What am I doing each day?
My day starts at 6am with a run around the hills of Piobbico. I really love this part of my day because I get to enjoy the city early and all alone. I have my iPod and the sun is just starting to shine over the mountains. I explore new places and get my day jump started with a burst of energy. I then head home for breakfast, which can consist of eggs & toast, cereal & fruit or yogurt. The fruit here is sweeter than anything I have ever eaten in the US. The cantaloupe and peaches are especially tasty right now. At 9 I start my class at the Scuola Italia. My instructor, Georgia, is 23 years old and studies opera at the music conservatory in Pesaro. She is full of energy and understands all of us singers very well. Our class is very interactive (no English is spoken). After 2 hours of speaking, reading and listening, we take a trip out to the town where we can practice our conversation with the locals. We wrap up around 12 or 12:30 and then I typically have a break for lunch. The entire town takes a “pausa” or “siesta” from 12-3 and that means that shops are closed and we all need to be quiet. No singing is allowed – either in the rehearsal hall or in my own apartment. In fact, the Scuola can be fined if any of us is found abusing the pausa. Therefore, I usually make lunch at my apartment during this time and look over or listen to my repertoire. Afternoon rehearsals can run from 3-5:30 or 6 and then evening rehearsals run from 7-9ish. Not everyone rehearses at all times. We take turns running through scenes and parts of the opera. Restaurants are closed from 3-7 and therefore if you’d like to dine out, it must be after rehearsal (yes – people eat late here). I usually finish my day around 10:30 or 11.
What do I like best about Piobbico?
1.) I love the people!!! This town of about 2,000 is quaint and simple. People of all ages dwell here and everyone seems to be connected and know one another. You will regularly find people gathering together around a cup of caffe or sitting on the corner talking. Most people either walk or ride bikes to get around. There are numerous little shops where you can buy fruit, gelato, and fish or do your laundry. Most Piobbico residents speak only Italian. They very much encourage an environment where people like myself feel comfortable experimenting with speaking the language. In fact, many residents will approach you and start a conversation with you.
2.) I love the atmosphere!!! Piobbico is in a valley between two mountains and has a river running right through the middle of the town. Even though they have seen more rain this June than ever before (literally), typically the weather is ideal! The weather along with the architecture and mountains make for a peaceful, sanctuary-like environment. Every time you walk around you pinch yourself and blink your eyes because what you see seems unreal.
3.) I love the food!!! They weren’t kidding when they said that Italian food was fabulous! Fresh everything! The veggies and fruit are grown here – like in someone’s garden. The pasta is all homemade and the fish comes right from the Adriatic Sea. There is something for everyone! The wine is from local vineyards and the gelato is unlike what we have in the states. It is more natural – less sugary.