Friday, May 27, 2011

Fine Settimana Tre??? AHHHH!

I'm 3/4 of the way through with my stay in Milano! That's crazy!!!!! I'm excited for Arezzo, but am just now getting the hang of Milano and wish I could have more time. Sort of. Mixed emotions here!

Yesterday was a lovely lovely day which I spent with my classmate, the bella Fiammetta, and we walked around the city just taking our time and enjoying the sunny day! We even met some Americans who were touring through Europe for study abroad, and they took our picture after we took theirs. Lovely!

Today was also a neat day because I found a piano practice room that looked really neat (even had chandeliers!). I enjoyed my voice and composition practice!

The best part was definitely playing on a Steinway. *HUGE GRIN*

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Una giornata a Milano...

Spontaneous, spur of the moment, and last minute; these are all things that do not describe me nor work well with me. I learned that yesterday! BUT, despite things not working out to my "last minute planning," by being open minded I was able to experience other things that could not have been planned or scheduled.

We started class with a new teacher, Irene, who's energy and enthusiasm reminds me of watching Cecilia Bartoli sing live. We also learned that one of our classmates, a young Brazillian guy, well, his version of paradise is ragazze!! (Young women!) That was just one of the many amusing and sometimes awkward subjects covered yesterday, but all of which were enjoyable, and I definitely learned so much in one class! I didn't know what to expect with a new teacher, but I think I like her and will continue to like her for the next two weeks of class.

I attempted to go downtown to find a practice room, but to no avail. (You know you're in Italy when all the pianos are being used and you hear opera in each room!) So I began walking back, planning on stopping at Porta Genova (a metro station that takes you to the part of town that looks like mini-Venice!). I'm walking my normal route back, and I spot a chandelier (ahh yes, my chandelier addiction is one for the books). I think "oooh! This is definitely picture worthy!" I pull out my camera and...internal memory full....I had left my memory card in the computer back at the apartment....really??? So much for walking around to take pictures.... However, on my walk back, I discovered another metro stop, saving me some walking! So I went down there, and had a few minutes to wait and was able to sit down. While sitting down, three people walked by me; one man was singing opera (or at least classically)!! I had to smile, and may have even chuckled. Then he gave me a greeting in Italian, and I laughed again. I suddenly appreciated the timing of my day, and realized that it worked out just right, even if it wasn't what I had originally planned.

All of this can happen on a day in Milan, if you just let it happen to you.
Ciao ciao!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

La vita in Milano (settimana due) e bene!

Is it possible that two weeks have gone by? Really? And that means only two weeks are left here.
My week was pretty uneventful until the end, but that's ok. I love that if I keep my mind open then neat things can happen. I just need to not be an over-planner, and attempt to predict every minute of my life. It's more fun to leave it open!

Friday's Italian class was fun and bittersweet because it meant saying farewell to our awesome teacher Simone. (Every two weeks the teachers rotate, so tomorrow we get a new one- yikes!) Class was fun because it was the most relaxed, and we played educational games which were quite enjoyable.

After classes were done I desperately needed laundry (I must've over packed if I could last two weeks without repeating outfits...), so my neighbor and I went to find a laundromat! This was completely new to me, AND in Italian, but I actually had fun and got clean clothes. Win-win right?

I can now officially say I have successfully done my own laundry all by myself in a foreign country. (And for you Firefly fans, yes, I'm wearing a Jaynestown t-shirt). I also got some lovely exercise and sun too!
Today was the other eventful/fun day of my week: I went on a coffee date with my classmate Emma! We met at Porta Genova (trying to find a cafe, but to no avail), but I foolishly attempted wearing my high heels. My poor feet couldn't take it, so we detoured and stopped by my apartment so I could change shoes. Then we looked for a place to sit and drink around my area. I had never ventured past our school (as far as my side of town, I've gone to other sides), so we looked for a place near there- it was so lovely! It looked like Mini-Venice with water and bridges between the streets. 

Bellissima. We eventually found an OPEN place to drink (Sundays mid-afternoon, most things are sad!) called Bordo Cafe- a nice clean spot with refreshing beverages! After my coffee we stayed and were still talking, so we decided water was a must. I am always surprised by how refreshing and wonderful water is when a slice of lemon is in it! 
So we're talking, and suddenly....we see zombies... We had seen them earlier at the metro where we met, but this time we got up close with the undead. I'm serious. We quickly left our seats to photograph them, and they loved loved loved the attention. As soon as I pulled out my camera, three or four zombies circled around me and moaned in that stereotypical zombie way.

That was an interesting interlude to our afternoon! But I was quite amused, and honestly laughed when they circled around me. All in all, my day was a perfect ending to a nice week. I wonder what week three will bring! 

Ciao ciao! <3

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Milano Setimana Una

Week One in Milan!!

I have officially moved into an apartment (by myself, yikes!), started an Italian language class, been to La Scala, seen the Duomo, gotten lost, had fun, and learned so so so much! All in just one week!
My arrival was Sunday May 8, 2011, and I arrived by train. I learned the lovely fact, afterwards of course, that the train station has elevators...because my trip is for 9 weeks, I have two huge suitcases, and well...I tried to carry them down a huge flight of stairs. I quite literally fell on my behind, BUT managed to keep my legs together. I was proud of myself for the ladylike manner in which I took it.
After walking around trying to find my driver, I enjoyed the lovely air conditioned car ride to my apartment (Via Cezanne). In this apartment I have my own room, share a bathroom, and eat dinner with the owner Bruna. I have a "neighbor" (he is across the hall, not 20 feet away, so neighbor is a loose term, but roommate would be too close a term), Eder from Brazil. And there is a man, Bacia, who lives upstairs. It is a nice group of people in this apartment, and we all get along quite well.

Scuola!!!!!!!!!!! On Monday I walked to my first class and started Italian language!! My insegnante (teacher) is Simone, a  nice young man who wears Converse, has a pierced ear, and draws the Simpsons to teach us a new word.

Class was a little overwhelming the first few days, but eventually, after study and patience, I have almost caught up with the rest of the class! I am getting to the point where I can listen to someone talk in Italian, and understand so much more of it now. It is a neat experience that I can't really put into words.

My classmates are huge part of why I like my class- I love learning, and I love having someone to help me out  when I don't understand. I am the only American in my class, but it is so neat to me that I am in a room with so many different nationalities: Russia, Australia, Taiwan, Slovakia, Brazil, Korea, Columbia, Germany, etc! Thankfully for me, everyone mostly speaks English as a second language (which amazes me, because that means that Italian is their third language!!). We all help each other out, and make a blend of languages with English-Italian-and various hand motions. I had a lovely time bonding with my classmates outside of school when the school took us to "Old Fashion Cafe" to celebrate International week. The night we went, Wednesday, was American night! That means, of course, that they played crummy American pop music for dancing. But we made the most of it and had fun talking and dancing (I never did get around to the food). It was a neat experience that I had never had before.

Friday I had to go downtown for my music composition class (voice lesson was the day before, also downtown), and afterward, because the school had arranged a tour of it, I walked to the renowned opera house: La Scala!!! I loved it so much!! I was giddy like a school girl seeing all the music, costumes, chandeliers, etc. 

They wouldn't allow us to take photos of the inside theatre/performance room, which stinks because that had the hugest chandelier and lovely red seats. Oh well. I can't wait to go back again and maybe catch a show!
On my walk back, I went a different route, through one of the gallerias (a mall with amazing architecture) and at the exit of the galleria I saw....the Duomo!!!!

So cool! And......big!! Bellisima e grande!The second oldest church in Europe!!!!!!!!!!!!

This has been a pretty good recap of my first week living alone (ever) in Milan (so cool!). Three more weeks here! to Arezzo for Oberlin's Italy program. In the meantime I am attempting to learn Handel's Radamisto, in the role of Polissena. I'm quite excited to be in a show again!! My life is so blessed. Grazie mille!! <3
Ciao ciao. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Roma, Napoli, e San Carlo (and more!)

Here are some pictures from the last few months :)

 Our spiaggia (beach) at Lago Patria <3

 The palace side of Teatro di San Carlo- in olden times the King would go through a secret tunnel to get to his box in the theatre. What a neat history!

 Interior of San Carlo (ceiling, curtain, seats, bella!!!)

Historic, beautiful, and CROWDED Fontana di Trevi (I only got side views because the front was completely packed with people! And by the way, it was a Tuesday morning in April...)

One of my favorite composers has a plaque!! (For my music friends, he composed my fav Italian song "M'ama, non m'ama") 

Look at all the candy!!! (We stopped here for gelato- they had EVERYTHING)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Italian words of the day!

Girare- turn
Burla- practical joke, trick
Piacente- attractive

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Italian words of the day!!

Prezioso- Precious
 Sorella- Sister
Amare- Love

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A little bit of me

So, who IS Alexandra Anne? Why is she in Italy? What's the deal with her anyway? Come on, you know you want the dirt, right? Well, truthfully, I don't really have any dirt. But here is my story: I'm a 17 year old who dreams of one day becoming a professional opera vocalist. Yes, you read that right. AAA is obsessed with opera. So when my family decided to temporarily move to Italy, the opera gal inside me jumped for joy! For the next two months I will be traveling Italy (Milan, Arezzo, Florence, etc) in various opera training programs. I'm super duper excited! If you haven't seen it already, here its the link to my audition video:

Also, if you happen to have a twitter, please follow me! (AlexandraAnne27) I try to update often :)

So that's my story as of yet. What is yours?
-Alexandra Anne
ps. All glory to God- my story wouldn't exist without Him, and I try to praise Him in everything I do! My music is for Him!!

Whilst Packing...

Mom and Dad are helping me prepare for my trip to Milan and Arezzo! So...that, of course, means, new stuff! I'm spoiled silly. It really is quite ridiculous in a wonderful way.

My espresso maker, caffe tazza, e libri!!!  

Sorry I haven't rotated it yet ;)