What in the world do the three things in the title have to do with one another, you ask? Well, absolutely nothing—it’s just another one of our weekends here in Rome.
I mentioned in a previous post that I am in the Air Force ROTC back in the States, and so I have a bunch of friends who are stationed in Aviano, Italy and live in a small town north of Venice. Earlier this semester we paid a visit to them (post: “That’s What You Get for Waking up in VENICE!”) and this past weekend they got to take the weekend off for a nice little break (a holiday, as they say in Europe) to visit my sister Jaclyn and I in Rome.
The famous Ice Club Roma (a bar made totally out of ice) is a place we’ve had our sights on for quite some time. I know you’re thinking, What! That’s crazy! And yes, it is definitely different; the walls, floor, bar, chairs—even the glasses your drinks are served in—are made totally out of ice. Cool, huh? (Yes, Sarah just made a funny).
So how does this Ice Club place work? Well, you pay 15 euro when you arrive and they drape you in this huge thermal cape and give you a pair of gloves. Next, you walk through two sets of doors that lead you into the bar that’s kept at -5 degrees Celsius (that’s 21 degrees Fahrenheit)! We must have looked like a bunch of penguins in our capes while we waddled about the club, sipping our drinks out of our cones of ice and taking bets on how long we’d actually be able to hang out in the Ice Club before our toes got frostbite and/or hypothermia set in.
We were so happy to have had the experience of our first ice bar, but I’m still wondering what would ever possess someone to want to work there. An hour and a half into our Ice Club shenanigans we’d lost just about all feeling in out toes and had to call it a night.
Thanks to the fact that I’ve been living in Rome for over two months and I am taking two art history classes, I have become quite the tour guide of all things Roma. One of my friends visiting for the weekend had never been to Rome before, and we made sure to get an early start Saturday morning so I could show her the major sites of this ancient city. We ended up having to cut our touring short, but only in order to get ready for the Roma v. Lecce soccer game! We suited up in our Roma gear, picked up our tickets from the school and headed to the Olympic Stadium in a group of at least 50 Temple Rome students.
I have always wanted to go to a European soccer game, and the experience of going to any sporting event is, of course, always more exciting when your team is winning. Roma made us proud, finishing with a 2-0 win over Lecce.
Following the game we made sure that our friends had a fun Saturday night exploring the incredible nightlife in Rome, and sadly, they had to leave early on Sunday to make the drive back to Pordenone, Italy and back to the reality of a full work week ahead of them. Oh, how I love being a student.
It wasn’t until about five years ago that Italians started celebrating Halloween, though it is still nothing like the way we celebrate Halloween in the States. Italian children don’t Trick-or-Treat in Rome, and though we did see random people dressed up and likely on their way to a party or a club, we decided to throw our own Halloween party at the Residence Medaglie D‘oro, the apartment complex where most of the Temple Rome students live.
Everyone managed to put together some kind of costume for the party (I was a gypsy!), and three of the students in the program decorated their room with cobwebs, balloons and the like for a Halloween bash reminiscent of a grade school party. We played limbo, we played charades, we played newlyweds and we each took a shot at, “Guess the number of pasta in the jar.” For the first time in my life I bobbed for an apple (and lost), so I was overly proud to win, “Pin the eyes on the pumpkin.”
Though we didn’t spend the weekend traveling and visiting another one of the many amazing cities in Europe this past weekend, you can never go wrong spending the weekend in Rome. Oftentimes we hate to leave, though the thought that most of us have here is that we should see as much of Rome—and Italy—as we can within the time we have during the week (when we’re not working hard and studying, of course) and get out on the weekends and see other major cities in Europe since it is so inexpensive to travel within the continent once you are already here.
While we were all laughing and carrying on and acting like a bunch of children at our little Temple Rome Halloween Bash, for a moment I took a step back from everything that was going on, and just felt so overwhelmed with joy. It is difficult for me to put into words how wonderful this semester has been for me thus far. Leading up to this study abroad experience I spent a lot of time imagining how my life would be living and studying in Rome, and honestly, I never could have imagined I would be this happy. Not only have I met and made friends with some of the most incredible people within the program, but with them I have also shared some of the most unique experiences that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
So what do an arctic chill, some futbol fun and a scary Sunday all have in common? Well, still nothing. Individually they were just three of the hundreds of unbelievable experiences we have had during our semester abroad. Together, they made for one heck of a weekend here in Roma.
“I’ve got to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time.” Right on, Beatles. Right on.