Italia: Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowship

L'avventura

Friday, January 06, 2006

Settling in to Prato



January 4th: Okay all the oral exams are finished! For the next two weeks we will be studying at the Monash University here in Prato. We have lunch at Bar Toncelli every day at 12-00 where we are given il primo(first course) and il secondo ( a second course). It is run very smoothly by Manuel and his wife Manuella. I usually finish off with a cappucino, something the Italians themselves don't usually partake in after eleven. For them it is usually only drunk early in the mornings.

We spent the remainder of the day looking around Prato and did a guided tour of the historic centre with Silvia. The textile factories grid Prato's outskirts and we didn't actually see any of these. Prato has a population of about 172 000 and is virtually enclosd in the urban and industrial sprawl of Firenze(Florence). We were given information about Il Castello Dell'Imperatore( a fortess built by Emperor Federick II in the eraly 1200's), Il Duomo, La Basilica di S.Maria and Le Chiese di S. Francesco and di S. Domenico. We learnt that the city was founded by the Liguians but later fell to firstly the Etruscans and later the Romans. By the eleventh century it had become an important centre for wool production. Everyone was well and truly rugged up during the tour and the scarves were hoisted higher and higher as the talk went on to keep out the wintery gusts.
A apperitivo with Rosanna and Rosemary was in order after the end of the tour and then it was back to Hotel Giardino before going out for tea at 7.00 I only managed five hours sleep but that was better than the miserable three hour I managed the night before. Better luck tonight!

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