive vibes and great energy really helped me get over everything and I am so glad I was Blessed with the opportunity. I definitely want to return to Italy and travel around a bit more. Until next time Italia…
– Video will be coming soon so make sure to pop over to my YouTube channel –