■ Me, Italia and COVID-19
Ever since my first trip to Italy when I was 20 years old, I had dreamed of one day living in Italy. After graduating from university, I worked for three years at an urban planning office in Osaka while saving up money to get a ticket to study abroad for one year.
I wanted to live in Italy without Japanese people, so I decided to study in Abruzzo as recommended by an Italian from Abruzzo whom I met by chance.
The town of Chieti in Abruzzo, which I had heard was “only a couple of hours away from Rome” and “a shopping district nearby”, was a completely provincial city, rather rural and without the glamour of Italy that I thought. Even the roundabout in front of the station was not paved at that time, I think, because I remember the bus left me and my large luggage at the bus stop.
I was planning to live alone, but because my language skills were not good enough, I lived with a family that the school arranged for me for the first three months. I am very grateful to my host family for taking in a complete stranger, an Asian who could not even speak the language, and carefully teaching me how to live. Still, I really wanted to live by myself, and with the help of my family, I was finally able to start living in a renovated apartment in a small house.