When I first came to Catania, I wondered how I would feel as
the program came to a close. I thought that maybe after two months I would be anxious to escape the Sicilian heat, craving some good old American
cuisine, and ready to reunite with friends and family.
Although a part of me is looking forward to some of the everyday conveniences in America, as I prepare to leave I am instead focused on all of the amazing things I will miss in Sicily. My housemates and I have been discussing the painful prospect of no longer being surrounded by warm beaches. We wonder if there is any place to buy arancini or ricotta salata in the Boston area. Slowly we are realizing the many aspects, some big and some small,
of Sicilian life that we have grown to love.
On our traveling seminar to Palermo, I realized just how much I had learned both in and out of the classroom during our time in Sicily. After studying the history of
the region, I was able to see the unique details that set the city apart from other places in Sicily. We knew the history behind the Arabic style churches built by Frederick II, and we could taste the differences in the cuisine. Subtle features of the city that would have gone right over my head a few months ago jumped out at me.
But the most interesting thing I learned from the trip to Palermo was how much I had come to feel at home in Catania. Even after eight weeks, I have started to feel genuine pride for the city. I seldom leave the Residence without running into
an Italian friend on the street, and we have even gotten to kno
w the owners of all our favorite restaurants and bars.
Although I probably won’t be able to make it through customs with obscene amounts of wine and cheese, there are things about Catania and Sicily that will stay with me forever.