First post from Italy’s “Red City” Bologna

It is my pleasure to announce that my word press account is now operational! I’m about half way through my semester here in the city of Bologna, Italy and I have to say it has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, adaptation, and pure enjoyment. Much to my surprise the way the university system is structured here is much different from the way the United States and other European countries operate, from what I’ve heard from other exchange students coming from countries within the EU. There are no homework assignments, no quizzes, no tests, and no grade for attendance. It seems they favor, in my opinion, an “old school” style of education which is simply lecture and exams. This has been somewhat of a difficult adjustment for me as it is difficult to gauge how well you are doing in a class and puts all of the weight and pressure on the exam at the end of the class. Hopefully i’m studying the correct information!?

On the non academic side of things, the city of Bologna is absolutely beautiful. Not only is the architecture stunning and beautiful, it’s knowing that some of these buildings, churches, and other historical structures have stood where they are for thousands of years! It connects you to the past in a way historical sites and buildings in the United States cannot. A piece of this mid-evil history in the nickname the city has received over time. Bologna is nicknamed the red city for two reasons, one because of the red-orange color of all of the rooftops of the city and two because of the seemingly prevailing thought that communism is a moral good. Much of the graffiti in the city center are anarchy symbols or even a mural painting just one block from the university of Joseph Stalin portraying him as a champion of freedom. In one of the most traveled area’s in the city (Piazza Verdi) there are often students disseminating communist/socialist literature. Because Bologna has a population 389,261 and of that population 80,000 are students, it can be somewhat expected that city dwellers and young people sympathize with communist ideals. According to a study done this year, communism seems to be gaining some traction among millennial’s even in the United States. The study sights that roughly 36% of millennial’s now view communism in a favorable light. To me this is puzzling… Being someone who often is inclined to engage in philosophical thought and one has always loved history, the study of it, and the learning of valuable lessons from it, it doesn’t take much reading or research to find out that communism is the ideology that is responsible for the death of millions of people throughout the world. Aside from its historical context, communism is currently oppressing millions of people to include the placing of Muslims in concentration camps in China. This isn’t to say that I think people here shouldn’t be entitled to their own opinion or be able to speak their mind, I am just stating my own opinion that communism is and always has been a source of great evil in the world and sometimes it is hard for me to understand why someone who knows the history of Communism or Socialism would advocate for them.

That being said, one of my roommates is communist/socialist and advocates for it, I love the respectful exchange of ideas and debates that we get into from time to time and it has been a great experience to converse with him and begin to try to understand why someone would support a socialist or communist government. On a much lighter note, the daily life of living here has been a delight! There are obviously some conveniences I miss about the United States like Target and the amazing craft beer but the natural food and sight seeing they have here is like none I have experience before. There aren’t very many huge restaurants but rather scores of small places that are all over the city that in general serve amazing made to order Italian foods. In addition, there is no lack of other ethnically diverse food places to eat, Lebanese, Japanese, and Spanish places just to name a few. I will continue to write posts, aiming for once a week, from now on now that my account is working. Until next time…. Arrivederci!!

      


Antonio Adamo is a sophomore and Marine veteran at the University of Missouri-Kansas City majoring in economics. Antonio is spending the 2020-2021 academic year abroad as part of the MAUI-Exchange Program, studying at the University of Bologna in Italy.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.