Ciao tutti!

After arriving at Malpensa airport on the 3rd of January, I have only spent a few days in Trento, but I have already made friends and acquired memories for life. When I first landed at Malpensa (Freno), I thought the air in all of Italy would be as smoggy and dirty as it was here. Upon arriving in Trento, I understood why doctors used to ordain a trip to the Alps to cure respiratory issues. The air here is so fresh and although the winds are at times ice cold, the air is so clean that I would think this is the cleanest region in all of Europe. Trentino's recycling and enviroment programs seem to have made a difference. I currently live with Amaya, Anaelle and Ercan. The view from the balcony is wonderful, and in the mornings you can hear the chicken across the river cackle, you see the Faculty of Engineering up on the mountain and have a perfect view of the alpine mountains surrounding Trento. The apartment holds a good standard of living, but I am still very careful when using the gas stove. The first days here were moments of cultural shock, before I came here, I heard that Italians were loud, but this is only true in the cafés and restaurants. Even if you don't speak Italian, and the elder generation of Italians aren't as proficient in English, they will go out of their way to help you as much as they can. They are a very hospitable and loving people. The autobus in the urban area can get very crowded, for me as a Swede who is used to standing 1 - 3 meters away from strangers, having a stranger right in front and behind of you is odd to me. Even at bus stops in Sweden, they usually don't even share the bus stop but rather stand outside. I am also amazed at the price in Italy, for me everything feels extremely cheap. The IVA (VAT) isn't low and is most of the time being at 15-20%, but I feel more free that I have so much variety to choose from at a low cost. One kilogram of gnocchi di patate for 1 Euro? It's a a dream. One thing I must admit to not liking is their continued use of cash currency, many cafés don't have card readers and will only accept cash as as payment. I would think most of Europe today prefers bank or debit cards to cash, and hearing the coins in my pocket is a pet peeve of mine. Tuesday (martedì) was my first day at the InCo office, the office itself is very properly decorated with well thought out interior, my coworkers are gentle and always a helping hand in times of need. My Italian studies are progressing, but at times trying to learn from what strangers in the street are saying can be hard, as Italians very often speak fast. I try to read one newspaper article in Italian every day, as I believe written Italian is a good start for understanding and eventually mastering the language.

Part of the office after everyone went out for lunch

        Ciao tutti!!
I’ve finished almost 8 months. And now I live in Bolzano. This month let’s talk about my new apartment and my new flatmates.
Firstly the new house was a big disappointment for us. Because we waited 6 months for this house. And then, when we arrived to here, it was completely empty. I mean; we didn’t have glasses, moka, mirror in the bathroom, washing machine (we still don’t have one) pillows etc... Oh wait; the main bomb is coming: the heating system didn’t work and we didn’t have hot water and our house was colder than outside. So our first day in our ‘sweet’ home was a big shock for us and at the end of day we returned to Trento. But this was just a temporary solution and the next day we had to go back to Bolzano. Further we slept with 3 blankets. We had this situation almost 5 or 6 days. Finally after 6 days they fixed it and it has started to work. Actually it didn’t work in my room (I think I’m just an unfortunate little girl :/ ) but it was okey after a week in the cold house. (We got used to it) However our kitchen was still empty.. After two weeks I went to Turkey for two weeks. When I returned, SURPRISE; our kitchen was full of all the stuff that was missing and every day Daniel brought sth from his work place although we had enough stuff and in the end we had to tell them to stop sending us new things. Now we have more stuff then we need. But we still don’t have a washing machine (this is such an irony). Maybe now you’re thinking what are we doing without a washing machine? We have really lovely friends and they’re always welcoming us at their home to use their mashing machine, although it is still an exhausting situation. We’re still waiting for it and we hope they will buy it before we’ll finish our project. Maybe they will never buy one... WHO KNOWS?? Anyway, until now we didn’t talk about good stuff, so let’s change the topic.
I have two sweet flat mates. Well let’s start with Daniel. He’s from Austria and he’s 18. Before we moved to Bolzano, we traveled together every day in train to go to Bolzano. Furthermore we were together almost every day and now we live together which is so funny and crazy. I said crazy because after 8 pm you can see him while he dances in my room with a pan on his head and spoons in his hands. Or you can find an iron, detergent and some more stuff from the bathroom in your bed. In addition, his explanation was „they sleep in there“. Or when you want to pee, he can just sit on the closet. (Not because he has to use it but because he wants to block it from me[you can see him in the picture]). In spite of all those funny things, he’s really good teacher and he always has a big motivation to teach German or Italian. All of this makes him special and because of this I feel so lucky to I have him.
Since the first of April we’ve a new flat mate. His name is Dorin. He’s from Moldova and he’s 27. He’s not as crazy or abnormal as Daniel :D. And he’s also more calm then both of us. (Because of this maybe he thinks we’re abnormal :D). I know him just for 2 weeks. But I can say that he’s very nice. Additionally he has a loving heart. Besides the most important part; he cooks so deliciously (especially if you yourself can not :D ).

Seda Orhan
Bolzano, Italy

For English version scroll down.

Je suis arrivée avec l'idée qu'en étant en Italie pour 1 an, j'aurais assez de temps pour faire tout ce que je voulais et réaliser les différents projets que j'avais en tête. Mais on est maintenant en avril, ça fait déjà 7 mois qu'on est arrivés à Trento (pour la plupart d'entre nous) et j'ai pas tout réaliser!
Je parlais du temps qui passe avec ma coloc et la conclusion de notre conversation est assez simple: 1 an c'est assez pour voyager, c'est aussi assez pour avoir une vie quotidienne (et tout ce que cela entraîne) mais pour avoir les 2 intensément 1 an c'est trop court !
Actuellement quand je pense au temps une part de mois est triste parce qu'il passe à toute vitesse mais l'autre partie de moi est fière et reconnaissante pour cette aventure.
Que vous dire à part que cet article est une bonne excuse pour mettre un peu d'ordre dans ma tête à propos de cette émotion.
Alors, la vraie question est pourquoi je pense que je n'aurais pas assez de temps ici ?
Parce que :
1. Je commence à comprendre de plus en plus la culture italienne, à en apprendre plus à propos du passé et des différentes façons de voir la vie entre le Nord et le Sud de l'Italie. ( puis honnêtement je n'aurais jamais assez de temps pour continuer à explorer la cuisine italienne..)
2. J'ai pas encore assez découvert la province où je vis. (Et ça je l'ai réalisé récemment quand quelqu'un me parlait des différentes villes proche de là où je vis, et que je ne voyais pas du tout de quoi il me parlait (la honte)..).
3. Enfaite je peux dire que je n'ai pas assez découvert l'Italie en général (bon honnêtement j'ai quand même pas mal voyagé mais ça me donne une bonne excuse pour revenir).
4. J'ai envie de passer plus de temps et de continuer à découvrir les personnes de mon projet (que ce soit mes collègues ou les résidents). (Puis une autre saison arrive avec la possibilité de faire différentes activités et de créer d'autres opportunités).
5. J'ai envie d'organiser plus de choses avec les volontaires (vive l'énergie que donne le soleil), parce qu'on a créer un groupe Et j'ai envie de continuer à apprécier mon temps avec eux (et honnêtement avec ce genre d'aventure tu as l'occasion de créer des relations avec des personnes qui ont vraiment un point de vue différent du tien et des passions différentes. Je suis pas encore prête à ne plus avoir de débat au niveau des différences culture.)
6. J'ai aussi besoin de plus de temps pour réaliser mes objectifs. (Je voulais parler l'italien de manière courante mais pour ça j'ai besoin de plus de temps. Et je le sais parce que j'utilise encore cette terrible technique qui consiste à, quand je ne connais pas un mot à prendre le mot en français et à le prononcer en essayant d'avoir un accent italien !)
Mais vous savez quoi ? Cet article me fait réaliser que j'ai encore 4 mois pour courir après le temps et c'est certainement une des plus belle course pour profiter au maximum de la vie !

I will never have enough time here

I arrived with the idea i will be here for 1 year and I was thinking it would be enough time to realise a lot of different things.
But we are in April, the most of us arrived in September, so we are already living in Trento for 7 months!
I spoke with my roommates about this subject and the conclusion is it's enough time for travel or for live a daily life but not enough for both..
Actually when i think about the time in some part I'm sad but I'm more proud and thankful for this adventure. This article It's a good excuse for put my mind a little more in order about these emotions.
Well, why I am thinking I will never have enough time here?
1. I just began to understand more and more the italian culture. I learn more about the past and the difference inside Italy. (And i will never have enough time here for continue to enjoy the food..)
2. I didn't discover enough the province where I live. (I realised it when someone told me something about different cities close to mine and I didn't know the name (shame)..).
3. I didn't discover enough Italy in general. (This is not so bad and I will have a lot of reasons to come back!)
4. I want to know and pass more time with my collegues and the people who live in my working place (And now it will be a different season and it will be possible to do different things and to have different opportunities)
5. I want to organise more things with the other volunteers, because we created a group and I want to continue enjoying my time here together with them (With this kind of adventure you can create a relation with people who have really different points of view, different hobbies, different habits and I need more debate about our cultures)
6. I need more time in order to achieve my goals. (I wanted to speak Italian fluently but for this I really need more time. I am still using a terrible technic when I don't know an Italian word, I take a french word and try to pronounce it with an italian accent!)
But you know why it's good to write this article now? Because I still have 4 months for run after the time and it's one of the most beautiful races in life!

Roxane Bernard
Trento, Italy

For English version scroll down.

¡La primavera ha llegado! La época más floral, más bonita y con la temperatura idónea para descubrir lugares nuevos.
Tomar el sol, ver el atardecer, tomar una copa y disfrutar de una cena o comer un delicioso gelato son algunos de los placeres que nos aportan esos lugares donde tanto nos gusta estar: las terrazas y jardines.
Por suerte, en Bolzano tenemos muchas y cada una, con algo especial. Después del largo invierno finalmente han llegado las nuevas hojas en los arboles y con las nuevas hojas nuevos voluntarios internacionales por conocer. Lo que más me gusta del buen clima, es estar siempre fuera de casa, disfrutar del aire fresco y dar largos paseos en la montaña y aquí en Alto-Adige es una experiencia inigualable, es el lugar perfecto para poder hacerlo. Pero por desgracia no todo son amor y flores en el paraíso, no podía ser todo perfecto. La razón de mis dolores de cabeza son mis vecinos, si mis vecinos sin increíblemente fastidiosos, no solo hacen ruido y molestan, sino que se quejan a diario de las “fiestas” locas que se hacen en mi casa, cosa que no es cierta.
Hace un par de semanas se presentaron 7 policias en mi casa el sábado a las 11 de la noche por el “caos” que se había desatado en mi apartamento, ¿y que se encontraron estos policías? A cinco amigas que estaban viendo una película tranquilamente en el salón. O por ejemplo hace un par de semanas he iniciado ha hacer de nuevo un poco de deporte, (no más de 30 minutos porque estoy un poco en baja forma…) algunos ejercicios de yoga y estiramientos básicos, y estos vecinos llamaron al presidente de mi asociación para decirle que había montado un gimnasio público en mi casa y que había siempre mala gente que entra y sale de mi casa. Y estos solo son algunos ejemplos, porque cada semana se inventan una historia increíble, al parecer no tienen nada mejor que hacer, he estado pensando en darles un lienzo y algunas pinturas para Que desarrolen esa imaginación tan fantastica que tienen creando una obra artistica!

Spring has arrived!

Spring has arrived! The most floral, prettiest time and the ideal temperature to discover new places. Take the sun, watch the sunset, have a drink and enjoy a dinner or eat a delicious gelato are some of the pleasures that give us those places where we like to be: the terraces and gardens.
Luckily, in Bolzano we have many and each one, which is something special. After the long winter the new leaves have finally arrived and with the new leaves arrive too some new international volunteers to know too. What I like most about the good weather is to be always out and to enjoy the fresh air and take long walks in the mountains and here in Alto-Adige it is an incomparable experience, it is the perfect place to do it. But unfortunately not everything is love and flowers in paradise, it could not be all perfect. The reason for my headaches are my neighbors, because my neighbors are incredibly annoying, not only make noise and annoy, but complain daily about the crazy "parties" that I do in my house, which is not true.
A couple of weeks ago 7 policemen showed up at my house on Saturday at 11 o'clock at night because of the "chaos" that had broken out in my apartment, and what did these policemen find? – The friends who were watching a movie quietly in the living room. Or, for example, a couple of weeks ago I started doing a little sport again, (no more than 30 minutes because I'm a bit in poor shape...) some basic yoga exercises and stretches, and these neighbors called the president of my association to tell him that I had set up a public gym in my house and that there were always bad people coming and going from my house. And these are just some examples, because every week they invent an incredible story. Apparently they have nothing better to do, I've been thinking about giving them a canvas and some paintings to develop their fantastic imagination making some art!

Berta Ruiz-Alejos,
Bolzano, Italy

Bolzano is now a synonym for home for me. And I think a lot of my friends have the same feeling.
Sometimes when we travel, we feel so homesick that we want to go back to Bolzano. At least that happened to me and my old flatmate Natalya when we visited Munich.
The second part of my love letter to Bolzano is about its bars. Additionally I have to admit that a bar in Italy is a place to drink alcohol, coffee or to eat. But in Germany it includes only alcoholic drinks.
The research was of course only for this blogpost to inform and prepare you guys for your next trip to Bolzano!

Temple Bar¹
This bar is an Irish Pub in the center of Bolzano. It’s almost always opened, even Sundays but not after 1am like any other bar with one exception. Inside you can watch premiere league and sometimes they have karaoke. Once we have been there for a karaoke night and after one song they had an electricity problem. So concluded, it’s a nice place to drink the best (but also most expensive!!) beer which you can find in Bolzano but it’s not recommendable for karaoke…
The deal: 0.5l of Guinness 5,50€

Bar Tiffany²
This place is also central and besides not a friend of anyone’s purse or wallet. I’d describe it as a bit fancy. But it’s a good place to have an Aperol Spritz followed by some crisps.
The deal: Aperol Spritz 4€

Kinda close Chinese bar³
This bar is unfortunately not in the center but close to the place where I live. It’s the perfect place to have a Cappuccino with a Croissant or to watch Championsleage. It’s the only place I know so far where you get a cheap Aperol followed by a lot of snacks like crisps, popcorn (salty(never sweet)) and bread. If you’re lucky you also get pasta for free!
The deal: Cappuccino + Croissant 2,80€; Aperol Spritz 3€ (+a lot of Snacks)

The bar which never closes⁴
This bar or you could also describe it as a meeting point for unserious people is in the historical center of Bolzano in one inconspicuous street.
Its advantages: In comparison to the other bars it’s never closing and really important to me: downstairs you can find a guitar!
Disadvantages: Usually you don’t meet people you would like to hang out with another time.
The deal: 0,4l of beer (Pils) 3,50-4,50€

This is the place to be if you like crowded places. Inside and especially outside you can barely move. I feel like all young people from whole Bolzano go there with their friends to enjoy this special atmosphere and to meet new people.
The deal: Aperol Spritz 3,50€ (+some crisps)

Picchio is not as central as the other bars but still not in the periphery.
It’s my favorite bar because of its harmful alternative atmosphere, drinks and people. The bartender is our favorite Italian teacher or teacher of Bolzano’s history. Furthermore they sometimes have live bands or publications of books.
But during the weekend it’s very crowded, so if you’re in group with more than 3 people it’s impossible to find a place inside and since spring started probably neither outside.
The deal: 1l of vino rosso della casa for 10€
So choose carefully and enjoy!

¹Dominikanerplatz, 20, 39100 Bozen
²Siegesplatz, 33, 39100 Bozen
³Via Palermo, 4, 39100 Bolzano BZ
Erbsengasse, 12, 39100 Bozen
Obstpl., 43, 39100 Bozen
Vicolo S. Quirino, 11, 39100 Bolzano BZ

Nina Dentler
Bolzano, Italy