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Report 472: Back to Uni to Learn Italian - A Month in Perugia

By Pamela R from Sydney, Australia, Fall 1998

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Page 3 of 31: Thursday 3rd September

We both had classes starting at 8 o’clock (Peter’s initiation) so we walked together to Palazzina Prosciutti. Peter had five hours straight classes (with of course many pauses) while Pamela had three hours, with an hour’s break followed by another one-hour class.

That hour was easily filled sitting in the sun outside the Uni bar under an umbrella with a beer and snack, together with the rest of the class of eight (at this stage) – the four Aussies plus Annie and Helen from England, Jilda from Turkey and Anna who was Swedish. The last hour was an audio class with Giuseppe Zazzaretti, who was hard to hear, spoke very fast and with poor enunciation, and failed to endear himself to any of the group who emerged from his lessons frustrated and exhausted.

As we both finished at the same time we could also walk back together (up all those steps) and we met up with Debbie and Roland and Ellie at Pizza Etrusca, a little pizza joint in Via Ulisse Rocchi, the steep street which links Piazza Fortebraccio with Piazza Danti through the soaring Arco d’Augusto. It is generally referred to as the Etruscan Arch, its lower section dating from the 3rd century BC. The upper part is Roman and bears the inscription ‘Augusta Perusia’, while the loggia on top dates from the Renaissance.

Suddenly it was time for Pamela’s next class (Thursday’s timetable was pretty gruelling) from 3 till 5 p.m. – the lingua class in Aula IV at Palazzo Gallenga which overlooked busy Piazza Fortebraccio. This was always to be a stressful lesson as the traffic noise was constant through the necessarily open windows, the teacher’s voice disappeared up into the high ceiling, the sun glinted mischievously on the blackboard and the pew-style desks were obviously designed before the word ‘ergonomics’ was ever heard of. The group that emerged to the ever-waiting-with-support Peter on this day was drowning in passato prossimo exceptions PLUS imperfetto. Help!!

Everything felt a bit better after a caffè at Milano, just a two minute walk away, during which several of us decided to dine out later. We had a great meal in the busy but seemingly authentic Trattoria La Botte restaurant which Pamela had spotted the day before while walking up from classes to the Corso Vannucci. It was certainly well patronised by the locals and the food was excellent but reasonably priced. [Peter – pizza norciana; Pamela – saltimbocca e un contorno di funghi]

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