Tag Archives: teaching assistantship

Italianisms: Part 2

1 Jun

I started writing this a while ago but never really got round to finishing it, but here you go, part 2:


While Italians are often seen as being the epitome of style, there are a couple of definite fashion throwbacks going on here in Spoleto. One repeat offender that I’ve seen a few times now is that 90s trend of wearing lipliner wayyy darker than the lipstick, and drawing it past the edges of your lips to try and make them look bigger. It looks something like this

Sorry random internet lady for stealing your likeness to prove a point

Another look harking back to the 90s is the tying of hoodies, cardigans, jackets etc. round your waist if you don’t want to wear it. I distinctly remember throwing a strop around the age of 11 saying that I was ‘too old’ to do that, but here you’ll find adults of all ages doing it. I’m not gonna lie, it’s growing on me.


I’ve probably mentioned before how Italian advertising is big on ‘sex sells’. I’ve managed to find a few examples here:

Trying to sell sofas? Boobs.

Trying to sell pharmaceuticals? Boobs.


The few inches of cleavage aren’t massively clear in this because I was subtly trying to get a swift photo while an elderly Italian man watched what I was doing, but they’re definitely there

Trying to sell cracker snacks? Boobs.

The only thing us girls get is the hot guy selling chocolate biscuits:

EDIT: I also saw this shower gel ad the other day with a couple getting clean while getting dirty (bikinis on though…logically)


The Italian education system is vastly different from in the UK. This is mainly down to a lack of funding, meaning most schools have no playground (and therefore very little outdoor breaktime, if any), no staff room, and on any given day there’s a 70% chance that the printer and/or photocopier will either be broken or out of ink, and no one’s going to order any more for at least 2 days.

Of the schools which do have a bit of space outside, often the kids aren’t allowed to run much in case they fall over and hurt themselves and the parents come suing. Parents have a huge amount of control over what goes on in school, and can be incredibly demanding. Most focus on the end result rather than the process of getting there, meaning that teachers often get a berating from angry mums if their child isn’t getting top marks, even at the age of 8.

In the schools where I worked each student didn’t have a ‘work tray’ like at my primary school where you can put books that you don’t need for homework. Instead they have to drag almost everything for every subject home every day, and to accommodate for this their bags look proportionately akin to the 60 litre monstrosity I carried round China a few years ago. Most of them are so heavy that the children don’t actually carry them, but they have airport-style wheels and handles so they can be dragged home.

So that’s the end of part 2, although undoubtedly there will be a part 3 at some point when I’m back in England…



31 May

A couple of weeks ago I ventured off into the furthest reaches of north-east Italy to Trieste, where my maternal grandparents are from. They now live in Australia but I have one remaining relative there, who is my Nonno’s stepbrother’s ex-wife…so I guess a kind of great aunt? The train up took about 8 hours but for €25 I really wasn’t going to complain, you can barely get from Woking to Bristol for that price.

Luisa (the great aunt) basically acted as a stand-in grandmother for the weekend, keeping me well fed and entertained. We visited a couple of the nearby castles (Miramare and Duino) which are right on the coast. I don’t have many pictures of Duino because the weather was crap that day, but the day we went to Miramare was lovely and I got some great shots of blue skies and sea which made a change to the terrible weather we’ve been having here in Spoleto. (This morning I was woken up at 8am by truly biblical amounts of rain and hail. I wasn’t too worried though because I have my 50m swimming badge.)


Castello di Miramare


Myself and Luisa


I also got to visit the city of Trieste itself, which is very different from most of the other places in Italy I have visited as the architecture is far more modern (although occasionally a little bit fascist). Trieste runs down from a mountain side to the sea, meaning you can enjoy both the amazing views near the top of the city, or hang out by water which is what we did when I went to meet up with Andrea, the granddaughter of my Nonna’s friend.


Andrea and me

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For this post I’m relying mostly on pictures of this beautiful area of Italy since I’ve been pretty uninspired to write anything recently. At the moment I’m busy trying to sort out what stuff needs to go in the suitcase I’m sending and what stays with me until I leave Spoleto, which is in just over a week!


she's gone away again

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