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Dancing in the Italian rain


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Published 2012-09-12T22:19:41Z”/>

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Gina Tigri

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<em>Entrance through the city walls of Viterbo</em>

Buona Sera! I have been in Viterbo for over a week now and it is still so surreal. This past week there has been this huge festival going on called La Macchina di Santa Rosa which is a religious tradition in Viterbo.

Each night there have been concerts, parades, dance performances and other activities. It has been amazing to see everyone in the entire town out and about participating in these events. The streets have been teeming with people day and night which creates a very exciting atmosphere.

There was an open-air dance area on a few of the nights, and people were dancing these Italian-style group dances for hours. After watching for a while, the other USAC students and I joined in the dancing. It started raining but everyone kept going. Dancing in the rain at one in the morning in this amazing city was one of the most unforgettable things I have ever done.

Monday night was the main parade. One hundred men carried a giant lit-up tower through the city in a procession to the Church of Santa Rosa. All of the lights in the entire city were turned off so it was pitch black and everyone went silent. Then when the macchina came by. It lit everything up and the crowd went wild. This was definitely one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

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<em>The Macchina</em>

Participating in the festivities has made me feel more like a part of the community. The celebration of La Macchina di Santa Rosa is the most important event to occur in Viterbo all year, so I feel very privileged to have experienced it.

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<em>View of Viterbo</em>

On the school front, this week has been filled with long orientations at l’Universita degli Studi della Tuscia. We have gotten all the information we could possibly need regarding class schedules, field trips, etc. Italian language courses were the only classes beginning this week with the rest of the courses being next week.

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<em>Front gate at l’Universita</em>

It seems like my language class is going to be tough; the professor speaks only Italian to us so we just have to try to follow along. As intimidating as this is, I am glad it is such an intense learning environment because I think it will really help me pick up the language. So far I have been to three class sessions and I am already quickly improving. It really helps that everywhere I go, I am reading, hearing, and speaking Italian. There really is no better way to learn a language than being immersed in it.

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<em>Entrance hallway in the main building</em>

So far, I am still loving Italy, and I’m excited to be learning new things every day. This weekend I am going on a group trip to Lago di Bolsena, a gorgeous lake which is a little outside of Viterbo. Then, I’ll be hitting the books again starting Monday.

Be sure to check back in with me next week as I continue this journey.

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        Dancing in the Italian rain