So I know you’ve been reading my posts all semester, keeping up with my fabulous adventures, laughing at all my witty jokes, tearing up when I get sentimental about how awesome this trip has been, and totally wishing you were me. Understandable.
The past three months have honestly just been non-stop, and if it weren’t for all the photos and the journal I keep, I’d have a hard time remembering all the things we’ve done! Since the end of my time here in Rome is fast-approaching, I’ll do a quick re-cap of some of the major things I’ve seen and done throughout the best three months of my life.
At Home in Rome
I now have the ability to say that for a period of time, I lived in Rome. Not that I just visited for a couple days, saw the Colosseum and the Vatican, had some awesome food and wine and then went home. No, instead I lived in an apartment in the heart of Rome. I’ve studied Dante’s language, learned a great deal of art history, got to know this city like the back of my hand, enjoyed the food, the culture, the nightlife, and all this ancient and amazing city has to offer. I’d have to say running in Rome has been my favorite thing to do. There’s nothing like the the motivation you get from seeing the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, and Foro Italico. And I am really going to miss watching the sunset on the vatican from my eighth story terrace. Sigh.
Todi and Titignano
Our first weekend in Rome, everyone from the program hopped a bus to Todi to check out this beautiful medeval hill town and head next to Titignano for a 15-course meal at a castle with the most incredible views of Umbria. Todi was where most of us formed our first friendships here at Temple Rome, and it was a trip that brought us all together as a study abroad program for one incredible experience that we all got to enjoy together.
Venice, Pordenone, and Sacile
Being in the Air Force has the perk of having friends all over the world, so going to Venice had the added bonus of visiting the small northern Italian towns, Pordenone and Sacile. Whenever my sister and I tell Italians that we visited those places (45 minutes north of Venice), they are so surprised, but all three places were fabulous, and I’m really glad I got the experience of a true Italian town. I certainly wouldn’t have minded being based at Aviano Air Force Base!
It’s awesome that we’ve had the opportunity to hop on a bus on any given weekend and to anywhere we choose. One weekend we decided to head to the town of Tivoli to see the Villa d’Este and Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Village). We walked around and explored the town, did some shopping, ate a fabulous lunch, had some great gelato, toured the ruins of Hadrian’s incredible villa, and hopped the bus back to Rome to be back in time for dinner.
Oktoberfest in Munich
I still can’t believe that I was able to attend the real Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. I know Oktoberfest is something Jaclyn has always wanted to do, so we absolutely made the most out of the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I think it goes without saying that I enjoyed the beer in Munich more than I have in any other city I’ve been to in Europe (yes, even more so than the Guinness in Dublin!).
Fall Break in London, Dublin, and Paris
London, Dublin, and Paris are the three cities that I have always dreamed of visiting. Who would have thought that I’d see all three of them over the course of ten days, and all with my sister! I would have to say that I enjoyed myself the most in Dublin, I could definitely live for a few years in London, and Paris, though I don’t think I’d enjoy living there, is a city that I’d definitely go back to.
Roma v. Lecce and Halloween in Rome
I have always wanted to see a European soccer game, and so it couldn’t be more convenient that the Olympic Stadium in Rome is just a five minute walk from my apartment! Even better, Rome has two teams, and we got a deal of just 25 euro to see Roma (the Rome team that I like most) win at the Olympic Stadium against Lecce. It was an incredible weekend in Rome with our Air Force friends coming to visit for the game followed by celebrating Halloween in Rome.
Weekend vacation in Barcelona
In the States I can’t say I’ve ever had the luxury of hopping a ridiculously cheap flight and heading to another country for a weekend! Barcelona is such a beautiful city, and though I would have loved to see Ibiza and Madrid as well, we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend with more beautiful weather for our time in Barcelona. I saw tons of cool sites, ate really great food, drank in really cool bars and clubs, and met the most phenomenal people.
Couch Surfing in Florence
I almost don’t ever want to couch surf again because of how incredible my first experience was in Florence. My friend Matt and I couldn’t have been luckier to meet and stay with three of the most genuine, hospitable, friendly, and fun group of guys. My Couch Surfing weekend in Florence is one of my favorite experiences I’ve had during my time here, and it is certainly a weekend that I will never forget!
Thanksgiving in Athens
It was so surreal to climb the hills of the Acropolis and stand in front of the Parthenon. Thinking about ancient Greece and its rich history and culture alone was really quite fascinating for me, not to mention we were lucky to have really great weather even if we did visit Greece in the off-season.
Ending up in Brussels
I am not happy that this semester is coming to an end, so with that I am glad I booked an extra week for Jaclyn and I to stay. We decided as our last hoorah that we’re going to travel to Brussels. It is impossible to see and do everything in just three and a half months, and there are still a ton of places that we would have traveled to. But the flight to Brussels was cheap (can you believe it, 50 euro round-trip for the two of us!) so there wasn’t even a second thought about going to enjoy a weekend of waffles and Belgium beer.
This is just a quick summary of the major places I have been to during my semester abroad. It would literally take volumes for me to recount, in detail, all the things we’ve seen and done in our time here. I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity, and I know that for the rest of my life, this trip –the places I went, the experiences I had, the friends I made, the things I saw and learned– is going to stay with me.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, because I am thoroughly convinced that it is true. I am the luckiest girl in all of the world.