by: Bret Lott
Creative Writing Professor Bret Lott is leading the summer, 2017, study abroad program in Spoleto, Italy.
I Miei Amici!
For the record, the walk from the villa into town for classes isn’t for the faint of heart. The students are warned plenty of times before we leave for Italy that we will be walking. We will be walking. We will be walking. The villa is at the top of a hill; the class is near the top of the hill that is Spoleto. The vast majority of the walk—from the villa switchbacking down to the Coop, our grocery store, and from the Piazza Garibaldi all the way to the biblioteca—is pedestrian only; we deal with only three crosswalks in the entire trek. The altitude of the villa is 1139 feet, the lowest point on the road at the bottom of the hill is 1031 feet, and the biblioteca is at 1302 feet, so the walk is, naturally, down and up, then down and up going home (and a total of 2.86 miles, if they don’t do any walking around at lunch).
But halfway up on the way in is a wonderful spot, right at the halfway mark and at 1241 feet. Here stands the best bar-café in Spoleto: Te-Bro (the students call it The Bro), and it’s where every morning we all stop, go in and ask of the ladies inside for cappuccinos and cornettoes, and then take a seat at one of the tables, and breathe easier for a while. The ladies take good care of us, know we’re from the College of Charleston, and are happy when we show up. We’re happy too.