After an 8 hour flight and a 45 minute shuttle ride, I have arrived at the residence in the beautiful city of Rome. Now that this whole Rome situation has become a reality and is finally sinking in, I could not be more excited for all of the adventures that await me here! I’ll start my first blog post by introducing myself. My name is Elena Hart and I am a junior at Temple University majoring in journalism. I have always dreamed of studying abroad because of my love for traveling, and I could not have picked a more perfect place than Rome.
Upon arriving at the residence, before unpacking or napping or showering (like normal people), my friends and I were eager to explore! So, that’s exactly what we did. Not knowing where we were or how to get anywhere at all, we decided to take the “just blindly walk and look around” method of exploring the city. We were all hungry so we stopped in at the first enticing cafe we could find. We ended up stumbling upon a very bright place called the Motor Cafe, where the Italian employees were very welcoming, and even spoke some English! Before we even had the chance to order, cocktails and appetizers were being brought to our table. Everything from bruschetta to mini pizzas to garlic bread was included.
After we were full from the delicious foods, cocktails and wine, we decided to walk around the city some more before a wonderful pizza party that was thrown at the Temple campus. After we were even more full from the amazing pizza we had at the party, my roommate and I decided to lace up our sneakers and burn off some calories by taking a night walk around the city. We brought our cameras and hoped to get some interesting shots of the city at night. Upon walking up two blocks from the residence, we noticed the gorgeous top of a building sticking out in the distance. Now, this wasn’t just any beautiful piece of roman architecture, this was the top of the Vatican! Out of pure excitement, we decided to follow it like the north star, hoping that it would be within a realistic walking distance for the evening. Not only did we get some interesting shots along the way but we found the Vatican- and boy, was it beautiful. We stood in awe of the buildings that surrounded us and could not seem to drag ourselves away from the area. We weren’t the only ones- people from all over the world were standing in the same awe as the two of us. On a perfect cool late summer evening, we had stumbled upon the gem of all gems. We decided to make evening walks to this beautiful place a new tradition, including the stop we made for some gelato on the way home (my second of the day!)
So, I guess sometimes exploring a new city on your own terms isn’t a total waste of time. Sometimes, wandering around without any particular direction can help you to find the most beautiful parts of a city, get a feel for a much different culture, build beautiful memories with friends, and even create a new tradition. It’s crazy to think this was only day one!
…I have a feeling this is going to be one semester that I’ll never forget.