Editing by Margherita Ravelli
This week Pequod went back to the reality of immigrants in Bergamo. This time we had a chat with Albanelis, a girl from Venezuela.
Albanelis, could you introduce yourself to Pequod readers?
I’m Albanelis, I’m 25 years old and I’m from Venezuela. At the moment I live in Bergamo, Italy. I’m unemployed.
Why did you decide to leave your country?
When I was a child, my mother got married with an Italian man and they decided to live in Italy .
Why did you choose Italy?
I couldn’t choose where to live. Probably, if I could choose, I would not live in Italy. But now this is my country – I came here when I was 8, so now I am Italian, even though I still consider myself an immigrant.
Describe your life in Italy (your occupation, your everyday life, social life, etc.). Tell us something about the city you live in (top 5 places to be, where to go, what to do – be our tourist information center!)
I don’t work, so don’t have many things to do. I spend a lot of time at home, doing the chores just to spend some time. I also like to go out and meet some friends. In the afternoon, I meet my boyfriend, he is an immigrant, too. He comes from Senegal and we usually hang out in bars where there are other Latin Americans or Africans.
In my opinion, the most beautiful places in Bergamo are Città Alta, especially San Vigilio, the castle from which you can see Bergamo, the countryside, the mountains and, if you’re lucky, even Milan! I also like Orio Center, a huge shopping mall, because I love shopping.
In the evening, I love to go out for dancing: there are a lot of latin places in Bergamo, probably because there are a lot of Latin Americans living here.
How is living in Italy different than living in your country?
I really can’t say that I know Venezuela’s reality because I was a child when I left my country. Plus I was living with my mum, who is from Dominican Republic. Only my dad is still living in Venezuela . I know better how you can live in Santo Domingo, where my maternal family lives – there people are more easygoing and happier, you cannot feel alone. For me, Venezuela means charisma, union and love, while Italy means work, opportunity and sacrifice.
Which is the biggest challenge of moving to a new country? Have you had any regrets so far? What do you miss the most?
The biggest challenge has been leaving my dad, I miss him! But I have not regrets: I like Italy, it’s my country and where my friends and most of family live. Also, Italy is the place where my nephews are born and where I met my boyfriend. I miss Venezuela’s weather and food; I like eating Latin American restaurants. And also the houses: in Venezuela they are way bigger!
What does Europe mean for you? Do you perceive the existence of Europe as a community?
I don’t know what to say about Europe: I don’t really have a definition of this concept, so I suppose there’s no such European Community in European reality.
What would you say to someone to convince him to move abroad? What’s the best thing you’ve got/you’ve learnt by your experience abroad?
I really cannot find motivation to move abroad. Even if I believe that travel is constructive, I don’t think that there are particolar reasons for leaving Venezuela and coming to Italy; I’m here just because my mum got married. But here I’ve learnt some important things, like earning a living – here I discovered the satisfaction of buying something with the money that you earned.
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