Downtime in Italy: Traffic Jams and Honey

Liz Walsh ’14 has shared occasional journal entries with us from Italy, one of a group of students dropping us notes from around the world as they participate in Ripon College’s Liberal Arts In Focus program this summer. Liz, who just graduated as a double-major in biology and English with an educational studies minor, will be submitting journal entries as part of her class “Old Italy, New Italy” co-taught by professor Diane Mockridge and president Zach Messitte.


We had a free day today! It was glorious. I chiefly bummed around the dormitory today, but I did go out with the group for breakfast at a really cute little bar. The food situation here is kind of interesting, because I’m never sure if I can sit down or not. A lot of food places will charge you for sitting down, but we’ve done so much walking that I always really, really want to sit down. The lady was nice and I think I am one of the best communicators of my group of people—which is terribly sad because I’m pretty bad. I mostly just try and wait until other people have ordered and I have enough time to mentally compose the answers to the questions that the person behind the counter has been asking. It’s worked well for me so far, and most people behind the bar counters have been very friendly.

After that, we went to Tops, a supermarket of sorts. That was pretty overwhelming for me. I think that we all felt kind of harried navigating across and next to the streets. Traffic here is really chaotic unless you learned how to drive here. There are definitely rules that the locals know, but it all looks like a frenzied car race to me, so it was stressful to navigate around it. The supermarket was also much bigger than I expected, so I had a few moments of confusion. I didn’t buy any food, but I did get honey (again—I seem to have a problem, but I’m going to get more if I have extra tickets. I may be an addict, but the first step to recovery is supposedly admitting you have a problem…), olive oil, and a small container of dessert wine to take home (which Italians call “grappa”).

I spent the rest of the day reading outside and on the balcony/patio thing off the highest floor of the building. It was very enjoyable, super relaxing, and absolutely glorious.

Italy In Focus Photo Album

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