Postcards from Prato

Ashley Arminio

Crunch time


Ashley standing by the Whispering Wall in Bologna  (Photo by Ashley Arminio/Charger Bulletin photo)
Ashley standing by the Whispering Wall in Bologna
(Photo by Ashley Arminio/Charger Bulletin photo)

This past week has been busy with final projects, papers and presentations; this is the last week of school before finals begin so it’s crunch time.

To escape the work for a few hours my friend and I went to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 in Florence at an English movie theater that played the film with Italian subtitles.

We were standing in line outside in the pouring rain waiting for our turn to buy tickets at the box office and we made it into the theater right in time to buy popcorn before the movie. There is one theater inside and it’s huge, seating over 300 people. It was so refreshing to hear other students speaking English, and for a minute it started to feel like home. Within an hour into the movie, the film stopped and everyone began to scream, because the theater obviously has to cut it off right at the good part. This is the first time I ever experienced an intermission at a movie theater. Twenty minutes later the film started back up again and all of our hopes and dreams reconvened. I’m so excited for the second part of Mockingjay to come out. The Hunger Games is one of my favorite series so I was so happy to be able to see it when it came out in Italy.

This past weekend I went on a class trip to the city of Bologna. Bologna has porticoes, which are covered walkways that have been used for over one thousand years and were definitely beneficial because it was raining. I learned that the porticoes are used for protection from the weather. There are many reasons as to why these were built, one of them being that Bologna was crowded due to the University (the largest university in Italy) and trade businesses; therefore, bigger buildings were needed and with the use of the wooden or brick beams used by the porticoes, officials were able to add extra space extending he buildings outward onto the street.

My favorite part of Bologna is the whispering wall. There’s a section in the city with brick pillars and if one person stands against the wall and talks, another person facing the opposite pillar can hear you! It almost sounds like you’re talking to a person that is stuck in the wall, and you can really freak people out who are just standing by.

Christmas is just around the corner, and Italy has begun putting up lights and Christmas trees around the city, making everyone that much more excited!

While Italy is getting excited for Christmas, the Americans had our own Thanksgiving feast. The school had a thanksgiving lunch on Thanksgiving Day for all of the students, faculty and the mayor of Prato!

It was so nice to have everyone together and be able to share this holiday with people who have never experienced a Thanksgiving lunch before. I’m so thankful for the professors I have, and this experience.