Running on 15 minutes of sleep and a Clif bar didn’t stop me from immediately throwing down my bags and heading right into the city of Rome. My new roommates greeted me with a big “buon giourno”, and we rushed out to the city, afraid to miss any second of where we were. So, here we are, on our new journey into the European lifestyle of long siestas, fresh mozzarella, and towering historical monuments.
The first night in Rome found my roommates and I at the Temple Pizza party where we met all the other students in the program. Everyone is outgoing and ready to head out to explore the city of Roma. Campo de Fiori, the hub where all the young students of Italy hang in the piazza, drink wine and beer, and mingle with each other until early hours of the morning. During the night it really hit me that yes, I was in Rome, and will be staying here for the entire school year.
I woke up the next morning and had a nice early walk down Viale delle Milzie to Temple Rome’s campus. Temple Rome is located in a really nice part of Rome. A couple blocks from Piazza del Popolo, right near the metro stop Flaminio, and bordering Vila Borghese, it provides nice surroundings for exploring the city. The day passed quickly and after a long night in Campo de Fiori I needed something relaxing. My roommate and another friend decided to take a long stroll through Vatican square in the Piazza San Pietro. Glowing lights from the fountains, which accented San Pietro beautifully, really had an effect on me. It was almost as if time stopped and everything surrounding me just took over for a minute. I’ve never experienced such a feeling of amazement before. Time started moving again and I made my way over to the fountain to splash my face. Wake up!! Yes you’re in Rome, get a hold of yourself!
Something happened the next night. That feeling of amazement I experienced the night before, disappeared and took over in a whole new way when I sunk into my first cup of Italian gelato. Gelateria Mereu Gianluciano on Viale dei Bastioni di Michelangelo, facing the walls of the Vatican was calling my name, so I listened, and got in line. It is a small place packed with locals hanging outside and jam packed with even more locals inside ordering their favorite flavors. I was with my roommate at the time, who speaks Italian fairly well so I asked her to do the ordering. The young man about our age asked what we wanted. “Umm two of the best chocolate ones!” is what we responded with. He laughed a lot with that answer, although it seemed pretty normal to me. It was a good ending to a long day.
Metro rides to new parts of the city, drinking out of fountains, and waking up early to get the best of the huge fresh indoor market are only a fraction of the things that I will experience here. As the story continues, I will keep you updated weekly on my new findings of amazement. Maybe something will surpass the gelato. Tomorrow will find my fellow study abroad students and I in the town of Todi, two hours outside of Rome.
So, bring it on Roma, I’m here and ready with my mini Italian dictionary!