my name is Lorenzo, i am 22 years old and I come from Italy. Until a week and a half ago I was in Cagliari, where I graduated from the faculty of Foreign languages and litteratures. I quickly went from graduating to leaving my country in such a short period of time, this journey seemed even more strange and out of place. Tirana is quite well populated, dynamic, loud and warm! We arrived the 1st of May and there were 28 degrees. I found it quite humbling for a Sardinian. So far, the city seems capable to offer quite a wide range of views: Don Bosko, where we live, with its crowded and narrow streets, its unending streaks of flee-markets, selling from fruit and vegetables to clothing, shoes, sweets. Otherwise, the center and the block area remind us that we are in the capital of the nation. The wide squares, the national monuments and buildings, the parks, the active nightlife with its modern and original clubs and pubs, the always rushing cars and the need to check very well, when you are trying to cross the street. It is possible to forget all the noise and the smell of gas by going to the lake. This ample and well kept piece of land gives a moment of nature and peace to the inhabitants of Tirana, making it possible for them to avoid the stress, the pollution, and to escape from his daily duties. Even the lake is always populated, it seems that the Albanian people cares very much about being fit. Everybody is doing some form of physical exercises and people usually have to queue to use the tools (such as pull-up bars, ecc).

Honestly, I was quite shocked at first. I had no knowledge whatsoever of what to expect from Albania or Tirana. It happened before, knowing nothing and then being surprised by what I end up finding there. But this time, I was more than surprised. As an Italian I feel a little ashamed. These guys know everything about us. Half of them speak Italian with some kind of regional accent and they´ve never been to Italy. Another part speaks it, but not that fluently, while the very last part speaks only the national language. They admire us in a way that I would define even a little excessive, as I feel that in the last decades my nation has collected quite a bit of international bad-reputation. Furthermore, Italians tend to be averagely suspicious and full of prejudices toward the Albanian people, I am not going to write here what I was told when I said that I was going to come here. Unfortunately for them, I feel that they are incredibly similiar, especially to the South of italy. They are crazy for coffee, soccer, fashion, good food. They gesticulate quite a lot, they are warm and they get very, very touchy! Physical contact is almost unavoidable in any conversation with a local! For whoever doesn´t know their language, it may seem that they are constantly arguing when they talk, which is something I was told was typical of Italy. They are lively, full of energy and passion.

It has been little time since I am here. I´ll be glad to write more when I will have more informations.


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