So last weekend I finally got the opportunity to visit the north of Italy which is something I have wanted to since I arrived in Italy in September. This trip has been planned since we went to Rome, and I have been so excited for it, and I gotta say it did not disappoint. It was one of my friend’s (and fellow ELA’s) 21st birthday so a few of us travelled from all over Italy to make her 21st birthday a birthday to remember. She lives in Riccione a beautiful northern town in the region of Emilia-Romagna near the seaside, close to Bologna. Unfortunately, because I work on Saturdays I had to arrive a day later than everyone else and at that I had to arrive late Saturday as my train journey took a good 7 and a half hours. (Yes, I know you’re probably asking why I didn’t get a flight, but that’s because of the time I finished school made it impossible to be in time for the possible flights, otherwise I think I would have flown). Thankfully, I quite enjoy train journeys… iPod in and looking out the window.
Anyway, the journey quickly passed and before I knew it, it was time for me to change my train in Ancona, for a short hour train to Riccione. Now, before I go any further I need mention the train I got to and from Riccione, I don’t know if it’s a northern thing but I’ve never seen them down south, and I do take the train a lot. They have individual carriages which somewhat resemble the Hogwarts train; I can’t describe my excitement when I found this out! All I needed was some chocolate frogs to top off my amazing train discovery. Once I stepped off the train I immediately saw a difference, it felt as if I was almost in a different country or on holiday. Riccione has a completely different feel from the towns I’ve visited down south, I don’t know if it was being so close to the sea or the fact that it was so modern or maybe both. But I was definitely taken aback by the sheer beauty of the town. It was so different from what I am used to seeing in Puglia even different from what I saw in Rome. I felt the north and south divide even more, in the way the two parts of Italy are different….Riccione seemed a completely different Italy, from the Italy I have grown to know.
Oh and my loyal suitcase of 9 years decided to conveniently break on the way to my friend’s house. Such a tragedy.
Our expectations were raised when we found out that the club were going to that night was meant to be the ‘best nightclub in the whole of Italy’. After a few hours pre-drinking (we might be in Italy, but we are still keeping to our British drinking traditions) we got the taxi to the club. So after thinking that the club in Lecce was pretty good, I was excited to see in what ways the nightclub in Riccione could be even better. Now let’s just say that this club did not meet our expectations or lived up to the title ‘best nightclub in the whole of Italy’. For one the music was terrible, it was all instrumental music nothing that you could sing along to which was really disappointing. Especially when alcohol makes you believe that you could be the next Beyonce or Rihanna. But we didn’t let the lack of sing-able music bring us down, we still did pull some embarrassing (amazing at the time) dance moves which the Italians must have found hilarious/bizarre. The other thing which I personally found annoying was that people tended to smoke inside the nightclub even on the dance floor when there was a perfectly adequate smoking area outside. Let’s not forget the loos. I really didn’t and still don’t understand why they had such odd toilets in there. The toilets in the girl’s bathroom consisted of a hole on the ground where you had to awkwardly hover over. They’re the sort of toilets that makes the task of having a pee seem like an achievement, especially after a drink or two.
Anyway, enough about Italian nightclub toilets! I don’t think we would have found the club as terrible if it hadn’t been given the name of the ‘best’ nightclub in Italy. Maybe the most ‘interesting’ or peculiar nightclub in Italy, but they were definitely exaggerating when they said the best. ‘Living’ in Lecce was definitely better. But I guess the Italian way of partying is different from ours.
On the Sunday, we went to explore Riccione a bit whilst accompanying those who were setting off on their journeys back to their Italian towns. I also had the opportunity to try out a piadina which is a sort of ‘sandwich’ well known in Emilia-Romagna. I liked it so much that not only did I have it after our night out Saturday night, but I ordered it for my dinner on Sunday! Sunday quickly passed and we ended our day with a girly night watching Bridget Jones with the girls that were left.
So I finally got to see what the north of Italy is like, I can definitely say that I am impressed. It has made me even keener than before to explore the whole of Italy in the year that I am here. It was such a good weekend but passed so quickly considering that Saturday and Monday were spent travelling to and from Riccione. But watch out Riccione, I’ll be back!