Something I noticed in Italy, when ending a phone conversation, it ends fast. I didn't really have any phone conversations in other countries, but it did seem from hearing cell phone conversations that they did the same. I don't know if its an American thing or a Southern thing, but my phone conversations take forever to end. There's a very long transition that eventually leads to 'bye'. "Okay, well I better get going. I'll talk to you later. Have a good day. Seeya. Bye." In Europe, "I'll cook chicken. Bye." Although in Italy I do hear a lot of "Ciao" followed by "CiaoCiaoCiao", but there is no transition between the last statement of conversation and the first Ciao. Another interesting bit - in Bavaria, the German greeting for goodbye is "ciao". I asked a few people about this and no one seemed to know why, but their best guess was that was just that "aufweiderszein" was too long and clumsy to use, so they adopted ciao. Someone in Rome told me the Germans spell it "Tsao" and there is an ongoing battle over whether the word is originally German or Italian.
I'm anxious to get back - I so miss my friends and my home and my beach. But this has been the experience of a lifetime, and the thought of leaving makes me tear up. I've made incredible memories and I've met some good people, some who I am sure will remain friends. I intend to be back soon. Ciao. CiaoCiaoCiao.