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Blogger Abroad: Tyler’s Adventures in Liguria


Pizza, pasta, gelato: These are some of the foods we most often associate with Italy. But summer study abroad student and “Your Story on the Rails” blogger Tyler has been embracing Italian fare that goes beyond expectations—remember this?—and reminding us that when you are able to speak with locals in their own language, you unlock a much richer and authentic cultural experience.

On a recent trip northward into Liguria, Italy, Tyler tested his stair-climbing abilities and found a new favorite dish! In his words:

I recently traveled to Liguria, a region in northern Italy, to see the classic “Cinque Terre” or “five lands” that are accessible mainly through boat and, you guessed it, trains!

All of these different villages were breathtaking as the various houses in the mountainside were painted in bright and vibrant colors. The day was absolutely  gorgeous and there was not a cloud in sight, but the heat was absolutely insane. That definitely did not help when I visited Manarola, one of the Cinque Terre, that required me to hike up 300+ steps to get to the top of the city. Nonetheless, the view was stunning.

After visiting all five villages, I returned back to the small town of Moneglia where my Italian once again came in handy as I asked various locals where the best place to eat was and what foods I should taste.

I thought that after trying horse meat in Scorrano I wouldn’t eat anything thing else strange, but I was wrong. I ended up eating fried anchovies that were surprisingly delicious. I am constantly amazed by how Italians can take a dish that some may view as disgusting and make it into something that tastes amazing.

Speaking another language can lead to fun discoveries! What has been your greatest surprise following an encounter in your second language? Tell us about it @LeadWLanguages on social media!

Cinque Terre photo collage