Catherine Threlkeld: Thoughts on Urbino

Catherine Threlkeld

Catherine Threlkeld (Photo by Urbino 2011 Student Mojan Nourbakhsh)

Where to begin, Urbino? More than two weeks after I left, my head is now swirling with thoughts about my experiences there. Urbino was home for the four best weeks of my life. I learned so much about reporting, writing, videography and photography, and my cultural appreciation for that tiny Le Marche city broadened immensely.

This trip, or journey as Mattia would say, has consumed all of my money and has given me a nice pasta body. At times, it was infuriating, sweaty, painful, uncomfortable, stressful and exhausting. But, without a doubt, it was the most rewarding experience of my life.

I wish I had kept a diary every day while I was there, writing down what I learned in class and who I met that day. But I think I was too busy enjoying the cheap wine to have enough patience to journal. Now it’s far too late to
try to remember each day, hour by hour. And some of my best memories of Urbino couldn’t be captured by photos.

While in Italy, there were things I missed about the U.S. – like always having clean clothes, air conditioning, WiFi and ranch dressing, but I’d give it all back in a heartbeat to return to Urbino today.

I visited places acclaimed to be some of the most beautiful places in the world like Cinque Terre and Mykonos, or with the most important attractions like Rome and Athens. But no ancient building or rocky beach was as beautiful as life in Urbino’s piazza.

I’ve met travelers from across the globe – Australia, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, France, Great Britain, Spain and more. But nothing beats that crazy Italian spirit.

So thank you, Urbino, for changing my life. You gave me cultural appreciation of Italy. You gave me the Italian language, You gave me incredible new friends – Italian, American and even a few Canadians and Asians. You gave me a way to express life, through my photos and my writing.

I love in Italian that “ciao” means hello and goodbye. Because even when I said goodbye to Urbino and goodbye to my friends, saying “ciao” was not a permanent farewell. It was a promise to say hello again one day.



Read and see Catherine’s work on the The Urbino Project 2011 website.

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Students Say...

My experience at The Perpignan Project was unbelievable, not only as as traveler but as a student. I was placed completely out of my element to take on a challenge that included language barriers, wrong directions, and Final Cut Express! As a student journalist, I was able to connect with the people of Perpignan to find meaningful stories that helped me increase my skills as a journalist and as a global citizen.
by Audrey Arthur, San Francisco State University, The Perpignan Project 2010