So, I went to Spain to learn…Italian?

May, 14, 2019

One of the delightful things about doing a camino is meeting people from other countries.  The Camino Primitivo was bursting with Italians this year.  I had the pleasure of walking with many, along the way learning some Italian and a few good lessons.

I hiked with Pietro, Renzo and Massimo from the second day of the Camino.

Pietro, a very kind local, Renzo and Massimo


Pietro, Massimo and another lovely Italian

On day 6, I found myself 17 km from the next stop and no bed.   By happenstance, these Italians were in the same boat.  I took a taxi to Fonsagrada, the next stop, with Franco, Nino and Mauricio and stayed with them most days until Santiago.

Franco, Nino and Mauricio
Clare (A delightful Aussie), me, Nino, Franco and Mauricio
Franco, Paola, Clare (clearly part Italian at this point), Nino, Anya, Rosella and Mauricio
  1. The Italian language is gorgeous but very soft.  I’m still practicing rolling my ‘r’ with the tip of my tongue not the back of my throat.  I did however learn how to count, know some basic colors and animals.  My favorite Italian word to date: il passero, Italian for sparrow.
  2. There’s a chance for some fun and music everyday.  Franco sang constantly and there was a ton of laughter.  We stopped for food, wine, music, pictures and chats.  Italians always made time for people.

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    Language barriers are frustrating.  Be sure to take time outs and have patience.  I took some English breaks later in my walk.  Although it’s really fun to learn along the way, constantly translating is exhausting.  Google translate is a miracle if you’re ever lost for words.
  3. Italians are very giving.  All were giving of their time and constantly tried to treat me.   I had to be aggressive about reciprocation.  Sometimes I was plain sneaky and often found myself in the doghouse.   There’s no even Stevens in Italy.
  4. Italians are definitely in the top 10 fun cultures.  I laughed more, looked at the beauty more and smiled more than I would have without my new (Italian) friends.fullsizeoutput_1733



Paula Stokes

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