I have just begun my 6-week adventure studying and living abroad in Rome, Italy for the summer! In the few days I have spent here, I can already tell that Rome and Italy are incredible places. Seeing this is my first post, allow me to begin by introducing myself. My name is Laura Detter and I am a rising junior at Temple University studying international business and political science. Upon entering college, I knew that I would definitely study abroad somewhere at some point in my collegiate career, and here I am in Rome!
Before I took off from Philadelphia my experience with the Italian culture was limited to information from the internet, books, friends and my study of Latin in high school. I honestly was not sure what to expect when I touched down in the Eternal City and became completely immersed in the Italian culture. Was I going to be able to survive knowing very little Italian? Was the city going to be as amazing and magical as everyone talked it up to be? Was I only going to eat carbohydrates for the next 6 weeks? While the answers to these questions may take a little longer to formulate (I’ve only been here for five days!), I can already tell that my time in Rome will be more than I expected.
As a part of our three-day orientation to the program, we visited Todi, a small hilltop town 2-hours north of Rome in Central Italy.
We stepped of the bus at 10a.m., hiked up a few hills and finally made it to this medieval town in the morning fog.
The town was still quiet, except for a market in the center square that was selling everything from flowers and herbs to clay owls and lemon plants.
We were provided with a map, but like most eager travelers we figured we would just explore (and that was the best decision!) We walked through Todi’s narrow, stone streets and alley ways and stumbled across this beautiful lookout on one side of the town!
The view of the Italian hills and homes dispersed over the landscape was incredible! I could have just sat on this ledge for hours.
It was humbling to sit here and realize that for thousands of years people have lived and traveled to this town. When the United States citizens think of history it only dates back to 1776 and the birth of our nation, but to think that this town was home to people in the 7th Century BC is unbelievable.
We had the opportunity to spend only 2 hours in Todi before we moved on to our 14-course, ALL hand-made Italian meal, typically served at a traditional Italian wedding banquet. The food was mouth-watering.
Along with our meals, the hosts served four different types of wine for different phases of the meal. First, white wine was served with the antipastos (like appetizers) and then red wine was served with the main courses. Finally, we had desert wine to dunk our almond cookies in and champagne to make a toast for an amazing next six weeks.
Here’s to the “dolce vida.”