Life as a 15 Year Old in Italy By Annmarie Hackworthy Comp 9 Period 5

Italy is a small country in Europe that is located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea near France.("Italy")

It is well known for its lavish pizzas, gourmet pastas, exquisite architecture, and fashion industry favorites.("Mark Warren")

Italy is a country that I thought I knew a lot about, but while researching, I was pleasantly surprised! The rich culture and the way 15 year olds in Italy spend their days is one of the reasons why Italian life is so fascinating to me.

Being 15 in Italy is exciting but busy because of the unique ways teenagers balance their free time and all of the school responsibilities.

  • School plays a huge part in Italian teenagers lives. ("What It's like to Be 15 in Italy ")
  • Unlike the United States, in Italy students attend high school for 5 years.
  • For the first two years of high school, Italian students study “state-mandated curriculum”.
  • Then, after the first two years of this standard learning, students decide on “specialized courses” to take at their career specific school.("Italian Education System")
Some examples of these career choice schools include “scientific school or language school or classic school(where you study Latin and Greek)” and even art school. Once you have decided on a school, you then decide on a “study” or section of that type of “subject” that you will focus on during your time in high school. For instance, Alex Pelizzari, an exchange student currently enrolled at this school, studied at the artistic school and spent two years studying all types of art. Then she decided to focus for the rest of her high school career, on “figurative art”.

It is very common for Italian teenagers to spend almost all of their time doing school work. Most spend around 5 hours everyday after school working on homework. ("What It's like to Be 15 in Italy ")

Because Italian culture revolves mainly around school for teenagers, many may have trouble deciding who they want to become and then what classes they will take to prepare themselves for their lives ahead. To add to that, many also have trouble balancing these school occupations with their social life.

Italian teenagers are just like us. They love to spend free time, when they can, enjoying each others’ company.

Alex Pelizzari, an exchange student from Italy said she used to ski, “like 4[four] days a week” as a 15 year old, so she didn’t have much free time with that and school. Even though Alex was very busy, she also enjoyed traveling all over Europe by herself or with friends on trains because everything is so close together. According to her, depending one where you live in Italy, you most likely will spend what free time you do have differently. If you live in the country, hiking, camping, and singing by the fire with your friends is very common. ("What It's like to Be 15 in Italy ")City teenagers most likely will be found spending their time at the bar,(due to the low drinking age)("Legal Drinking Age") shopping, or “talking about money”. ("What It's like to Be 15 in Italy ")

Because of the cultural differences of Italian teenagers and the way they spend their free time, it can be difficult fitting in with others teens in other parts of the Italy.

By researching what it is like to live in another country, I have realized that it is very easy to connect with teenagers my age, even if they are half way around the world.

It is important when learning about other people and their lives, to keep in mind that there could be a ton of differences between you two. Instead of immediately judging on how their lives are different from the one you are so used to, you should try to keep an open mind and make connections with this person.

Through this process of making connections, I understand and relate to Italian teenagers on how they have to balance their social life with school.

When I heard how there are two completely different “sides” of the way teenagers spend their free time, I noticed that I enjoy both “sides” of these activities. I love camping, chilling with my friends, and shopping. This shows how even though Italy is on the other side of the world, an Italian teenager and I may not be so different.

Deciding on what classes to take in high school is a very big decision. Imagine what it’s like to decide what type of high school you are going to attend! I was impressed when I heard that all Italian teenagers have to decide what type of high school they want to attend. It is probably very hard to know who you want to become by your freshman or sophomore year of high school.

This made me think of my middle school to high school transition. I decided I wanted an adventure, and a new place to express myself. So, I moved to Steamboat and hoped for a positive outcome. I absolutely love it here, but it took a crazy leap of courage for me to get here. Many 15 year olds in Italy experience the same thing when they are deciding what type of high school they will go to based on who they would like to become.

After hearing that Italian teenagers get to travel all over Europe by themselves, I thought of how they are so lucky to be able to see so much of the world at such a young age. This also reminded me of the first time I had to fly by myself. At first, I was really excited because I have always wanted to be able to travel and see new places, but then I got really scared because I would have to spend time in an unknown place all by myself. This is probably what it felt like the first time any Italian 15 year old traveled by themselves.

Through this entire research process, I have learned that no matter what, you should never judge someone else’s life just because it is different then your own. Instead, you should look and take a step into their life and see how much you have in common with this person.

“Italian Education System, Italian Schools, Schooling in Italy, Italian Nursery School, Primary Schools in Italy, Italian Middle School, High School, Secondary Schools in Italy, Vocational Studies in Italy, Academic Schools, Italian Universities.” Italian Education System, Italian Schools, Schooling in Italy, Italian Nursery School, Primary Schools in Italy, Italian Middle School, High School, Secondary Schools in Italy, Vocational Studies in Italy, Academic Schools, Italian Universities,

“Italy.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation,

“Legal Drinking Age.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation,

“Mark Warren.” LifeStyle9, 4 Jan. 2016,

Pelizzari , Alex. “What It's like to Be 15 in Italy .” 14 Dec. 2016.

Thank you for reading!


Created with images by Unsplash - "cinque terre town italy" • Moyan_Brenn - "Italy" • Maria Grazia Montagnari - "untitled image" • Moyan_Brenn - "Italy" • Tama66 - "columnar antique roman" • Moyan_Brenn - "Italy" • Pedro Nuno Caetano - "The eye of San Lorenzo" • Waldo93 - "firenze florence italy" • Moyan_Brenn - "Italy" • tpsdave - "italy landscape mountains" • Javier Vieras - "Colosseum" • janeb13 - "art school of athens raphaël italian painter" • Mariamichelle - "venice italy gondola" • Moyan_Brenn - "Italy" • truk - "sicily monastery dom" • Unsplash - "peak summit camp" • 5StarsDay - "coffee cafe tourist" • niccolo2410 - "Bar Fiasco" • skeeze - "camping tent recreation" • Bar Academy Hellas - "Latte Art Master Class @ Bar Academy Hellas" • msbritt - "fire spark campfire" • Hiljon - "aircraft manchester jet" • antmoose - "air show with italian flag" • Maria Grazia Montagnari - "untitled image" • Francisco Antunes - "Italian Door" • Moyan_Brenn - "Italy" • Moyan_Brenn - "Italy"

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