Apartment shopping as a student in America requires only a few questions:
Close to school?
Close to bars?
Good wifi reception?
There is no beauty in apartment shopping for students. All that we are really looking for is cheap rent and a stable roof.
I expected to receive the same in Italy. Low cost housing for students that use and abuse the space for sleep during the week and then abandon it on the weekends for even cheaper flights.
Once again, Italy exceed far and beyond my expectations, but not after some worrying.
In Italy, the exteriors of buildings are not like they are in America. Here, they are chipping away, darkened with wear and rain and multicolored from its age. I did not know what to expect from the apartments we would soon be living in.
These buildings are old, and it shows.
Walking up to my Italian apartment for the first time, there was one feature that stood out to above anything else. All of the windows on the building are lined with brilliant turquoise blinds.
The most predominate color in the piazza, though, is stone, so the bright color immediately stood out against the bleakness of thousand year old stone.
Walking in was like entering a modern fairytale. The door itself is carved with simple squares and is solid wood. The marble floor swirled the (treacherous) four-flight journey up, but another squeaky wooden door greeted an out-of-breath me.
Hurrying in, the apartment was bright. Rich, bright colors everywhere, different in every room. From yellow, to bright green, to an orange/ yellow, and purple. Patterns of flowers reminiscent of the 70s line the walls, with bright orange cues from the sofa.
But as I have lived here longer, there is one detail that surpasses the bright colors, and even the balconies.
The floor is as full of life as the walls. To me, it looks like thousands of small rocks were cut all at the same level to reveal their inside. Then, there were delicately arranged to fill each tile. The orange and white stones are reminiscent of mosaics, but the floor is smooth and shiny, changing to hues of black in gray in the main hallway.
I do not know if I will ever find a place like this America. There are only so many opportunities for college students to live in a building to which you cannot give a definite age.
For now, I will easily settle for more nights watching the city under me at Porta Romana, trying to live in a simply Italian way.
Hi! My name is Catherine Wheeler. I study English Writing at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. This semester I am studying Italian and journalism at Università degli Studi della Tuscia. In my free time, I love to read, cook, and travel.
Ciao! Mi chiamo Catherine Wheeler. Io studio di scrittura in inglese a Fort Lewis College di Durango, Colorado . Questo semestre Sto studiando italiano e giornalismo presso l’Università degli Studi della Tuscia. Nel mio tempo libero, mi piace leggere, cucinare, e viaggi.