Opening my eyes to Rebecca, my roommate, still asleep, I get up and go upstairs for an espresso.
QUARTER-FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
“Ciao! Come stai?”
In response my host mother smiles and responds, “Sto bene. E tu?”
“Cosi Cosi”, I sleepily respond. She nods, and puts my espresso glass beside the rest of my breakfast.
She rushes off to finish getting ready for work, and rushes out the door to the patio, “Ciao ciao!!” Her yells seem to have awoken Rebecca, who sloths into the chair beside me to eat breakfast. Looking to the clock I realize that I’ve spent too much time eating to shower, and that I must rush to finish getting ready for class.
Slightly falling as I rush down the stairs, I catch myself in time to turn into my room and put some clothes on for the day. Grabbing my bike and house keys, I get outside just in time for a ride to school alongside Rebecca.
We bike through the medieval district of Ferrara, over the bumpy cobblestones and past the beautiful, ancient facades of houses that I will never enter. We stop for a minute, even though we are in a rush, to pet Pedro. Pedro is a neighbor’s cat that come’s outside each morning and each evening for us to pet him on our way by. He’s a bright orange tabby that loves to shed over everything.
We get to the building, pressing the golden button to alert the secretaries that we need to be let in. As the buzzer sounds, we open the heavy wooden door and push our bikes into the bright garden filled with pink flowers and lock our bikes to the rack.
We charge up the stairs and go to our separate classrooms. “Ciao”, Aulga, my teacher chirps at me. I sit in my usual place, and listen to the lecture of the day. Today we discuss shopping, and the types of clothing we like.
After our tedious discussions about clothing we found online and why we like it, we leave for lunch. Biking in a large group, the twelve of us get to the restaurant at about the same time. Walking in, we greet the waiter and sit at our usual table. About three hours of delicious food, and hilarious chit chat pass, and it is time to do our afternoon activity.
Roberta, our coordinator shows up to bring us to our destination. We bike to the castle, and meet our tour guide. He apologizes for his english, as every Italian has since I entered Italy, even though his accent is the only way one could tell that English isn’t his first language. He brings us into the Estense castle, and shows us each room, describing the different paintings and purposes for the rooms. The room that I find most interesting is the winter bedroom for the Estense family, it’s a small room with gold engravings littering a majority of the paintings. This type of room was created for the ease of keeping the family warm during the night.
At the end of the tour, the group splits into pairs, people who live together go on their ways. Rebecca and I bike to the park near the diamond castle. We bike through the park, which has love splattered on each bench, and in each place a couple can sit. The sun starts to set, and we bike home with the sunset to our backs.
Falling asleep, I breathe in the scent of home.
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