The first thing I did, after I “matched” with my host family, was search about the city I was about to live in: Carpi.
I gotta confess, that at first, I was really uncomfortable and nervous to see it was a small town, because I come from Campinas, the biggest city of São Paulo, meaning that I was used to the chaos and busy routine of a big city.
Carpi has only 70 thousand citizens, which is nothing compared to the almost 2 million citizens of Campinas, or to 12 million citizens of São Paulo.
During my first month here, I found it really strange that there’s almost no cars on the streets, no traffic what so ever, and that people go everywhere by foot or bike. Now, after 8 months, I can say that I’m so used to it and I like so so much to live here, that I have no idea if I’ll ever get used to living in a big city again!
Of course, everything has a negative side, for example, here in Carpi all the shops close early, on tuesdays and thursdays after lunch and the majority of the stores don’t reopen again on those days. Also on weekends almost everything closes at noon, and there’s no shopping mall (!!!) – exclamation on that, because only in Campinas there’s FIVE!
When it comes to the people who live in Carpi, that’s a delicate subject… The majority are close minded, and there’s a huge “group” separation in here. Like my host dad once told me, that it even became and adjective! For example, when someone is too cocky, you can say: “Oh, that person is too Carpigiana!”. Hahaha.
Another fact, that me and some friends think is negative, is that for those of us that still don’t speak fluent italian, it is quite hard to communicate and get to know new people, seeing that practically no one (even younger people, around my age) speaks english!
But besides all of that mentioned above, Carpi is a wonderful city, really safe and I totally recommend for those who might want to visit! It is small, but there’s lots to see!