These past weeks have been an absolute dream! My first impressions arriving in Trento were that everything seemed so lively and picturesque. It was quite the change from the busy tourist canals of Venice to the quiet mountains of northern Italy. I enjoyed just roaming around and exploring this new city with no strict agenda. Trento would be our home base for the next month, and we felt like we knew the place within a few days. This town has a younger population much like Tuscaloosa, so we all felt right at home. My favorite part was the amazing food scene that was very affordable. Trento had a variety of food from other cultures as well, so it wasn’t pasta and pizza every day. We found a fantastic small ramen shop that made the noodles fresh and right in front of your table.
A typical weekday in Trento would consist of schoolwork in the mornings in the classroom in the hotel. Then breaking for lunch, I would walk to a salad vending machine or a local pizzeria and then back to the hotel to finish up before dinner. The course work followed data around the Adige River that our professor has done some research on during his Fulbright. We were studying flood routing and water resource control. It was a little challenging to balance the interest in wanting to travel and explore while needing to stay focused on meeting deadlines for academics. Some days I hardly left the hotel except for mealtimes so that I could get work done before the weekend.
My favorite part of this program has been the weekend travels to different parts of Italy. I love the history and architecture of all the buildings and museums, some of which quite literally took my breath away. I traveled with a group from the program, and we had previously arranged Airbnb's for us to stay in together. It was easier to explore with a smaller group and that allowed us to form some great friendships. I also liked coming back to Trento on Monday and hearing about everyone else’s travels from the weekend and starting planning for the next and planning for whenever I come back to Italy. Sadly, the end of my summer abroad is coming quicker than I would like and I am trying to savor every last minute.