Urbino passageways

Passageways and narrow streets wind through Urbino.

As the sun descends past the blue mountains, wind flits through the dorm room, delicately wisping the curtain and brushing past my cheek. Chills trail down my spine, giving me moments of relief.

The pages of my notebook stick together and the ink smudges my thoughts. I fall asleep to the wind kissing my cheek. Each night is magnetic and each day is gleaming.

The birds outside harmonize with the songs and chants performed by locals echoing through the narrow hallways, creating a cacophony of cultural noise. The sun gleams through the window, illuminating the morning. I’ve spent the days finding clarity and discovering both myself and my personality.

I haven’t spent much of my life outside my comfort zone, so as I walk down the cobblestone streets ordering espresso in brief spurts of Italian, photographing strangers and admiring fashion, I find myself lost in the flurry. It’s thrilling.

As I wander, I discover an unseen culture of Urbino, intricate and special to the town. Women dress to the nines, and while the streets are colorful, the primary fashion choice is black. I’m lost in the style of the town, and I admire how strong the people are.

Immersing myself in Urbino has been quite the culture shock. I’m used to sitting and sipping my coffee, not standing and drinking on the go. It’s known that you only drink cappuccino in the morning, many people roll their own cigarettes and nightlife begins after 12 a.m., ending around 3 a.m.

The streets of Urbino are full of shops and restaurants, bars and bookstores. While I have class almost every day, I’m still finding time to explore and become acquainted with my new home.

I’ve come to love the Piazza della Repubblica, which is the center of town. The most interesting people are found walking dogs or sitting outside of bars. Many people speak English, so my broken Italian somewhat suffices.

The culture is intriguing, and I am enjoying the city and its inhabitants more and more. I’ve spent the past week taking classes, drinking espresso and eating gelato, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

My days are filled with classes such as Italian and reporting. I feel as if I’ve been shoved into this foreign world, learning as I go.

The coursework is hard, the food is good, and the people are great. I’m amazed by the simplicity of life here, the multitude of pigeons and the kindness of the people I’m surrounded by.

Today, June 1, is the day of the patron saint. This day is special to the people of Urbino, so the center of town is full of excitement. Friday, June 2 is Republic Day in Italy. The observance includes parades and many crowds.

My weekend will be spent traveling and exploring Florence and Bologna. The ability to travel here is vast, and I’m finding it easy to take advantage of. I love learning more about the culture and the people of Urbino, and I can’t wait to continue doing so for the weeks to come.

As I sit in the Piazza and eat afternoon appetizers, I find myself becoming comfortable with my surroundings, and never wanting to leave.

Ciao, for now.

Contact Madisson Haynes at breezenews@gmail.com.

Madisson served as news editor for The Breeze during the 2017-18 year. She graduated in May 2018 and now works at National Geographic in D.C. with Global Operations in post production.