Ariel Levin: Nothing Compares to Viterbo

Ariel Levin*

It’s no question that European culture is different than American culture. Before coming here, I was aware that the way of life in Viterbo was going to differ from what I was used to, but I didn’t realize by how much. Although there are aspects of American culture that I do miss, I can’t help but think how lucky I am to be here. I appreciate the slower paced life, the importance of style, the beautiful buildings, the narrow streets, and most importantly the food. Italians value living in the moment while Americans always seem to be daydreaming about the future. Everything is different here in Viterbo, in a good way. The cars are much smaller, the atmosphere is calmer, everything you may need is in walking distance, and the locals are genuinely kind.
Food is important, resting is important, and taking your time is important. Back in the States there isn’t enough time to sit and enjoy a meal while having a glass of wine. We don’t take time to admire the surrounding buildings and wonder about the history. I love Viterbo and how my life has changed since being here. In the morning I look forward to going to a cafe to sit and eat a croissant with a cappuccino. I then spend my days getting lost in the city, shopping, hanging with friends, and being sure to catch the sunset at Fontana di Palazzo dei Priori in a small courtyard past a beautiful arch. My friends and I are always thinking about new restaurants to try and where we want to go back again. So far Cantina dei Papi and Ristonrante II Monastero have my heart but there is still so much more we need to explore.
Viterbo is a special place; it is an Italian medieval masterpiece. The people, the environment, and the small-town feeling makes Viterbo feel like home. Being here has made me grateful that I’m getting an authentic Italian experience versus living in a touristy place. When the streets are filled with locals, I find myself loving Viterbo the most. It’s exciting to see people simply living their everyday lives and enjoying the same things I do.



My name is Ariel Levin and I am from Los Angeles, California, USA. I am studying mass communication design at California State University, Chico. I decided to spend my spring semester studying abroad and live in Viterbo, Italy because it is an amazing opportunity that I had to take advantage of. While living here for the next four months I plan to travel around Italy and the surrounding countries. My experience so far has been more than I could ask for. From the people to the food.

Mi chiamo Ariel Levin e vengo da Los Angeles, California, USA. Sto studiando design di comunicazione di massa alla California State University, Chico. Ho deciso di trascorrere il mio semestre primaverile studiando all’estero e vivendo a Viterbo, in Italia, perché è una straordinaria opportunità di cui ho voluto approfittare. Mentre vivo qui per i prossimi quattro mesi, ho intenzione di viaggiare in giro per l’Italia e nei paesi circostanti. Finora la mia esperienza è stata più di quanto potessi chiedere. Dalla gente al cibo.