by Kailee Dunn
One of the things I have thoroughly enjoyed about this program is being completely immersed in the Italian culture. We, as students, were warned that the petite town of Cagli and the surrounding cities were less likely to speak English compared to a tourist town. This made me both nervous and excited.
Over the weekend, I traveled with a group of students to the beach town of Fano. Seeing as this is mainly a vacation destination for Italians, I was excited to practice my Italian. However, as my classmate and I approached a food counter at the beach the woman behind the counter yelled to someone in the back and another woman appeared. We reached the counter and mumbled something like, “how do you say this?” My response, however, came from the woman taking our order. “Please just speak English,” she said. Apparently my white-blonde hair and freckles made it obvious that I did not speak Italian.
In the moment, I was baffled that the woman would try and discourage me from practicing Italian. Looking back, I realized that we were at a resort destination and she was just trying to be hospitable. After that incident, we discussed the importance of hospitality in the Italian culture. Whenever they can adapt, they will do so.
Luckily, not all of my ordering experiences have been discouraging. In fact, every other time I have ordered the person taking my order has been extremely patient and helpful.