Daily life in Pisa

Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
Trip End Jul 15, 2007

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

Pisa is a small Tuscan city quite well known for its Leaning Tower and its Campi dei Miracoli. However, if you live in it for more than 10 months, Pisa becomes much more meaningful for you.
As a traditional Erasmus destination, Pisa is full of university students (also from all around Italy), many of them Spanish (that we magically managed to avoid). The city itself is nothing special, but we were very happy in it. We rented an apartment through the internet, and stayed in the suburbs of Pisa. We had 15 minutes by bike (our favorite mean of transport) every day to the University, and 5 minutes to the Esselunga, the closest shopping centre. In spite of the sometimes very dangerous and aggressive driving style in Italy, we managed to survive, and we would discover later that there are countries where drivers have even worse manners, as Ireland.
Our neighborhood was very quiet, and a bit isolated from the rest of the city and the traffic (what can be extremely nice in Italy). After getting in touch with people who volunteer with animals in Pisa, as Gabriela, Giuseppe, and especially Filomena (you can read more about her and her incredible efforts to keep healthy and in good conditions the diverse feline colonies of Pisa in the travel blog called "Animals and us"), we started to foster and socialize cats, in what has been one of the most enriching experiences in our lives.
Apart from that, we enjoyed the quiet life of Pisa, and the University kept us so busy that we could hardly find time for anything else. We passed in Pisa 11 subjects with relatively quite good marks, and at the same time, did the fieldwork for what has become our first publication ever, in Orciatico (you can read more in its specific entry).
We also discovered that 90.000 people are our limit for the size of a city in which we could live in Italy. One of the things we have to underline is the very good quality of Italian food, which as a Mediterranean-originated type of food, has the ingredients that other culinary traditions lack (Anglo-Saxon food, without wanting to be polemic...). All together, we have to say that we enjoyed Italy so much, and that we are actually quite happy to have met its people (and of course, learnt its language!).
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