So far in Rome, the only thing I can complain about is how quick the time is going! It’s already 6 weeks into the program, mid-terms are done, and I’m leaving for Fall break in two days. Absolutely unreal how time passes. During the first week of October we all realized that we’ve been here for a month and I started to compile a list of things that signify that. You know you’ve been in Rome for a month when…
You accept the fact that gelato twice in one day is perfectly acceptable.
Now I don’t mean that this is okay every day, but is has happened a few times. I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to normal ice cream, the gelato here is just too good! I don’t like chocolate, so that definitely limits my flavors, but I’d have to say my favorite is crema (french vanilla) and caramel mixed together from Old Bridge.
Your heart still skips a beat when walking by Saint Peter’s.
My first night in Rome I walked through Saint Peter’s Square and saw the basilica and wanted to cry it was so gorgeous. Since the residence is so close (only a ten minute walk) to St. Peter’s I usually end up walking by at least two or three times a week, and am breathless each time. This is definitely my favorite place in Rome.
You’re used to Italians staring at you- because no matter how hard you try to blend in..they ALWAYS know you’re American.
My Italian still isn’t where I’d like it to be by now, but I’ve definitely mastered the basics, especially ordering at a restaurant. Before any interaction at all, some waiters come right up to us and start speaking English! Instead of taking the easy way out, we usually continue to attempt Italian, and they love when we try! I was told before I got here that Italians like to stare, not in rude way, but just because they are curious as to who we are, where we’re from, and what on earth we’re doing in Rome. The first few weeks I found myself being a little self-conscious always wondering why they stared, but now it’s perfectly understandable..I would be curious too!
You don’t remember what police sirens in America sound like.
The crime rate in Rome is significantly lower than in American cities and I always feel safe walking around the city, but the sound of a police siren is always somewhere in the background. I know it seems like such an odd thing to put on this list, but I cannot think of what an police siren sounds like at home! The sound is completely different and I feel like I hear the noise at least 5 or more times a day here.
You know to stay as far away from Campo di Fiori as possible at night.
Campo di Fiori is a beautiful square that is great to visit for it’s monuments and tasty lunch places, but is a touristy trap for American students at night! It’s crammed with students flocking to the English-speaking bars located there and a hot spot for pick pockets. There are much better places in the city to enjoy the night-life, practice your Italian with locals, and take a nighttime stroll.
You’ve mastered Rome’s public transportation system.
Since arriving in Rome, I have been so impressed by their public transportation, from the simple and clean metro lines to the convenient buses. The A and B metro lines get you to all of the important parts of the city, and luckily the residence is just a 5 minute walk from a stop on the A line, connecting us to the entire city! Monthly transit passes are only 30 Euro and are good for unlimited metro and bus uses. There are buses that get us directly from school to the residence and only take about 20 minutes- great for rainy days!
You find yourself laughing at the tourists.
Now I know I’m not in any place to be poking fun at tourists since I’ve only been here for a month, but the big groups of people with matching outfits, listening to a headset, being led around by someone waving a flag is pretty hard to miss. Even our teachers poke fun at them when we are on site visits! It’s even better when they come up to us and ask for directions, it’s the best confidence boost to be able to tell a stranger directions or suggestions on where to go in the city.
As for now, I’m headed to Paris and Barcelona for Fall break! Ciao tutti!