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IN THIS SUMMER SERIES, FOREIGN WOMEN SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES OF LIVING IN BRATISLAVA

Stones from the Tatras and fine Slovak wine

MICHELINA CHIODI SCIUTO is the Italian cultural attaché in Slovakia and the director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Bratislava. She has been in Slovakia since September 2001.


MICHELINA CHIODI SCIUTO
photo: Spectator archives

MICHELINA CHIODI SCIUTO is the Italian cultural attaché in Slovakia and the director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Bratislava. She has been in Slovakia since September 2001.

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What is your favourite place to go to eat and drink in Slovakia and why?

Michelina Chiodi Sciuto (MCS): I prefer restaurants with Slovak cuisine because I like to taste local specialities.

TSS: What is your favourite place to visit or go for a trip?

MCS: I like Slovak spa towns and I find the castles beautiful, a boat trip on the Danube is also very pleasant.

TSS: What surprised or struck you the most when you came to Slovakia?

MCS: It is not a current impression because I was in Slovakia a few years ago but it must be the 'soft' atmosphere of Central Europe. I found the revolving restaurant at the SNP bridge very curious.

TSS: What will be your lasting memories of Slovakia?

MCS: The warm-heartedness of the people and the culture. I very much appreciate the efforts of this country to achieve the European standard and the result that you have reached.

TSS: What would you bring as a present from Slovakia back home?

MCS: A bottle of water from the Danube and a stone from the High Tatra mountains.

TSS: What is the main difference or similarity in character between Slovaks and people of your nationality?

MCS: We Italians are a Mediterranean nation and have much more temper but I think what we have in common is the love for culture and art.



ZOFIA KOMORNICKA
photo: Spectator archives

Polish ZOFIA KOMORNICKA is married to Jan Komornicki, Ambassador of Poland to the Slovak Republic. They have been in Slovakia for 5 years.

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What Slovak dish or drink do you like and why?

Zofia Komornicka (ZK): My favourite dish in Slovakia is garlic soup and bryndzové halušky (potato dumplings). I also like the wide range of pancakes - not only sweet with chocolate and cream but also with ham or cheese. Last but not the least I am very keen on Slovak wines, which in my opinion can be compared with French or Italian wines.

TSS: What is your favourite place to visit or go for a trip?

ZK: All of Slovakia has a very high tourism value. We go very often to the Small Carpathian mountains, especially when it is very hot in Bratislava. I also like the hot springs in Dunajská Streda, both during summer and wintertime.

TSS: What will your lasting memories of Slovakia be?

ZK: My personal contact with Slovakia is long; it dates back to my childhood. That's why when I came here; there weren't any negative surprises. I found calm, attractive and well-behaved people, proud of their history and identity.

TSS: Did you have any embarrassments or language faux pas with Slovaks?

ZK: It refers only to Polish people. Our languages are very similar but there are about 300 words that I would call 'dangerous'. These words sound identically, but their meanings are just opposite. They should be remembered by Poles who come here and by Slovaks who travel to Poland as well.

TSS: What would you bring as a present from Slovakia back home?

ZK: As a present I always take home some very good Slovak wine.


EDDA PFEIFER
photo: Spectator archives

EDDA PFEIFER is German and has been living in Slovakia since April 2001. She is the wife of Jürgen M. Pfeifer, who is Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy in Bratislava.

TSS: What is your favourite place to eat and drink in Slovakia and why?

Edda Pfeifer (EP): My favourite place is "Hradná vináreň" because while you enjoy your lunch or dinner you have the privilege of a spectacular view over Bratislava and the Danube river.

TSS: What is your favourite place to visit or go for a trip?

EP: The place I like most is the historical town of Kežmarok in the High Tatras. The old buildings, houses and the wooden church can be admired just at the feet of the High Tatras - and perhaps because there are still some German elements around.

TSS: What surprised you the most when you came to Slovakia?

EP: The overall friendly politeness and behaviour and helpful attitude of the Slovak people took me positively by surprise. People are well dressed and like to show it at official or festive occasions. Look at how they go to the opera.

TSS: Did you have any embarrassments or language faux pas with Slovaks?

EP: No, not up to now because quite a considerable number of Slovaks speak surprisingly good German and English, and I studied some Slovak before coming to Bratislava.

TSS: What is the main difference or similarity in character between Slovaks and people of your respective nationality?

EP: There is not so much difference in character between Slovaks and Germans as far as I can see it from my own experience. Some manners are perhaps a little bit old-fashioned but that's what I like.

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