If you ask an Italian passionate what his biggest dream is, he would probably say “living like an Italian”. Well, with Love Italian, a personal teaching Italian experience, last week this dream came true for a Japanese woman who spent 7 days living, speaking and eating like an Italian, exploring the beautiful area in and around Bologna and making wonderful experiences with local people.
Izumi Kato is a 52 year old hairdresser from Japan with a big passion for the Italian language and culture. In the past, this love for Italy led her to visit several cities such as Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples, but this time Izumi wanted a different, less touristy experience. In fact, her purpose was coming to Italy again not only to travel and explore as a tourist, but first of all to study the Italian language, to sink into the Italian culture and live the country like a local. It can seem impossible, especially if you don’t have any Italian friend and if your Italian knowledge is basic, , but actually, thanks to Love Italian and its professional and well-connected teachers, it was possible for Izumi to enjoy this experience.
Love Italian provides intensive tailor-made individual Italian courses with personal Italian native speaker tutors who live with you for the whole period of your stay, showing you the Italian life-style and travelling with you. Izumi had the luck of joining this project and live for one week with her tutors and teachers, the careful Laura Bizzari and Antonella Orlandi. They were also supported by other helpful collaborators who assisted them in the project and helped them to drove Izumi into the Italian life style.
Together they explored the beautiful city of Bologna, tasting the real traditional food and making real experiences. Going around with Laura and Antonella, Izumi had the opportunity of seeing Bologna from the perspective of a local, enjoying the Italian habits and discovering the beautiful atmosphere you can breathe drinking a glass of good wine in company of new friends.
They also showed Izumi the amazing area around Bologna, taking her out of the bitten tracks that tourists are used to following when in Italy. Under the advice of her teachers, Izumi made up a personal travel plan visiting Modena, Ferrara and Ravenna. They also spent one day in the thermal baths of Salsomaggiore. This way she could always understand the beauties that surrounded her. In fact, travelling through a country with locals always gives you a more complete view over the things you see and the reality you’re facing. She also attended cooking classes, visited a really famous traditional balsamic vinegar farm, and had dinner with locals, having the opportunity of socializing. When visited the Trattoria Annamaria, she met the staff there, she talked to the famous Annamaria, discovering the secrets of the handmade fresh pasta and tasted all the delicious typical dishes you can find there. She also met an Italian hair-dresser and they talked a lot sharing their professional experience.
Now she doesn’t only have a strong a passion for Italian culture, but she also has memories, friends, people who are glad to keep in touch with her and would love to see her again. Meeting locals gave her a really different approach to the Italian language: she had to push herself to improve her speaking and listening skills in order to communicate with other Italian people.
Laura and Antonella where always careful and present to help her to understand, but also really strict as they always spoke with her in Italian. Despite the difficulties, she learned a lot. She did something really different from a normal Italian course: she had a rare experience meeting people, discovering the beauties of Italy and living like an Italian while learning the language. She won’t easily forget all the people she met and all the things she saw.
When leaving she was so sad and touched, she said she will come back next year to improve her Italian skills and meet again all the people that make her experience unforgettable. Looking forward to seeing you again dear Izumi!
Editing by Raffaella Rossi