Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Final Goodbye

Standard

I am sitting here on the morning of my departure from Rome in shock. How did six weeks pass by so quickly? It felt like yesterday I was unpacking my suitcase, eating my first plate of true Italian pasta, and still unsure of what to expect. I wish I could go back to the first day and tell myself not to blink or else the time would be gone.  As sad as I am to depart from Rome, I would not go back and change a thing. In six-weeks I have managed to conquer two classes (The History of Art in Rome and Introduction to Risk Management), jam as much Roman history into my brain as possible, eat an obscene amount of pasta, pizza, and paninis, and enjoy my summer in Rome.

When I first arrived six-weeks ago, I created a “Rome Bucket-list” on my phone. At first, the list was simple, like “see the Trevi Fountain at night” and “Tour the Sistine Chapel,” but as I became more familiar with Rome, I added new items like “See the Aventine Key Hole.”

BucketlistBucketlist

The list got long, even daunting at times, but my Roman bucket-list is a big reason  I explored the eternal city until the day of my departure. Some items were completed without a hitch, while others were not. I enjoyed completing every item on my list, but the two highlighted below stand out as the most memorable.

Seeing the Pope

My watch read 11:58 a.m. and the energy in the crowd was palpable. I glance around at the mass crowds filling St. Peters Square: to my right is a large tour group, all comically wearing blue ball caps, and to my left a group of people waving flags I can not identify. After two minutes pass, Pope Francis finally steps out onto the balcony and the crowd erupts in cheer. I suppose that the excitement of the crowd on that Sunday  morning was just a fraction of the excitement and noise that happened just a few months ago. Although Pope Francis addressed the crowd in Italian and we could not understand a word, seeing the Pope with our own eyes was surreal.

PopeFrancis

Every Wednesday and Sunday, Pope Francis makes a public appearance from a Vatican building. I would recommend to any student studying in Rome or person vising the city to make time to attend one of the services. You do not need to be catholic, as I am not, to appreciate the presence of such a powerful figure in the world.

(Attempt to) Picnic in the Borghese Gardens
The Borghese Gardens is easily one of my favorite places in Rome. The Garden is a large park with fountains, bike paths, an amazing overlook of the city, and a perfect place for a picnic.
BorgheseOverlook
One afternoon, three of my friends and I decided to finally have a picnic in the park. We went to the grocery store and purchased the food and we were on the train to the Flaminio stop, when the skies opened up and it began to down pour. We just looked at each other like, “What are we supposed to do with a bag full of food in the middle of Rome during a rain storm?” We could not go to the Gardens and there was no place for us to go hideout, except for the Temple Rome building. Initially, we thought we would just wait out the storm and then walk back to the park. However, as soon as we sat down we couldn’t resist breaking into the food. Soon we had a a mound of food on a Temple Rome table and we were having our picnic. Although it was not in the Borghese Gardens, I would still consider our picnic a success.
There are a few items on my bucket-list that were never completed. They were not left undone from lack of effort or desire, but rather a lack of time. As I am departing from Rome, a part of me does not feel satisfied (for lack of a better word) with the amount of time I spent in Rome. I felt as though I was just understanding the culture and beginning to get into a routine when my time was up. A part of me wishes I had the opportunity to spend an entire semester abroad, but then again I would not have had an opportunity to spend an amazing summer in Rome. Until next time, Ciao Roma!

Temple Rome takes over the Amalfi Coast

Standard

PositanoDSC01574IMG_1315

 

 

 

 

Capri, Positano, Sorrento, and Pompeii all in one weekend, what more could a girl ask for? Not much. Over the past two weekends a significant number of Temple Rome students embarked on an organized weekend trip to the Amalfi Coast. On the trip, we visited the island of Capri on Friday, relaxed on the Positano beach on Saturday, and toured Pompeii on Sunday. It was so relaxing to be under the Mediterranean sun with friends during one of my last weekends in Italy. Here are the highlights from our weekend trip!

Taking a Boat Ride around the Island of Capri: Swimming in a forbidden place and the Lovers Arch

We had to wake up at the crack of dawn on Friday morning in order to catch a ferry to Capri and hop on another boat for an island tour. With half open eyes and only a few hours of sleep, I just wanted to climb back into bed, but as soon as we set sail around the island and I felt the Capri air, I was wide awake!

CapriBeautiful clear blue water!

The tall, rocky cliffs and bright blue water was so beautiful. As we cruised around our guides talked about the history of the island and the famous landmarks. Our first actual stop on the boat tour was the blue grotto. As I am told, sunlight passes through an underwater cavity and illuminates the water so that it appears bright blue; hence, the sea cave is called the blue grotto. The grotto is also considered one of the seven natural wonders of Europe.

The Blue GrottoThe entrance and exit of The Blue Grotto

 I thought the blue grotto was pretty, but there wasn’t a lot to do or see in the cave…until you jumped off the boat.

Swimming in the Blue Grotto  Yup, that’s me swimming in the Blue Grotto!

Once we got our fill of the Blue Grotto, we all climbed back into the boat and continued our cruise around the island. We passed the famous light house..

Capri Lighthouse

the orange mansion that Michael Jackson attempted to buy for $17 million, but his offer was too low…

Capri

and we even sailed through the famed lovers arch.

Capri Lovers Arch

Capri Lovers Arch

After the boat tour, we spent the rest of the day on the Capri where we shopped, sampled the local limoncello, and took a chair lift to the top of the island.

Taking a chairlift to the top of Capri

I am not able to do justice to the views we experienced going to the top of the island, so here is a photo story of my experience.

Capri Chair Lift

Chairlift in Capri

View of Capri

Capri

Capri

Capri Chairlift

Cliff Jumping in Positano

When we were told that we had the option to jump of cliffs in Positano, I envisioned a 40 foot cliff that was going to be pretty high up. However, when we got to the cliff it was not that high.

Cliff Jumping

It was fun to jump off the ledge, but for me the scariest part was climbing up the rock. Can you see in the picture in the center, right above the boats, there is a guy helping the girl get down off the rocks onto the ledge? Well, when my friends and I climbed up the ledge the male helper had to leave and we were on our own. At one point, I was hanging just by my arms on the rock and couldn’t reach the platform with my feet, so I had to just drop and pray that I landed on rock and didn’t fall. I survived, no worries, but the climb up the ledge was more of a thrill for me than jumping off the rock.

The weekend trips to the Amalfi Coast were perfect because it was either our second to last or last weekend in the program and it was a great way to gather together for one last hurrah before finals. As we sailed past the famed statue on Capri, I waved to indicate that I will back in this paradise one day!!