My second study abroad challenge for my Italian culture class allowed the opportunity to explore more of the city where my program takes place, Urbino, as well as a chance to practice my Italian through speaking with locals. I completed six challenges through asking University students and locals, attending our second cultural activity, the tour of the Ducal Palace and Museum, online research, and exploring the streets of Urbino with members of our study abroad group. Attending the “Welcome to Urbino” event on the evening of June 13 was a great way to hear Italian students’ perspectives on living and studying in this charming, small city, while also sharing their most common stereotypes of Americans. This challenge was a great opportunity to explore and learn more about the history and life in Urbino. While I quickly learned my way around the main streets and University buildings, I had not spent much time wandering through the host city of our program, as my weekend travel has consisted of visits to other cities in Italy. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about this city through this weekly challenge, as it has helped me learn of the historical significance, and further ease into the adjustment of living abroad. My six challenge tasks completed are listed below:
1. La Casa di Raffaello (Via Raffaello 57): Purchased and originally owned by the famous artist’s father, Giovanni Santi, the house eventually became an Academy and museum honoring this incredible artist.
2. The best view of the Ducal Palace from Via Barocci: This photo was taken while on our walking tour of Urbino and the Ducal Palace on June 12. After hiking up ladder-like steps on the very steep street of Via Barocci, pedestrians are awarded with a stunning view of the historical castle.
3. An American fast food restaurant in Urbino that makes eggs for breakfast: Canyon Fast Food e Paninoteca, Via Giacomo Matteotti 22. Located on the outskirts of Urbino, this restaurant serves the equivalent of a traditional American breakfast.
4. The most popular place for Urbino students on Thursday nights: The Bosom Pub, Via Francesco Budassi 24. When meeting with Italian students on our first day in Urbino, both girls informed our group of the most popular nightclub in town for students.
5. The most popular stereotype about Americans: When conversing with Italian students from the University of Urbino, many said that Americans tend to have lots of national pride, and can be unaware/ignorant of anything else. This patriotic beach towel being a perfect example of our American pride :-)!
6. US culture in Italy: Does US pop culture have an impact on Italian culture? In my opinion, yes. From American music playing in restaurants, local grocery stores selling peanut butter, and American movies playing at the local theater, glimpses of American culture have been visible while in Italy, and Urbino, in particular.