I have officially been in Rome for over 24 hours but it feels like I’ve been here for 24 days. This morning feels like last week, and I can’t fathom that two days ago I was sleeping in my own bed. I also think I’ve experienced enough emotion in the 24 hours to last me 24 days.
Arriving has been filled with excitement, nerves, awe, and fears. I’ve felt disoriented, confused, and overwhelmed, but also eager to explore and get to know this beautiful city. When I cleared customs I felt sheer panic, as I couldn’t find the big T for the Temple group. But as soon as I met a few students in the program I began to feel at ease. The first day was spent walking in the wrong direction from our apartment only to get lost, grocery shopping, and eating my first plate of spaghetti. The next day was the real day one. We ventured Piazza del Popollo, Via Del Cosro, the Spanish steps for sundown, and the Trevi fountain. I was blown away. It was perhaps one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. I’d been so overwhelmed trying to get oriented I forgot to look around and take in where I was until I stood at the top of the steps to see the top of St. Peters. It took a minute to take in the fact that I was about to spend the next three months of my life in this city that takes my breath away.
The next stop was Trastevere where we got lost in the windy cobblestone streets and found ourselves at small restaurant with red-checkered table clothes and the most delicious food I have ever tasted. It felt like my first Italian meal complete with pizza, calzones filled with nutella and ricotta cheese, and of course, wine. My legs ached, but my bellyached more. I think I now know the cure to jet lag; a solid food coma did the trick.
It’s been exhausting but so exciting. Beautiful and breath taking. Stressful and disorienting. I look forward to the day when I don’t need to hold my map in front of my face as I walk, or when I can order a meal without speaking a word of English. There’s so much to do, and now it’s beginning to feel like so little time. Perhaps I should get off the computer and go enjoy! Ciao.