This past week, I was visited by my mom and her best friend. The morning they arrived we headed over to see the art collection in Galleria Colonna, walked through the Piazza del Campidoglio, and headed down through the warmly colored streets of Trastevere for a long and lazy lunch. In these few hours following their arrival I could feel myself seeing Rome through fresh eyes again, almost as if it was back to late August when I was seeing Rome for the first time. At each corner we turned we noticed a beautifully colored building, flowers pouring out of a windowsill, or relaxed Romans reading the paper on a sun-drenched bench. Although I do notice these expressive and evocative details when I wander Rome on my own, there was something special about experiencing the awe and appreciation of a visitor. Unlike when I first got to Rome, however, this time I felt utterly comfortable in my environment, not constantly having to pull out a map or worry I was heading in the wrong direction.
After indulging in ricotta and spinach filled ravioli and white wine, we meandered through the maze of streets with no schedule to follow, stopping to enjoy every interesting sight we passed. We stepped into the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, a beautiful church I have passed countless times without ever actually going inside. This stop was the beginning of a wake-up call for my last month here—a reminder to take all the opportunities for cultural immersion and exploration that naturally arise from living in Rome.
Throughout the rest of the week I took full advantage of their stay, and went with them on each of their excursions to museums, monuments, meals and long walks. I was forced to think about how much of Rome I haven’t yet seen, and became almost overwhelmed by how much more there is to do before the semester ends. It also spurred in me a resolution to not take any moment in the next 6 weeks for granted, and to actually take the initiative to accomplish my goals and hopes for the semester.
It is almost as if the fact that I am staying in Rome for so long has made me less inclined to rush to do everything that is so classically emblematic of the city. However, I’ve come to realize that no matter how many touristic outings I go on in Rome, there is always always more to see and absorb. I feel so inspired and enriched by my daily life in Rome, whether it has been hearing in-depth analyses of Renaissance art work, or having fleeting interactions with locals. The more my days are filled with the overwhelming artistic and historical stimuli of the buzzing city, the more I crave to stay here longer, and the more I wish to discover the monuments and hidden wonders that make up the full Roman experience.