Over the week of Thanksgiving, my family came to Rome to visit. I was really excited to see them, and I knew it would be nice to have my family here for Thanksgiving. Although there was no turkey, eating an Italian feast at a long table in the middle of a crowded restaurant with no Americans turned out to be a great way to celebrate the holiday.
I’ve learned that having visitors in Rome is a great way to rediscover the city we’re living in. Too often I’m on autopilot here and being a tour guide forces you to take advantage of Rome. We climbed the top of St. Peter’s, which I had been meaning to do but never put aside the time to do it. The top of the dome is the highest spot in Rome and we got to the top just as the sun was about to set. It was amazing to walk around and point out the buildings I recognized to my parents. I even spotted the elementary school near the residence where we live.
I was able to show my parents where I live and go to school here. I showed them my lunch routine, and we walked around Pizza del Popolo and Via del Corso, both near the school. We threw coins in the Trevi Fountain to ensure our collective return and marveled at the Pantheon’s oculus. We found a hidden vintage store on Via Governo del Vecchio and we ate great food the whole week. It was the perfect mix of touristy routes and new finds. I used my Italian in front of my family, and the waiters and store clerks patiently waited as I stumbled through the task.
As soon as my family got here, it was time for them to leave. Luckily, it will only be a few short days now until I see them. I’m excited to return home, but having them here was a reminder of how quickly my time is expiring! I have so much I still want to do before I leave, and I sense that I’ll be far from ready to depart Rome on December 11.
During this last week, in addition to studying for finals, I’ve made a compulsory checklist of things to do before I leave. One of them, which I will accomplish, is seeing the Trevi Fountain at dawn. I’ve heard it’s a must-see and I know if I return, it will be more of a burden than it will be now. I’m going to pick a day this week, go to sleep painfully early, and wake to take the earliest metro to Barberini. I’ll be sure to report back!