Anna, Outbound to Italy

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I have been in Italy for three days. My family is unbelievably wonderful. They do not speak that much English at all; only my host father can speak it. This is good, however, because it forces me to communicate in Italian when I can. It is frustrating because I have taken enough Italian that I can understand most of what the Italians say to me or around me, but I cannot say what I desire to say back in Italian. I am now speaking this complicated mix of English and Italian that is confusing to both Italians and other exchange students. I visited Cremona for a few minutes and my host father and brother showed me the Cathedral which was breathtaking. They said they will take me all the way to the top of the bell-tower one day. Cremona is famous for their violins. I also visited Piacenza to get my bus pass for school. Piacenza is an industrial city that houses most of the car, clothing, and furniture manufacturers in Northern Italy. My host father told me that there are many illegal immigrants in Piacenza from Africa and the Middle East because they can work in the factories. Castelvetro Piacentino (my town) is very small. It is only 3km, which is almost 2 miles. It is famous for its cheese and milk. My host family has a huge slice of  parmesan that we take slivers off of before lunch and dinner. One thing about Italy is that they eat a lot of food! I am not used to have three-five course meals yet! Today we also finished my paperwork and now it finally feels almost real. It is still like a wonderful dream that I can't quite wake up from.