Parting is such sweet sorrow! Leaving Rome is sweet because it means I am officially finished my college career but I am sorry to leave this gorgeous place. Having worked extremely hard the past few years, I cannot say I was jealous of the people cramming for exams as I prepared my artwork for my final critiques. For my sketchbook class, I crafted a pop-up book depicting the rooftops and hillsides of Rome and incorporated drawing techniques I had learned throughout the semester. We had our final meeting at the Botanical Gardens by Trastevere and I could not have imagined a more beautiful place to culminate the semester. I especially enjoyed the bamboo forest and Japanese garden, though all of the paths were magical. For my photography class, I photographed nature breaking through the streets and ruins of Rome from a worm’s eye view. Looking over my photos with my teacher, I was pleased by my improvement. I feel I learned a lot in little time in both courses. I believe my art recording my experiences here will be my most highly treasured souvenir. I was able to display my artwork and see the work of classmates at the farewell pizza party and art show. I really enjoyed seeing what people chose to depict for their final projects, it allowed me to see Rome and our experiences here through other students’ eyes.
After the pizza party, students excitedly ran to watch the soccer match between Italy and Germany. Piazza del Popolo was packed with fans brandishing Italian flags. There was a monitor set up to view the game and everyone went crazy each time Italy made a goal. There were sparklers and joyous sing-a-longs. In many ways, the festivities felt like a celebration of my last day of college and I was easily caught up in everyone’s joy. When Italy won, I braced myself for a riot comparable to when the Phillies won the World Series. The celebration in Italy, however, was much more respectful and I felt safe in the crowd. The metro gates were open to everyone, and I appreciated Italy’s effort to get everyone home safely and quickly.
Reflecting on the past few weeks, I am extremely satisfied with my experiences. From sightseeing major attractions to dealing with minor interactions, I feel I made the most of my time here. I was able to take in everything without getting overwhelmed and would recommend a semester abroad with Temple to anyone. This trip has instilled in me a desire to travel as much as possible and I have also gained the confidence to do just that. I was doubtful at first that my classmates here would become my best friends, but I am happy to report that there are certainly new friends with whom I will keep in touch once we are all back in Philly. Before I say “Ciao” to Rome, I will definitely be visiting the Trevi Fountain to throw my coins in in hopes of returning!