I’m back from the deads, like literally.
I left you two months ago, while living an amazing experience in Prague and right now that feels just like a dream, since I’m back to school, the Italian school, I mean. That place where you get too much things to study and to remember and very few things to enjoy. I went there for just a month and it already sucked my vital energy, it stole my soul faster than a Dementor’s kiss, actually. But anyway, the most logical thing to do isn’t beginning from the end of the story, but from the start (= where I left you). So…
You already know I fell in love with Prague, what you don’t know is that I also adored Dresden and Berlin, the other two destinations of my trip.
Dresden is a brand new city, a phoenix that is reborn from its ashes; during and after the II World War it had been drastically drestroyed and it couldn’t be rebuilt until after the Berlin Wall fell and the Sovietic Union left Germany. In almost two decades the city has been given the old charm and look it had before the bombs transformed it into a dusty and poor land, and I really understand why it is usually called the “Florence of the North”. We visited the Zwinger, this wonderfully reconstructed building that hosts the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, which cointains the famous “Sistine Madonna” by Raffaello and 100 masterpieces bought by August III from the Duke of Modena, so basically it is filled with paintings made by Italian artists (such as Correggio, Giorgione, Parmigianino, Canaletto, Pinturicchio, Tiziano, Mantegna and many others) we couldn’t valorize, as well as flemish and dutch art. We spent two nights there and were very lucky because there was also a wonderful festival that was held in every square of the city and along the river, with many different shopping and food stands.
Panorama of a square in Dresden
Berlin is completely different; different from Dresden, Prague or any other capital city I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen many). It is new, modern and in construction, and yet imbued with history, that compared to the one settled in Rome is much more recent and therefore touching – I believe this is the right word. Not just every museum about Nazi period or the Cold War is a valuable witness that transmits you very powerful emotions, its streets are a living monument commemorating a city, people and families, that have been forced to live totally parted for decades, like ventricles of the same heart. Walking down the differents street of the city it’s possible to recognize how those two worlds grew different from each other during the years. The triumph of modernity and globalization especially in some areas of the city is highlighted by the constrast with streets like Karl Marx Allee, surrounded by simple and gray buildings, all looking similar to each others, that represent very well the atmosphere absorbed in communism in which half of the city was immersed. And the Wall is not gone forever, because if you don’t want to repeat the same mistakes in history, you’d better learn from what happened; so there’s a brick line on the ground crossing the city exactly where the wall was, marking how Berlin (and a whole country) was divided into two parts; and then there’s few meters of still standing wall next to the Topographie des Terror, another incredible statement about the cruelty of men against other men.
“Madness” written on a still standing fragment of the Berlin Wall
Nobody has any intention of building a wall.
– Walter Ulbricht, a not so good liar.
Coming back to Italy, I went to Narritorno (a local meeting for all the AFS returnees in my area) and I met again my beloved Carolina, so we also had the chance to speak again a bit of Thai. The day after I had to face the Italian exam, and then Latin and History of Art. I was scared, but I have to say that I passed pretty brilliantly, so I started this (hopefully) last year of school, and now I’m drowing because of the too many things I have to do, ’cause I’m also attending lessons to take my driving license AND, most important of all, I am now a volounteer and an assistent to a very friendly girl from Belgium named May who is hosted in Sassuolo 🙂
Narritorno: me and Carolina
I have to say AFS volounteering takes a lot of time but it also pays back a lot: I am really happy to help and support someone who is doing this wonderful and life-changing experience. In addition to this, Andrea (a returnee from the USA, who attends the same school as I do) and I talked about our experiences and about AFS-Intercultura at the school’s assemblies, so that if someone is interested they can join the AFS meeting in Modena or Bologna in order to get further information about the exchange programmes and hosting programmes. And if there’s someone of you readers interested in this, these are the schedules for the meetings:
– MODENA, via Sant’Orsola 40, presso la FONDAZIONE FILIPPO NERI, 30/10/2014, h 16,00
– BOLOGNA, via Santo Stefano 119, 26/10/2014, h 16:00
OR you can also check AFS-Intercultura website.
Exchange students and returnees in Modena hosting centre, behind us there’s Vignola’s castle.
Apart from this necessary propaganda, I wanted to tell you also about the last weekend, when I went to Umbria for the March for peace, from Perugia to Assisi. I had already done this, three years ago, and it was amazing, so this year my family and I went there again and this time I also invited Michela to join us, since she lives in Umbria, because I missed her so bad in the latest two months! The crowd in the march is always colorful and cheering and since the distance is pretty long (18km + 4km going back to the bus) we spent there a whole day, and in the end I finally found my Mina! I was so happy my heart could have exploded!!
Assisi in the distance
The colours of Peace
Me and Michela 🙂
Now I have to go back to my life as a busy student, hope you enjoyed this post, even if it started talking about things that happend a century ago,
Love you all 🙂