Monthly Archives: April 2011

I Piedi

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I wanted to write this one at the beginning of the semester after our first walking tour of Rome, but I figured I’d wait until the end to see how much walking I had really done.

Let me tell ya, it’s the most I’ve ever walked in my entire life. I really don’t know how the ancient Romans did it. I feel like all they had was sandals. That could be an inaccurate stereotype created by Hollywood, I’m not sure. Still though, I can barely go a day without my feet being a bit sore, and I wear sneakers. I don’t know how the girls do it with heels. What idiot created that invention? Sorry ladies.

There is something truly to be said for walking around a city. When I was a freshman at Drexel, my friends and I would walk into Center City Philadelphia all the time, but once I got to Temple, I didn’t do it nearly as much. I think this was a combination of distance and the fact that people didn’t want to go to center city as much after freshman year.

Now, I have learned that if people don’t want to join, I’m ok doing it on my own. And if it’s too far, so what? Get some exercise. When I get back to Philadelphia, I can’t wait to just start walking around and exploring again. It will be so much easier to get around compared to the mish-mosh of Rome’s winding cobblestone streets. Here are some of the best times I’ve had walking places instead of using public transportation.

The very first weekend, we went to something everyone calls the “Reggae Bar.” It’s actual name is Big Bang, it’s only got Reggae on Friday nights, supposedly. Anyway, before we knew it, it was about 3 AM and we decided to leave to get back to the residence. Of course we had no idea what night bus to take, so we were just going to take a cab. But of course, one student in particular had a drink or two and decided that he was going to walk home by himself. He absolutely refused to get in a cab (mind you we were below the Colosseo, which is a good hour and a half walk back). The guy had no idea where he was, none of us did, so we figured it was irrational of him to walk home by himself. But when we started to follow, he got mad and sprinted ahead. So his roommate chased after him, while the three of us hung back and walked aimlessly to what we thought was the Tevere (Tiber River). We got there, finally walked all the way back, and by the time I got in bed it was 6 AM.

The next miserable-at-the-time-but-great-looking-back-on-it walk my first day of High Renaissance Art History class. Our very first excursion was at the Colosseo, but instead of sitting in the warmth of the sun (which we’d been given the entire week and a half before), we sat there shivering in down pouring rain, trying to balance our umbrellas, our notes, our bookbags, and our pens all at the same time. From the Coliseum we walked to Piazza Venezia and Forum Romano, which at the time seemed very far away from eachother  but of course were right next to one another. From there we walked to Campo d’Fiore, and to a Palazzo by Perugino (I should know the name of it…I guess I need to study for my final next week). By the end of the walk we were freezing and miserable. But after that, we did not have one class where it rained.

Two Fridays ago, my friend and I were going to go to the beach, but because of a metro strike (which by the way, happens all the time), we didn’t go until Saturday. Instead of going back to bed, I decided to head to this “orange grove” my friends had told my about. So I walked from the residence, down to the Vatican, to the Castle of Angels, to the river. I made a pit stop at Tiber Island, which used to be used as a mill. It’s nothing too exciting, but there’s a bunch of benches and trees and grass on one side for pedestrians to hang out. From there I walked further down the river to the Temple of Vesta. Then I took some side streets to Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus). The only other time I had seen it was at night when we were following our friend back to the apartment. It was like a huge, bare Rittenhouse square, with people just lounging and throwing a Frisbee. Except this time they were surrounded by ancient ruins, not the Double Tree Hotel.  From there I followed my friend’s directions (the wrong way), and walked to Terme di Caracalla, turned around, got directions from ten different people, then finally made it. It was a great overlook of the city, nothing too extraordinary. This was like Rittenhouse, grass and trees and little kids and dogs and families everywhere. I looked at my map to find the way back down…and realized that it would have been a two minute walk from the Temple of Vesta, which I had hit two hours before. Oh well, more to explore.

Before this trip, my favorite place in the world was Philadelphia. Then I went to Assissi, and that became my favorite. This happened in the second or third weekend here. My friend and I took a spontaneous trip up there, waking up very early on a Sunday morning so that we could check out the mass there and see St. Francis’ tomb. St. Francis of Assisi was a monk who is best known for his conservation of wildlife and being the patron saint of animals. After mass, we just walked around the medieval town, and then saw a castle sitting at the top. Of course, the little boyhood children inside were screaming “let’s go to the castle! Let’s go to the castle!”

So we followed some signs that clearly took us in the wrong directions. At one point, we literally just walked until we saw a path that looked like it might lead up there. We never found the entrance that way, but we saw some of the most breathtaking views in all of Italy, right in our backyard of Umbria. We walked back into town, followed the signs again (correctly this time) and went up to the castle about an hour before sunset. When we got into the castle, we could look out over all the town from different lookout points. Sitting atop the castle was a tower. We climbed this, and the pictures cannot describe what we saw. All around us, 360 degrees, were patches of clouds and fog, rolling up and down mountains and valleys. The sun kept peeking through the clouds at us, welcoming us into the sky. It was the most beautiful view I’d ever seen. That was until I got to Capri last weekend.

As of this point in time, Capri and Assisi are tied for first place as my favorite places in the world. Barcelona and Rome are tied for second (really third), and Philadelphia is third (really fifth). On a trip to the Amalfi coast last weekend, we went to the island of Capri for the day. We had the option of heading right to the beach, taking the bus to cliff jumping, or going on a quick but slightly difficult hike. Luckily I like hikes, but this was falsely advertised. It was the most intense thing I’ve ever done. I’ve hiked along the Appalachian trail and through Algonquin park in Canada, but they don’t even come close. At the port, we looked up at the mountain and joked that’s where the hike was going to take us. It was no joke, that was exactly where we went. By the time we got to the top, I was practically crawling, using both my hands and my feet. I will also be the first to admit that I was listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack on the way up in order to enhance the environment, and in order to take my mind off of how much pasta I had been eating. We finally got to the top, and the view below was again, breathtaking. The temperature was significantly colder, and we were literally in a cloud. Below us, we could see the whole island, with the town, beach, port, cliffs on the other side, forest, and best of all, the clear blue Mediterranean Sea. As we all know, what goes up must come down, and so we hiked down the other side to the town AnaCapri, and then to the blue grotto. To top it all off, we jumped off of 20 and 30 foot high cliffs.

Long story short, walking has brought me so many more adventures than public transportation. For as long as I can, I plan on using my feet to get around.

Young Country, Young People

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Throughout the semester I have written a lot about other cities I have been fortunate enough to see while living abroad. This is largely because I think it is so amazing that the students in this program have had so many AMAZING opportunities to visit cities that are so unlike what we’re used to at home. Likely, many of the people here will never have the chance to see places like this again. So, I wanted to document my travels as a student who had very little travel experience prior to coming to Europe, and tell the story of each place I visited, since each had its own story.

What I have realized through my experiences in Rome, Italy, and Europe, is how vital it is that the American youth know what life is like outside of our country. America is a very important place, having an especially large barring on the political and economic world, but it is certainly not the only country that matters. America is known as “The Melting Pot,” and for good reason, as we have such a diverse population and so many different cultures within one country. But to see countries where this is not particularly the case, like Italy, where the majority of residents are 100% Italian, is intriguing because it is so drastically different than America, a country who has few residents that are 100% anything. It is so important for people to understand how the world functions, and get a better grasp on what they think of other countries and what people from other countries think of America; The only real way to do this is to experience these places.

To see the long and meaningful histories of countries like Italy is also enamoring because it makes you realize how young America really is. Being here and learning about this ancient city, and also SEEING ancient ruins with my own eyes, really puts the history of the world in perspective for me. It has made me realize how unusual of a country America is, being only 235 years old, compared to Italy’s 2764 years, and yet has progressed quicker than most other countries around the world. I think this is a true reflection of the American people, how we think, and what is important to us. I can see after spending only three months here that Italians are so much less focused on work, making boat-loads of money, having all the material items they’ve ever desired, and always improving and being better than everyone else, than people and the overall lifestyle in America. Instead, Italians seem to have a sense of inner contentment that I don’t often see in the States. They focus on their relationships with friends and family and not working their lives away (as can be seen in their daily two hour “siestas” for lunch, unlike the one-third of Americans who wolf down lunch at a desk, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.)

It has become obvious to me that many of the unfortunate stereotypes regarding America and the American people are, in fact, true. I believe the American culture breeds a sense of always needing to be better and never having enough money and enough things. So, people often work their lives away, with more than 31% of college-educated males logging at least 50 hours of work per week (Bloomberg Businessweek.) But this is not what life is all about!! We each have a life so that we can enjoy it, and in the end there is no reason to have gratuitous amounts of money, as long as you can live in a reasonably comfortable lifestyle, and have people around who make you happy. The fault for this lifestyle lies with no one person, but it is something that Americans, especially the youth, need to be aware of in coming years. With the always evolving and developing technological advances and progress in America (and around the world), I can see it only becoming more of a problem that people forget about their personal relationships and leisure time, and replace it with technology and work. In my opinion, we, the youth, have the responsibility of making sure that doesn’t happen! However, unfortunately I think I would be vastly outnumbered by my peers on these feelings. My experience in Italy has made me aware of how I should organize my own priorities in life, and I think will help me lead a healthy and satisfying lifestyle overall.

Not Just a School

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Throughout the semester I have grown more and more aware of the vast differences between my life in Rome and my life in the States.  At Temple Rome, the entire dynamic of my “school life” is different than in Philadelphia. There are many reasons for this. One, many courses incorporate extensive site visits and academic excursions, of which I have already shared a bit about. I think part of the reason this is possible is due to the location at which we are studying. THERE IS SO MUCH HISTORY. Every way you turn in this city there is something with historical and/or cultural significance. The course material is primarily all focused around the culture and history of Rome and Italy, so we are experiencing an intense concentration in these topics. However, there are so many areas of interest in this city and country that we are offered a very wide array of courses from which to choose. I have to commend Temple Rome for truly taking advantage of its location by FORCING students to get out and see these amazing places about which we are learning. In just my Italian Design class alone I have seen several places which I otherwise would not have: Foro Italico (sports complex in Rome built between 1928-1938 as Mussolini’s forum), the Maxxi Museum, Renzo Piano’s Parco Della Musica (a large, multi-functional public music complex), Micol Fontana Foundation (well-known Italian designer of formalwear, made dresses for those as famous as Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy), and Milan in its entirety. I don’t know as fact, but would have to guess that no other Temple study abroad program incorporates as much travel and hands-on work as Temple Rome.

Another way life at Temple Rome differs from home is it being a much more intimate setting. We are familiar with everyone on campus, from other students to professors and librarians, security guards, GIANNI (our student-life coordinator), the Dean, and other Temple Rome workers. It is really refreshing to experience this small setting where we are always seeing familiar faces because it is such a change from home, and also is comforting in this foreign place! Along with this, our professors are from all around the world and most do not handle a classroom or their students in the same way those at Main Campus do. My Italian professor Daniela is, naturally, Italian. Her heritage has been unmistakable since day one with her sincerity and generosity already becoming obvious. She relates to her students more so than any professor I have had in the past, and you can see the result of this in the close relationships that grow between her and her students (she cried yesterday during our final class.) She even went out of her way to share her vacation spot with my friend and me. After she raved about the island in the Mediterranean, we couldn’t help but go. Daniela spoke to her connections on the island and made sure we were taken care of, and as a result, we had a once-in-a-lifetime and unforgettable trip to an authentic Italian island.

Rome is a very special place, and although at times it was very difficult to feel integrated into the city and feel like we belonged here, Temple was always striving to make that easier for us. It was always comfortable to be at school, whether for class, using the computer lab, library, or art facilities, or just bumming around and casually working on homework with friends. For me, it wasn’t a much-dreaded building where I dragged myself daily to sit through unbearable classes; it became the home that I lost when I left America and arrived in this place three and a half months ago. Now it is almost time to return to America, but I hope to be able to visit this new-home again in my future, and when I do, I will recall all the comforting memories created here in spring of 2011.

La pelle

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Unfortunately, my Italian blood grants me hairy arms, but my Irish blood grants be pale skin. Nice combination huh? This is really not that awful, I do tan…it just takes me a bit of time. Luckily for all of us studying here in the Rome program, the temperature has been in the 60s for the past two weeks, and when you sit in the sun on a bella giornata (beautiful day) it feels so warm on your skin. Tomorrow is going to be 75 degrees!

The first and best way to soak up the sun is on the little balcony that my roommates and I have. This porch has plenty of sunlight in the morning, and is great for getting a tan and drying the laundry that we wash by hand…

The next best way is obviously to go to the beach. Italy is pretty much all beach and coastline when you think about it. Some are obviously better than others. I have yet to go, but I hear the beach closest to Rome (Ostia) is really not that great. I had planned on going there during finals week to study, but now maybe not.

Over the course of the semester, my friends and I have taken weekend excursions to hill towns in the surrounding area. So before I talk about the beach (which we’re hitting up now that it’s warm), here’s a bit of what we did in each.

1-      Todi—went the first weekend with the entire Rome program. Medieval hill town with supposedly amazing views, but we couldn’t see anything because it was so foggy.

2-      Assissi—My friend Chris and I woke up really early one Sunday morning to go for the day. We caught mass in the morning, then just explored the town. At the end of the day we walked up to the highest tower on the castle on the hill. Hills, towns, fog, clouds, mountains all around us. Easily my favorite place in the world.

3-      Castello Gandolfo—place where the Pope spends his summers, located on a lake right outside of Rome. Amazing views but very small and really nothing to do, especially because we went when all the restaurants were closed.

4-      Viterbo—Medieval town surrounded by modern town. Known for its Terme di Papi (Pope’s Baths). This area has natural hot springs in which you can swim, but the one we went to was organized like a pool. It was sooo relaxing, and we spent three hours just floating in the equivalent of a gigantic hot tub. Most picturesque place I’ve seen…I want to shoot a movie there.

5-      Orvieto—Town sitting high above suburbs, surrounded by two layers of a stone wall. Very nice views, so many churches, really pleasant to walk around.

6-      Firenze—We went to Florence for a class trip. Though still fun, it was actually my least favorite place (except for Castello Gandolfo). It was nice because it was small, but it was almost too small. Crazy Italian old men were also yelling in the streets at random times for no reason, which was funny but scary. There’s no way I would have learned Italian there…everyone spoke English.

This brings us to where we went this weekend…THE BEACH.

The picture doesn't do it justice

We took a train ride up to Orbetello, an island connected to the mainland of Toscania by a bridge. First we went to the main port, Monte Argentario. It was absolutely beautiful, and the water was so clear, but there weren’t really any beaches (spiagge). So we got directions and took a bus to what we thought was going to be the main beach. The bus driver just told us we were wrong, and didn’t do anything to point us in the right direction. Fortunately, we asked an Italian couple where we could find a beach, and they told us to get off with them at the end of Porto Ercole. So we did, and they took us down a winding road to the second most beautiful place in the world that I’ve been to. It was a little beach with huge boulders, clear blue water, and patches of sand, grass and pebbles here and there. From this little beach (where someone seemed to have a backyard), we could see L’Isolotto (little island). Chris, Arsean and I spent hours there, laying on the beach, just talking, listening to music, climbing on the rocks. The best part was when we went in the water. It was freezing at first, but once you got used to it, it was almost perfect. I’m hoping to go to a place like this during finals week…we’ll see. Ok, I’ve been sitting at this computer too long…time to head to Villa Borghese for some more sun!

La Stomaco, parte 2

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As  the semester draws towards the end (wait…WHAT????), I of course want to talk about the amazing food that I have experienced while abroad, both in Italy and in foreign places (aka Spain…which is the only other country I’ve traveled to while here). Before I get into the scrumdiddlyumptious (why yes , I did look up how to spell it) cuisine provided by professionals, I figured I’d first start with the negative sides of Italian food. Hard to believe they exist right? Well believe me, they do although I’m not complaining….

1)      PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME, PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME….is about as foreign in Italy as an obnoxious American wearing shorts and flip-flops on the subway in March. I may do that soon…don’t worry. But yes, sad to say, peanut butter, the mother-load of all foods and goodness in the United States, is not a part of the Italian diet. You can technically get a little jar of it for about 4 euro (just short of seven dollars), but it’s just not as good and is very overpriced. But don’t worry…PB and J has been quickly replaced by Nutella and Honey.

John and Shea's expressions capture our excitement for the Reese's PB Cups perfectly

2)      “There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s,” they say, but there is: when you DON’T get to eat it at all. Candy does exist here, fear not, but Reese’s Pieces and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are also a completely foreign concept. This wouldn’t be awful except for the fact that it is my absolute favorite candy.

Thankfully, my friend’s mom brought me a whole bag of Pieces when she came to visit. I scarfed them down in about 2.5 seconds. Just kidding, but really it was a huge bag and I finished it over the course of two days. Va bene. We also had a very special treat during the Jam Session, when Gianni (one of our program directors) brought us Peanut Butter Cups. Needless to say, we went nuts.  Literally.

3)      Beer….is overpriced. Not quite as good, and overpriced. An average to cheap beer costs about 5 euro (7 dollars), and a normal beer costs 7 euro (about 9 dollars). The cheapest I’ve had is a Peroni (which is excellent for being an Italian beer), and that costs 3 euro (a bit less than 5 dollars). While I do not at all miss Pabst Blue Ribbon, Coors Light or Natty Light (sorry Penn State friends), I do miss my Blue Moon and Rolling Rock. However, I really cannot complain about this because the cheapest wine is still good and costs 60 cents per liter; That’s cheaper than water here.

4)      McDonald’s….yes, yes I know…I had it here. If I were only here on vacation or a class trip I would refuse, but since I am living here I’ve gotten it a few times. It’s definitely still the cheapest and most filling food you can get to go. The few times I’ve gotten McDonald’s it has been juicy, greasy, and good as ever. However, one incident last weekend changed all that. After church last Sunday morning I had a cheeseburger and fries. I was feeling highly ambitious that day, and had planned on knocking out half of both papers that I had due that week. But after two hours, I found myself sitting in the computer lab and feeling absolutely sick to my stomach. Things only got worse as the day progressed, and by the time I went home I was doubled over and sweating. I can’t imagine what pregnancy is like (ok that was insensitive, sorry Natalie Portman). After lying down and watching a movie for two hours, “ho fatto i gattini.” This is the Italian way of saying “I threw up.” The literal translation is “i had kittens.”

These minor speed bumps are worth mentioning merely for memory’s sake, but pale in comparison to the amount of mouth-watering food I’ve had here. Prepare to be dazzled.

La Stomaco, parte 1

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After eating some of the food and attending Professor Huber’s dinner/cooking lesson back in the beginning of the semester, I have unofficially created my own cookbook. I’ve only been heavily complimented on one item, but that’s totally OK.  I just wanted to try it while I’m here…maybe I’ll be decent by the time I have grandkids…


Cooked Cucumbers (Hors d’oeuvre)

Ingredients:

Cucumbers, block of cheese (preferably a softer one), vinegar, breaded crackers or bread, oil

Preparing da food!

1.       Cut the cucumbers into little slices

2.       Shred the cheese

3.       Put oil in a pan

4.       Stack on a cracker the cucumber and shredded cheese

5.       Put in the oven for about 15 minutes/until cheese melts

6.       Sprinkle vinegar (at the suggestion of my friend Lauren, great choice) and oregano on it


Cracker ala Moses (Hors d’oeuvre)

Ingredients:

Cheese (stronger/saltier the better), sunflower honey, crackers

1.       Slice the cheese into thin pieces

2.       Place on the cracker, heat for a few minutes

3.       Remove from oven and dip it in the honey

Veggie-Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

Cheese (soft), bell peppers, white and red onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, oil, lemon, oregano, paprika, rosemary—for meat lovers try prosciutto

1.       Cut the top off the bell pepper and gut the seeds/insides. Place it upright in an oiled pan.

2.       Shred the cheese (seeing a pattern?), and place some of it in the bottom of the peppers

3.       Chop up the above vegetables, or really whatever ones you like best.

4.       Saute said vegetables with whatever spices you like.

5.       Stuff the upright peppers with the sautéed veggies

6.       If you like meat, put the prosciutto on top of that

Stuffed peppers as a side dish to Chris and Arsean's gnocchi

7.       Sprinkle cheese, oregano, rosemary and other desired spices on top.

8.       Squeeze lemon on top

9.       Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until cheese has melted and just starts to brown.

10.   Remove from oven…let them cool…and eat ‘em.


Frittata

Ingredients:

4-6 eggs, white onions, tomatoes, yellow peppers, mushrooms, basil, ground pepper

1.       Whip the eggs (yolk and whites), place in a separate bowl/container

2.       Season the eggs a desired

3.       Chop up the vegetables into small pieces

4.       Pour oil in frying pan

5.       Saute vegetables (a bit less than normal) in frying pan over medium heat

6.       Pour egg/spices mixture slowly into pan, turn heat to low

7.       Cover pan with plate/lid, check from time to time until egg is cooked through *do not flip the frittata over.

8.       Slowly pry frittata away from pan and slide onto plate.

9.       Cut and serve…it should look like the lovechild of a quiche and an omlette


Potato and Onion Dish (this is the one I got compliments on)

Ingredients:

6 potatoes, 2-3 white onions, cheese, oil, garlic, rosemary, oregano,paprika, salt, pepper

1.       Dice potatoes (including skins) as small as possible

2.       Boil potatoes, stirring from time to time

3.       Shred cheese

4.       Cut up onions and saute while potatoes are boiling

5.       Drain potatoes and mash till chunky, mix with sautéed onions in an oiled baking pan, preferably casserole dish

6.       Sprinkle cheese and desired spices on top

7.       Place in oven for 20 minutes

8.       Remove from oven, let cool, and serve

 

Those are some of the basic I’ve done, nothing fancy at all but it starts somewhere. It’s also fun to get a bit experimental with the food. One time I cut up a whole pineapple and mixed it with a bunch of vegetables into a red sauce for spaghetti. It tasted ok…just a bit bland. Needed something else. Either way, I can’t wait to hop down to the Italian market in Philly when I get back.

In this Here London Town…

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Last weekend was one of the best weekends I have had while studying here. I had been throwing around the idea of going to see a good friend of mine who is currently studying in London. I wasn’t completely sold on the idea though. I had heard that London and the UK in general were much like America, and, although very historic and beautiful, perhaps wouldn’t be the most life-changing and cultural places to see. In fact, being that my major is Journalism, the School of Communications and Theater, of which I am part, has a program in London. When I made my initial decision to study abroad, I was faced with the next choice of whether I wanted to live in London for months, or diverge from “the norm” of my program and see somewhere else. I ultimately decided that if I was going to study abroad, I wanted an experience that would truly put me outside of my comfort zone. However, since I had never left America, I did not want to have to find my own program and travel through and entirely different school, so Temple Rome seemed ideal. And it has been!

Two weeks ago I finally decided that I should go to London. After all, I had a free place to stay (when would that ever happen again?!) and could use a kitchen too! Along with being my first time in London, this trip was also my first time traveling completely alone. I feel like such an adult! The commute, despite involving many buses, trains, and planes, was actually very easy. I got very lucky, just making a couple of the buses. Things worked out just perfectly! I was also lucky enough to be able to stay for four days and five nights. Honestly, even with my own personal tour guide who has been living in London for over three months, I felt a full four days was JUST enough to be able to see enough of the city and not be rushed. And we certainly conquered the city.

The first place we saw was Harrod’s; what an experience! This has to be one of the largest department stores in the world. They literally sold EVERYTHING. Of course, you can’t visit London and not see the Tate Modern; it wound up being one of the best museums to which I’ve been. Afterwards, I had my first “pub” experience at Founder’s Arms on the water, where I drank some kind of strawberry-kiwi beer/cider and ate “chips” with mayo-type  stuff! I especially enjoyed their photo exhibits. With this, we also spent time at the British Museum and the Science Museum as well. Riding bikes in Hyde Park was definitely one of my favorite activities of the weekend as well. I haven’t ridden a bike in way too long, and to get back on one on the streets of London and then through a beautiful park was so fun! Of course, we had to see the London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace.

The last day we visited the Camden Markets and Brick Lane. Seeing these places put London in perspective for me, and brought the city together as an entirely more eclectic place than I ever imagined. Overall I was totally impressed by London and the intriguing and abundant culture. It was so beautiful and nice, especially in the area my friend lives (South Kensington), but at the same time there was a sense of rebellious youth and the most diverse population I’ve witnessed.  It was clearly much more Americanized than Italy, but still certainly had a European feel to it. Overall, I’m so happy that I made the decision to travel there this weekend while I had the opportunity. I can see that, when comparing the two programs, the students studying in London can integrate themselves much more easily into the city, especially since they each have internships as well. In Rome, it is much more difficult, if not impossible, to fully integrate into the city because most of us can’t communicate with the natives! But, I’m glad I took this opportunity to put myself out there and really took advantage of this wonderful opportunity in Italy!