I started the 4th week of class today and have to say that I am surprised by the rate at which you can begin to learn a language when you are immersed and your teachers speak only italian.
Reading and listening comprehension are coming along but to say I speak Italian like a caveman would be offensive to cavemen. As usual, speaking trails far behind reading and listening because coming up with vocabulary and then correctly conjugating it on the spot requires a quicker and more agile mind than mine. I do like the style of learning in which we spend more time on speaking, reading and listening than learning grammar rules. It can however become overwhelming, exhausting, and completely frustrating at times until I remember that I have studied Italian for exactly 3 weeks in my life. Total. The school has new people weekly so it's a constant rotation and I met two new people in my level class today that have been studying Italian for at least a year in the traditional method. That's a pretty good commentary on both Lucca Italian School and immersion learning if at three weeks I can have a similar reading and listening comprehension as them.
We all speak caveman speak though and I asked my teacher last week if my Italian pronunciation sounds like nails on chalkboard to her. It does to me. It sounds really awesome in my head and then when I read the words out loud, it sounds like a 5 year old sounding out the words of a Dr. Seuss book for the first time.
San Gimignano is one of those that I stutter across every. single. time. It's actually not difficult to say but I think through all of the pronunciation rules as I'm saying it and it comes out sounding like something Brooklyn threw up.
Luckily, San Gimignano is much, much more beautiful than I make it sound. Like other medieval hill towns, it's filled with old stone buildings, long narrow roads and small passageways still used by its citizens to go to the market and visit friends.
We were lucky enough to see a bride leaving the church to hop into her sweet ride.
I have a thing for these Tuscan doors if you haven't noticed.
San Gimignano is known for its many towers, one of which is open for climbing. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit (and quite sad) that the allure and delicious smell of Italian leather handbags won out over climbing a tower. San Gimignano is definitely a shoppers town, full of leather goods, olive wood dishes, pottery and wine shops as well as numerous gelato places that claim to have the world's best gelato. There's been some contests and they've earned the right to make these claims.
More wild boar love. This was quite a popular shop and I have to admit that the wild boar salami with either pine nuts or truffle sounded intriguing enough to make a girl wish she liked sausages and salami.
I haven't seen a clothes dryer yet. My clothes go out on a line here which isn't all that different from home except at home they're hung up on a rack in the cold damp basement, and here it's the clean smelling, warm italian air. Kind of the same.
Stupid HOAs and their clothesline restrictions.
Chianti wine is huge here, specifically the Chianti Classico wine produced in the region between Florence and Siena... look for the pink DOC label around the neck along with a little black rooster. If it doesn't have the label, definitely drink it anyway because it's important to be open-minded.
This place is definitely more charming and lovely than my pronunciation of its name.