Monday, May 5, 2014
Today was a typical school day with Italian class in the morning and regular class in the afternoon. This week’s topic of our class is emigration within Italy as well as emigration to northern Europe and America. After the lecture, we went to the National Museum of immigration near Rome Center.
It’s an interesting museum that mainly introduces emigration history in Italy, such as during World War I, World War II and emigration of present days. In the museum, there are old pictures and old suitcases that showed the history of emigration. It was very surprising to me how Italy was once portraited as a hopeless land and full of crimes. Many Italians emigrated to northern Europe during and after World War I, but many Italians later shifted their emigration direction to South American and then the United States for job opportunities. As many other immigrants from other parts of the world, these Italian emigrants are many that had no financial resources or with insufficient language skills, but filled with hope going to a different land. However, something very interesting at the museum that drew me a lot attention was that nowadays, the number of emigration of Italians to other parts of the world is almost equal to the number of Italians who returned to Italy. This is a very interesting phenomenon to me. I wondered about it a lot and it reminded me of the movie “Bread and Chocolate” of how many Italians took the train back to Italy from Switzerland. I also saw many interesting animation pictures that depicted the way to Switzerland and the way to Italy.
After the national museum of immigration, I wanted to go to other museums since I haven’t spent a lot of time in Rome and I haven’t really been to any museum in Rome yet. However, unfortunately, many museums are closed on Monday. This is another interesting thing to me about Italy, it seems many restaurants and museums are closed on Monday rather than the weekend. I think it must have something to do with its high tourism volume during the weekend rather than the weekdays.
The more I learn about Italy, the more interesting I feel about this country. Every country has its own complicated yet interesting history, but Italy, somehow, attracts me a lot. Its contradicted attitude toward immigrants, the relationship between Vatican and the government, the hospitality of Meditereanians, the peaceful atmosphere of a coffee shop, etc., have drawn so much attention from me and I have certainly fallen for this “messy” country.