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What do I miss about Urbino?

  • The friends from all over Europe
  • The mountains (killer workout for your legs and breathtaking sights!)
  • Mama’s Cafè and Mario

That’s about it really. Wasn’t really the best place for me. I need get back down to the South of Italy (Pisciotta) or head over to Torino and Firenze.

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La cucina…

Here in the student residential dorm of Tridente, each block has its own kitchen. In each kitchen, we are provided with a table, a few chairs (the chairs are typically from each person’s personal dorm room), a small fridge that can barely contain our belongings, a stovetop with just two burners, and a sink. There are a few of us in the block who like to keep the kitchen clean because, after all, it is the place that we cook and eat. There are however a couple of people in our block who use the kitchen and who do not clean up. They think that they can just use the kitchen for whatever they please, and the next morning, those who actually need to use the kitchen will be so disgusted that they’ll just clean up the mess; normally, they are in this thinking. They use the pots, pans, plates, cups, and utensils that are not theirs, but what is worse is that they fry potatoes at least every other night, leaving the burners and surrounding area of the countertop saturated in oiland all of the dirty pots, pans, plates, and utensils in the sink. This is not only unsanitary and disgusting, but it is extremely unsafe! How can someone in their right mind leave a stovetop covered in frying oil? How? I do not care how drunk these people are, they should clean up their mess. Try to be somewhat respectful of those who you live with and who need to use the kitchen every day. My one friend and I cook every day for lunch and dinner and waking up to these messes is just becoming tiresome. To top it all off, the sink is now clogged because they do not use the stopper when they put stuff in the sink. We’ve asked them to clean up their messes, but they do nothing. We’ve reported them, but there is apparently nothing that can be done about their piggish behavior. When we reported them the people in charge just said, “We all know who it is, but there is nothing that we can do about it.” It’s true though. It is only ever a certain group of people here in Urbino who are causing all of the trouble.  They are the ones who are constantly drinking and partying every day and night of the week, which is disturbing to those who are trying to study, or to those who are trying to sleep. They create mayhemImage wherever they go. They are up all hours of the night and are never quiet. They will come back at four in the morning and somehow decide that drunkenly frying up some eggs is a good idea, thus creating even more of a mess for others to clean up. It is simply out of control, and, at this point, I wonder why Urbino allows them to  come back every year, since they have the same problems with this particular group of Erasmus students each time that they come. If this kind of behavior were to occur at my home school in New Paltz, these students would be, at minimum, fined, warned, and locked out of the kitchen. But here? Apparently, there is nothing that they can do. To say that is frustrating beyond belief would not even begin to express my feelings on this matter.  Just one more month… one more month…

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Storia della lingua italiana: Dante teorico del volgare…

Our professor gave us (Erasmus students) a little sheet that told what in the textbook we should study for the exam. I did one section of the reading, which was only four pages, and it took me over an hour to read it, understand it, and take notes from it. I’ve definitely got a busy weekend of note taking coming up!

“…per un pubblico che non è in grado di comprenderla lingua dei classici il giudizio di Dante nasce dunque, oltre che da una fiducia profonda nelle possibilità della nuova lingua, da un’istanza di divolgarazione o commicazione più largaed efficace…”

“…Nel Convivio il latino è reputato superiore in quanto utilizzato nell’arte…”

“…Nel De vulari eloquentia, invece, la superiorità del volgare viene riconsciuta in nome della sua naturalezza, ma la letterarietà della lingua latina diventa uno stimolo per la regolarizzazione del volgare…”

“…Alcuni insinuarono il sospetto che il trattato non fosse di Dante, che si trovasse di fronte ad un falso. La tesi della falsità del De vulagri eloquentia non era disinteressata: faceva comodo sopratutto alla culturea fiorentina, che mal tollerava le pagine in cui Dante aveva condannato duramente (come vedremo) il volgare toscano, preferendogli il bolognese e il siciliano illustre, e negando che il toscano stesso potesse indentificarsi con la lingua degna della volgar poesia…”

“…Alessandro Manzoni tentò di sminuirne l’importanza, affermando che il De vulgari eloquentianon aveva per oggetto la lingua in generale, né l’italiano in maniera di una specifica, ma solo la poesia…”

“…Agli occhi di Dante, però, l’intreccio tra i due temi era indissolubile, e solo la perfetta definizione del concetto di ‘lingua’ permetteva lafondazione di una letteratura in volgare…”

“…Stabilisce che fra tutte le creature l’unico essere dotato di linguaggio è l’uomo; dunque il linguaggio stesso caratterizza l’essere umano in quanto tale,  diversificandolo ad esempio dagli animali bruti, gerarchiamente più in basso di lui, e dagli angeli, posti più in alto…”

“…Il volgare per farsi ‘letteraro,’ per arrivare a una dignità paragonatile a quella del latino, deve acquistare stabilità, distinguendosi dal parlato popolare…”

“…La sua attenzione si concentra sull’Europa, dove nei paesi del’Nord e del Nord-Est (che noi diremmo germanici e slavi) si parlano lingue in cui si dice ; nei paesi del Centro-Sud si parlano la lingua d’oϊl (il francese), la lingua d’oc (il provenzale), il volgare del (l’italiano); in Grecia e nelle zone orientale è diffuso il greco…”

“…Vendendo a trattare del gruppo linguistica costituito da francese, provenzale e italiano…”

“…L’esame delle varie parlate si conclude con la loro sistematica eliminazione: tutte, nella loro forma naturale, sono indegne del volgare illustre. La condanna colpisce non solo volgari ‘impuri,’ di confine, come il piemontese; il giudizio è negativo per il friulano, il sardo, il romanesco, il marchigianoe via dicendo. Tra le più severe condanne c’è quella per il toscano e il fiorentino. Migliori degli altri risultano il siciliano e il bolognese, ma non nella loro forma populare…”

“…Ecco perché il toscano viene condannato, al pari delle altre parlate italiane: non solo la lingua popolare toscana non interessa Dante…”

“…Il trattato De vulgari eloquentia da libro di linguistica si transforma dunque in trattato di teaoria letteraria…”

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Mini Bologna Excursion

Yesterday morning a friend and I headed to Bologna for the day. We took the 8:00 am bus from Urbino, then the 9:12 train from Pesaro, and finally arrived in Bologna Centrale around 11:20. When we arrived, we were not exactly sure about what to do or where to go. We headed out of the train station, and when we spotted a McDonald’s we got way too excited; it was necessary to stop there and enjoy the NYCrispy before going on with out little adventure.
We ventured out into Bologna, and when we saw the giant arch that led into the main part of the city, we knew we were on the right track. As we were walking we noticed that there was a giant market going on, as there usually is in every town in Italy on Saturdays. We made our way into the thick crowd and eyed up everything that there was. There were the things that we normally see in the markets such as cheap clothing, socks, kitchenware, and the like, but this market also had some more interesting things that what I’ve seen in Urbino, Rimini, and Pisciotta; there were was a whole section of items that were geared towards the younger crowd and the rocker/scene/hippie/rasta crowd. Some areas even had signs that said pictures were not allowed to be taken. The items were tempting, but I knew that I shouldn’t waste my money on them. The market was a bit too crowded for my liking, and we kept getting jostled about. After navigating through the mass of Italians and other tourists, we decided to check out the other shops in the area. Being girls, we kept going into every make up, profumeria, clothing, and show store that we saw. We couldn’t help; we’d just look at one another and guiltily head into the store. Somehow we managed to escape without buying much of anything. We continued walking around Bologna, just taking random turns here and there, and somehow managed to end up back in the center where the market was. We don’t know how it happened, but we were glad it did since it was getting close to catching our train back and we weren’t sure when how we would get back. We even ran into some sort of protest that was going on! We think it was about the rights (or lack there of) of incoming immigrants from African countries. Heading towards the train station, we walked into a book sale tent. It was essentially an outdoor book store with great prices. II saw a huge book on the history of Juventus and was two seconds away from getting it when I realized that it would have really weighed down my luggage; I walked away from it sseverelyy disappointedd andd upset A few minutes later I spied a book on the Venetian dialect though that was much smaller and barely weighed anything. Since I already have books on Sicilian, the Napoletana dialect, I figured why not add to the collection? It was really good quality and only eight euro. I couldn’t resist and was happy with my purchase even though I was still a bit upset that I couldn’t buy the Juventus book.Before we went to the train station we stopped to refuel and had a pizza wrap (something more like a hot pocket than a calzone) and some coffee. When we finally got onto the train, it was packed. For the first half-hour of the trip back, we could not sit. Eventually, a few seats opened up and we were able to sit. There was an old man sitting there with us, and I found him to be a bit intriguing right away simply because when my friend sat down across from him, he asked her in Italian if she could move next to him and across from me because his legs were too long. He then spoke in English, when he realized we weren’t Italian, with quite an odd accent. We understood his Italian, but he continued to speak to us in English. She obliged and moved over to her new seat. He seemed interested in where we were from and asked us about our studies and whatnot. He went into saying how he was retired but then started working again because his company wanted him back because he’s “Specialized in Middle Eastern relations” even though he doesn’t think he is. He went on to ask more questions about our studies and languages and where we’ve been and how he’s been all over the world. We discovered that he was originally from Holland, but now lives in a town in Italy with his wife. It through me off a bit though when I told him that I had studied Swahili a while back. He looked a bit confused and asked what for? Becky went on to help me out by saying that there are many immigrants from Uganda in England who would need interpreters, but then he cut her off saying that they have nothing to say. I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that. Afterwards, when he found out my boyfriend was Turkish, he went on to say that Istanbul is a beautiful city and he’s been there about forty times or so on business and that he would rrecommendit to anyway for a vacation. He was a very interesting man, but seemed to be very know-it-all, would try to correct the way I would say some Turkish words, even though I know for a fact that they were pronounced correctly, and just seemed like he was a person who thought highly of himself. Even so, he was an interesting old man. I’ll give him that. I wish that one day I’ll be able to travel to as many places as he has.
When my friend and I finally arrived in Pesaro, we were about a half an hour early for our bus, so we purchased some snacks and waited. I got some potato chips that were “pollo roasted,” and they tasted exactly like roasted chicken. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was not that. I was just pleasantly surprised, I guess. After about another hour and a half, we finally arrived in Urbino, and being exhausted, passed out not too long afterwards.