written by Tom
I made a Venn diagram of the Italians and Americans
In two days we’ll be flying back to the USA. I am super excited, but there was still one more thing I wanted to do in Italy. I decided to ask four different Italians several questions about their lifestyle, interests, and dislikes. Then I would ask the four people in my family the same questions. Below are eight paragraphs containing each person’s answers.
Alessandro is 11 years old and was my classmate this year. His favorite thing about Italy is the food. He really likes cheese pizza and pasta Norcina (sausage and cream). His preferred gelato flavor is milk chocolate. His favorite region is Lazio, mainly because of Rome. The thing he dislikes the most about living in Italy is the amount of homework. The most difficult English word for him to say is “antidisestablishmentarianism.”
Here is Giovanni with his mom, Ray and me when we had lunch at his house.
Giovanni is 17 years old. He is going to America next month as a foreign exchange student for his senior year in high school. He chose America because he thinks it’s the strongest country in the world and he wants to learn English. The thing he likes most about Italy is the pizza. His favorite kind is sausage and mushroom. His preferred gelato combination is pistachio and pine nut. He really likes Rome, but his favorite region is Tuscany. He said the worst part about living in Italy is the bureaucracy. The hardest American word for him is “rubber” (not because of the pronunciation, but because he learned in English class that it means “eraser”, when in fact, in America, it means something else…)
Christiano is 45 years old. He works at a pasta shop near our apartment. He really likes Italy, especially the weather, the people, and the quality of life. The only thing he doesn’t like is the lack of ability to get things done. He will eat any food (pasta, meat, dessert, pizza, etc.). His favorite gelato, by far, is chocolate chip. He likes Rome and Perugia, but he doesn’t like Milan. His preferred regions are Sicily and Sardinia. His favorite word is sole (sun). He has gone to America three times. He likes how unique each city is. The hardest English word for him to pronounce is “teeth”.
Paola turns 50 today. She tutored Ray and me during the school year. Her favorite thing about Italy is the history and the food. She really likes pasta, mushroom pizza, and coconut ice cream. Her preferred city is Rome, and her favorite region is Lazio. The thing that she dislikes most about Italy is the politics. Her favorite Italian word is amore (love). The hardest word in English for her to say is “literature.”
Ray’s favorite thing about this year has been meeting new people and eating Italian food. His really likes chocolate ice cream, sausage pizza, and pasta Norcina. His preferred cities are Rome and Perugia, but he also likes the region Sardinia. Ray’s favorite word is buffone (buffoon). The one thing he dislikes about Italy is that so many stores go out of business. The hardest English word for him to pronounce is “world”. His favorite thing about the U.S. is the way the schools work.
My mom said the best thing about Italy is the evening walks before dinner with all the people. Her favorite phrase in Italian is ci mancarebbe, meaning “don’t mention it.” She likes any pizza with ricotta cheese. When we go out for gelato, she usually gets blueberry, mango and chocolate with whipped cream. Her preferred city is Rome, and her favorite region is Sardinia. The English words that she has the most trouble with are “epitaph” and “potable.” She said the best thing about America is the movies.
My dad said the best thing about living in Italy is being surrounded by beauty. His preferred food is pasta (sausage, carbonara, garbanzo beans, etc.) and his favorite Italian phrase is ho capito (I understand). His favorite city is Rome, but he also likes the region Tuscany. He usually gets strawberry, mango, and lemon flavored gelato. The hardest part about Italy for him is not understanding the language. He also misses the efficiency of America. The hardest English word for him is “synonym”.
For me, the best part about living in Italy is the amount of time I get to spend with my family. My favorite Italian food is sausage and cream pasta. My favorite pizza toppings are sliced hot dogs and French fries. The tastiest gelato flavors that I’ve had this year were peanut butter, lemon-mint, and bubble gum (all from a place called LatoG in Rome). My favorites cities are Lucca and Taormina, and my preferred region is Sardinia. My least favorite thing about Italy is the school. My favorite Italian words are oplah (oops), and bimbo (little kid). I am excited to get back to America because of my friends, the sports teams, the variety of food, and having a place to play outside. The hardest English word for me is “abominable”.