No matter where you are or what you are doing, almost anyone can agree that they are looking forward to the weekend. Especially students. It’s a time to either take a break from your studies or catch up on work, opportunities to socialize or do your own thing, sleep in or explore. With Rome as our oyster, the chances to have a good time are endless.
This weekend I took it upon myself to do new things in the Eternal City. I saw new places, ate new foods and spent time with different people. With the countdown to the end of semester in full effect, I feel the pressure to make the most of every moment abroad and balance my time working on classwork and summer applications. The art of balancing in study abroad is real, so plan your time efficiently.
Having Fridays off is a blessing, an extra free day to help you balance out your work and fun. I had the pleasure of spending the majority of my Friday with friends walking through piazzas and Villa Borghese, people watching in Campo di Fiori and dining at a pizzeria. Saturday, I restocked at Trionfale market, a big indoor market with lots of different types of food vendors. I am proud to say that the vendors I try to continuously go to are recognizing me and throwing in some extra produce. I feel like famiglia. A tip for budgeting: buy your produce, bread and wine at the market. So much cheaper, fresher and not to mention entertaining to meander your way through the Italian shopping process.
Another great way to experience cultural foods and people is through events and festivals. I attended a tiramisu festival outside of central Rome and had a good time exploring the area and sampling different versions of tiramisu. Finding these opportunities is a fun way to learn more about modern Roman culture. Luckily, Temple staff have a lot of insight on events and places to visit, so ask them ideas on how to spend free time.
This weekend was also the Rome Marathon, which kept the city busy with blocked off traffic and extra pedestrians. I mistakenly forgot that public transportation would be affected and woke up early to wait 40 minutes for a bus that never showed up. I recommend using apps like Moovit to navigate public transportation more easily. It’s easy to make an alternate plan for things to do in Rome, so I rounded up my roommates and took advantage of the gorgeous spring day. We ventured to Aqueduct Park, about a 30 minute ride by *working* metro. Many Italians go there to relax in the sun with family and friends, they bring food and games and enjoy the day together. We walked around, laid out blankets and played cards. Days like this leave permanent memories of my time in Rome. This experience has been one fantastic blur of new and exciting moments, but when I can slow down and appreciate what all is in front of me I can fully understand what a great opportunity it is to study abroad.