Word of the Day – Disoccupata

La Maestra Maldestra

La Maestra Maldestra

Disoccupata = Unemployed = Me

How’s that for some easy math?

, dear readers, as of November 29th, I became suddenly, somewhat unexpectedly, immediately disoccupata. Unemployed. Without a job. Senza un lavoro.

Why? Well, the usual reasons, I suppose: la crisi (the financial crisis, which is supposed to have less of an impact on Canada than other places…), mancanza di lavoro (not enough work to do), and the fact that many companies are trying to ridurre le spese (reduce their expenses).

Yep, around lunchtime on the 29th I was told to box up my things, hand in my keys and not come back. (Please note that all of this was done in the nicest way possible and I hold absolutely no grudge against my former employer.)

But where does all this leave me?

My first thought was to immediately run off to Italy, where, unfortunately, I’d fit in with the rest of the unemployed masses. And, you know, because I love it there.

My second thought was to look for a new job, which is not nearly as exciting as going back to Italy, or to any place, for that matter.

My last thought was to go back to school, even though I only left school a year and a half ago.

So what have I decided to do?

Well, I’m trying to organize something that involves all three choices. Voi che ne pensate? What do you think?

Many of my friends and family members have weighed in on the situation, and all of them have ended up telling me the same thing:

“Quando si chiude una finestra, si apre un portone.”

When one door closes, another one opens.

I have faith that something exciting is in the works for me. And when I figure out just what it is, I’ll be sure to let you all know.

The Travel Bug Bites Again

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”                   — Martin Buber.

Martin Buber, although I don’t know who you are, I think you’re one smart guy. I mean, on one of my trips, I ended up in Hell! (Well, that’s what the restaurant was called, anyways.)

Directions to Hell, a German restaurant!

Anyways readers, I’m off again!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be hitting up un sacco (a bunch) of new travel destinations and a couple of familiar ones as well:

Madrid – Toledo – Valencia – Barcelona – Trieste – Siena – Rome.

I’m in for 16 days of tapas, Sangria, trains, beaches, castles, churches, museums, airplanes and a host of other wonderful things – and I can’t wait! This will be my first time to Spain, so pray that my one lonely university course in Spanish pays off! And as for Italy, well… Any of you seasoned readers know that I shouldn’t have any trouble bumbling around in The Boot.

As I won’t be taking my computer with me, please excuse my absence from blogging, Tweeting and updating Facebook over the next little while. I’m not saying that I’ll be totally disconnected, but I won’t be plugged in all the time either. This trip, in addition to being a research mission for my blog (obviously), will also be filled with reunions with friends, too much wonderful food (yes, I know that already), hundreds of snapshots and a pinch of beach time to work on my Mediterranean tan.

I hope you’re all enjoying l’estate (the summer) and that in your own travels you embrace those “secret destinations” that our friend Martin was talking about.

Buone vacanze!


Word of the Day – “Piazza”

La Maestra Maldestra

A piazza is not a pizza spelled wrong. I’m amazed at how many tourists I run into who mistakenly think that it is…You might be able to find a pizzeria in the piazza, but the two are in no way synonymous.

The piazza is the town square and the centre of Italian life. Many larger cities and towns have more than one piazza, and they can range in size from postage-stamp dimensions huddled between some old palazzi, or expansive and airy, with many shops, cafes, churches, and various other establishments lining the sides. If you’re lucky, your piazza might come equipped with a statue of an old, dead (but important) Italian figure, or even a fountain.

To reiterate, the piazza is usually the town or city’s  hub. People gather here to socialize, do business, relax, chat, and most importantly, to see and be seen. The piazzas often fill up at night, with Italians doing the things they love best: eating, drinking and socializing.

A piazzale is a small piazza, but is essentially the same concept. In Italian, piazza is often abbreviated to P.zza or just P.za and street addresses are sometimes given as Piazza such-and-such, rather than Via such-and-such.

So put on your highest heels, your tightest jeans, and men, roll your shirtsleeves up to  mid-forearm, and you’ll fit right in during the evening activities in the piazza.

Piazza San Marco By Night