Hi there! I’m Alicia. I’m from Madrid, Spain, and I have been living in Florence for one month. I’m a twenty-four-year-old journalist (I’ve just finished my studies a few months ago), and I’ve been in love with Italy for as long as I can remember (Ok… maybe this seems a little bit exaggerated – but it’s true!  I really don’t know when my Italian passion began).  I decided to come to Florence for three months because I wanted to have the experience abroad I missed out on before. Girl looking at a mapLet me explain; three years ago, I applied for an Erasmus study abroad scholarship (twice…), but because there were a lot of people who wanted to go to Italy (and most of them had better scores than me) I didn’t get to go. It was very frustrating. So I decided to live the experience after University and have enrolled myself in Italian lessons in Florence. I choose to intern with StudentsVille to share my ‘spanish-particular’ vision of Italy and to learn how to better use social media to communicate – it’s the future and it’s the immediate present.

In general, Spain and Italy are two very similar countries. But there are a lot of differences, too! Most foreigners think that they’re the same because they’re both in Europe, the food is quite similar, the nice weather, the languages (more or less)… but I want to say that – even if I love Italy – Spain is different!!! (And no, most of us do not know how to dance Flamenco. I’m sorry about that.)

Tower of PisaIt’s true that it’s easy for Spanish and Italian people to learn each others language. It’s also easy to understand each other and live in the Mediterranean way because both of us are “Latin,” so we get along well. The main differences are the little irregularities of the language; the verbs, the vocabulary (we usually think that if we say a Spanish word with an “Italian accent,” or just add the ending “ini,” everything will be okay – this only works sometimes ;), and double letters (il raddoppiamento) in Italian, which are very important for both pronunciation and meaning. (Double letters can get you into very funny situations. I’ll give you an example: ano (rectal orifice) e anno (year). Very similar… obviously not the same…)

The first time I came to Italy was with school. We did a tour of Italy one year before graduation. I was sixteen years-old.  We visited Florence, Venice, Rome, Verona, and Milan. It was a very exciting trip and it was the first time I got to try real Italian pizza, lasagna, gelato, pasta…unforgettable! At the time, I couldn’t speak Italian, but we spoke Spanish and used hand signs to communicate. I love Italy because of the food, the art, the scenery, and sometimes because of the Italians, too. On this point, I would like to say that Italians are an erotic legend for Spanish people and it’s more or less the same vice versa. In my personal opinion, it’s because of the accent, the language, and their style – the way they dress, cook… In Spanish, there’s an expression that says, Italians “conquer us through the stomach.” Nice way to be conquered, isn’t it?

Cuore di pizza

Coming to Florence, I wanted to mix language experience (I took an Italian course for one month) with professional experience. I would like to work here, even though I know that it’s a very difficult time for young people (In Spain and in Italy) to get jobs. But I won’t lose hope, and I think I have enough time to learn a lot before reaching my goals. It could also be wonderful to get a job in Madrid because I love my city, and my family and friends are there. But I would like to have different experiences abroad in order to know how people work outside my own country and what can I improve on in each place. I love learning languages and about different cultures, and I am completely convinced that traveling, studying or working abroad will enrich my life.