Guest Blog Post: The First Five Things I Did in Italy

I have mentioned on a number of occasions how inspired I am by the amazing bloggers I have met over the past couple years.  It is such a close knit community and I’m so happy to have been welcomed in with open arms.  I’m grateful for the oppourtunity to get to know some of these bloggers better as they continue to inspire me daily!

Tina of Tina Tangos, is one of these bloggers I’m talking about.  Her passion and spirit are so beautiful and I’m thankful that she has decided to share her stories, experiences, and words with all who will read.

With that said, I am so pleased to have Tina do a guest blog post for Calabrisella Mia where she shares some of the things she did in Italy upon her arrival.  I will have to put together my own list once I make it there, but in the meantime, let’s take a peak at what Tina did!


The First Five Things I Did in Italy


I’ve been in Italy almost a month now.  I haven’t been in this country since the beginning of 2007, when I left it for Argentina.  You can imagine that I was looking forward to a lot of things that I was missing about Italy.  Before my departure, I would excitedly fantasize about what I would do as soon as I landed.  Here are the first five things I did:

1. Got a “tour” of Rome – with a Roman driver.  No, not a formal tour.  When I arrived at Fiumicino Airport, I had reserved a shuttle van to get me to my hotel.  This is a shared shuttle service, so the driver had other stops to make.  There were a lot of us and as luck would have it, I sat in front with the driver.  This gave me a chance to get back into the rhythm of the Italian language.  He took a liking to me and dropped everyone else off first.  They were all over Rome, so I got to see several different neighborhoods at dusk.  What a way to re-enter Italy.  Drama, beauty and history around every corner.  I was amused watching him swear at other drivers in his Roman accent, gently bumping other cars to nudge them along.  He dropped me off at my hotel and I was ready to conquer this place.

2. Ate a Roman pizza.  Yes, yes, I know, pizza is from Naples, but have you had the pizza in Rome?  It’s really special.  I went to a little place that shall not be named, ordered a pizza with funghi (mushrooms), and watched as they rolled out the crust, put on the toppings and placed it in a wood fire oven.  I ordered some of the house wine which was amazing.  I tasted the spicy, green olive oil which was sitting at my table, and went to heaven.  The food, the food, the food.  I had arrived HOME.

3. Took an early morning walk around Rome.  I have a tradition, whenever I land in Italy, which is to spend my first night in Rome and then wake up and take a nice, long walk.  I love watching Rome wake up in the morning.  The tourists aren’t out just yet and the streets are full of suited up Romans on the way to the office after downing a quick coffee in the bar.  The chaos hasn’t quite started up yet.  The rising sun casts a misty golden light on everything.  It’s heaven.

4. Bought a cellular phone.  As soon as I got to Perugia, where I live, I checked into the apartment and headed out to get myself a phone.  All my friends here had sent me e-mails to text message them when I arrived.  I got a cheap little phone, and was given a choice of three companies to choose from for my service: TIM, Vodafone and Wind.  I normally use Vodafone, but they were out of Vodafone SIM cards so I chose TIM instead.  It took 24 hours for my number to be activated, which I found unusual.  The plus side is that it came with 5 Euros of starter credit.  (A lot of people here have a pay-as-you-go rechargeable phone).

5. Drank coffee at Sandri.  Sandri is my favorite bar (café) in Perugia.  A caffe latte there is like a cup of velvet.  Whatever they do to the milk is just lovely.  The place itself is gorgeous and classic.  It’s small and there’s not a lot of room to sit and relax, but that doesn’t matter.  That day in particular, I had the occasion of going with a friend, which made the experience even more special.

What are the first five things you did (or are planning on doing) in your new country?

Tina Ferrari is a translator, writer and tango dancer based in Perugia, Italy.  She writes at, where you can find calling cards to Italy, as well as on her own blog, Tina Tangos. Comments are always welcome!

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