The Mole Diaries: Forlì

by cepatri55

This article was written by Hannah Wakely, published on 16th April 2013 and has been read 3519 times.

Hannah Wakely is studying French and Italian at the University of Salford. She spent the first half of her year abroad studying in Forl to fulfil the Italian quota and is spending the second half in a small town in Brittany teaching in a liceo. Hannah didn’t have many options for studying in Italy as the Italian department at Salford is so small, but she chose the Forlì campus of the University of Bologna because she wanted to be in the north and it has a great reputation for languages. Here's her advice for other students moving to Forlì for their year abroad.

1. Finding Accommodation - Koiné

When you first arrive in Forlì whether it’s at the train station or in a car (like me) the staff at Koiné are there to help. They offer to meet every student who is coming from abroad and look after everything – from your accommodation to your bedding if you need it! They are a lovely group of people and are always there if you have any trouble. They can all speak English and Italian and a cover a few other languages too so you don’t have to worry about communication problems upon your arrival. If you organise your accommodation through Koiné it will also be with other students at the university and they might even be Erasmus students too. They also organise lots of social events throughout the academic year to get all of the Erasmus students together so making friends isn’t difficult at all. 

2. Weather

Much to my surprise when I arrived in Forlì late September it was averaging at about 26 degrees every day. Now this isn’t exactly normal for that time of year but these temperatures continued for about a month and by mid December it was snowing. My advice is; be prepared! I was prepared enough for the cold weather being in the north of Italy and all but most certainly not for the heat. I had brought one pair of shorts and that was about it as far as summer clothes went so I had to be creative with my clothes...

3. Bikes!

You’ll soon realise that everybody has a bike in Forlì and you may well consider getting one too. For me it didn’t seem necessary as I lived about a 15 minute walk from everywhere that I might want to go. The only time I thought a bike might have been useful was when I had to carry several bags of shopping home even though the supermarket was only at the end of my road. However I had friends who heavily relied on their bikes living about a 45 minute walk from the centre of town.

4. C.U.S.B (pronounced koosb if you can pronounce that...)

To us mortals that’s Centro Universitario Sportivo Bologna. This is the sports club and they have a lot to offer! The C.U.S.B office is in the Economics building on Piazzale della Vittoria – there was no information to point me in this direction, I only found out through another student! It’s a tiny office but the staff are very friendly and happy to help talk you through the various options. I chose to do pilates classes during my time in Forlì and I really enjoyed it. It was led in Italian by an Italian who couldn’t speak English but that made it all the better for my language and I had a lot of fun. I would thoroughly recommend getting involved in one of the many clubs they have to offer!

5. My top 10 eateries and drinkeries! (In no particular order!!)

1. La Sosta
A gorgeous typically Italian ristorante with an incredible selection of pasta and pizza dishes. Incredibly popular with the locals so it’s best to book but otherwise take a seat with a glass of wine and you’ll usually have a table within 20 minutes! You will fall in love with their Penne alla Vodka – especially after a few weeks without real back bacon...

2. Moquette
During the summer this place will be your best friend. Thursday nights are student nights with glasses of wine for €2. Inside is tiny but you’ll no doubt spend the majority of your warmer Thursday nights standing outside for hours meeting all of the other Erasmus students.

3. Games Bond
This bar is pretty well hidden but well worth the search. The clue is in the name; you can go in for a drink and play any board game you like. They also have table football and video game nights, poker nights and every themed night you could imagine! The prices are a little steep and there’s no wine on the menu (but if you ask for a glass you can have one) but it’s worth it for free board games!

4. Muffaffè
This place offers the best aperitivo in town. Buy a drink – alcoholic or non although I can highly recommend their cocktails – and enjoy an all you can eat aperitivo buffet. If you’re lucky they’ll bring out chips towards the end...

5. Passaparola
A bit further out of town Passaparola offers the same kind of thing as La Sosta and will welcome you with a glass of bubbly and some focaccia if you’re kept waiting.

6. The Bowling Alley
Who knows what it’s called, all I know is they make the cheapest and strongest Long Island Iced Teas I’ve ever had and you haven’t lived until you’ve gone bowling drunk. Top tip: in Italy a Long Island Iced Tea is made with Iced Tea, if you want it with coke just ask for a Long Island!

7. Pizzeria del Corso
The best pizza in town (in my opinion). Friendly, quick, simple service. Again, very popular with the locals even on weekdays.

8. Piadineria La Posada
A delicacy of Emilia-Romagna, La Posada offers the best piadinas in town and is incredibly popular come lunchtime amongst the students being situated on the same road as the university.

9. America Graffiti
A Hawaiian seafood restaurant that also serves every kind of junk food you can imagine. Perfect for if you fancy a change from pizza and pasta (although I couldn’t imagine why you would...)

10. And finally, I couldn’t compile this list without... Mash Up (or Mesh Up as the locals like to call it)
The only real club within walking distance of the centre of town. It might be expensive and full of utter creeps but when you haven’t had a student night out in a few months – trust me – you won’t care.

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