So after months of planning and gathering excitement for my move to Italy, I am finally here! The past week has kind of felt like a dream.
Our travel from Wisconsin to Rome–Milwaukee to New York to DC to Rome (blame Erica for choosing that..) went much faster than I anticipated. The whole thing was kind of a haze because it didn’t seem real that I was leaving my home country behind for four months (not to mention my family and friends, my beloved UW, peanut butter, and american football).
The seven hour flight was half-filled with American students and even the airplane
food exceeded my expectations. When we arrived to Italy, I wasn’t surprised when I watched the luggage conveyer belt go round and round with no red bag in site because when you have the travel luck of kel there always has to be a little bump in the road. So I spent my first hour overseas trying to communicate with customer service, fill out a form in Italian, and have luggage sent to an apartment I didn’t even know the address of. It was the first time I questioned if I was really cut out for this whole study abroad thing. (sigh of relief: my bag showed up two days later!)
John Cabot’s shuttle service from the airport couldn’t drive us all the way to the rental office we leased our apartment from, so there we were…dropped off in Rome, dragging our wheeled suitcases across the cobblestone, and trying to navigate the narrow poorly marked streets of the neighborhood.Thank god for Ferris(?) who helped us find the place and provided us with our first Italian lesson along the way…all while carrying my roommates 50 lb hockey bag stuffed full with clothes.
Our apartment is perfect–something we were very nervous about because most other John Cabot Students did housing through the university, whereas we found our own. I live with three other girls who also go to the University of Wisconsin, Erica, Emily and Andrea. It’s in perfect location, close to campus and in the middle of Trastevere–an older neighborhood in Rome–filled with cute restaurants and cafes. My bedroom window (left) overlooks a playground and a courtyard that has a fresh market every morning! We have a doorman named Pinot and have been working to get on his good side after hearing he is a rather grouchy old man. There are about 40 apartments in the complex, with a small courtyard in the center. I am still confused as to where our neighbors have been because of the four days we have been here I have only seen one other person! Apparently it is mostly families so we are just waiting for the day we get a noise complaint. Our landlord stopped by the other night, and after our precious conversation with his broken english we found out he is a semi-famous photographer who has some of his work displayed in museums in Paris!
We have had a few orientation things for John Cabot here and there, but we quickly realized it was very laid back and skipped a lot of it (oops?). We also saw the Colosseum for the first time and explored the Roman Forum. It was the first time that I really got to soak in some of the beautiful history of Rome, and it all looked like it was straight from a fictional storybook.
There is nothing in American (…that I’ve seen atleast) that it can be compared it. We plan on getting a real tour to learn more about all of the ancient parts of Rome in the future.
Our sleep schedules have been kind of whack, waking up around nine, taking long naps in the late afternoon, and then going to sleep around 4am. I always thought jet lag was something people made up to be lazy after traveling but apparently I am currently a victim of it. Besides that the time difference hasn’t been too weird, the only problem I’ve faced so far was missing the Packer game last night. It started at 2am here, and although some bars were staying open for it it was Erica’s 21st birthday…and like any American on their 21st birthday…it was time for her to be walked home :).
After four full days here, I am far from being any expert on Rome, but I can tell you one thing..I LOVE IT. I love the food (I am never eating an out of season tomato from Wisconsin ever again). I love the cobblestone. I love the slow pace of life. I love all of the interesting people I have met. I love the sound of the Italian language. I love waking up every morning to the sound of kids laughing from the playground across the street. But of course I am still in the “honeymoon” stage of this whole study abroad thing so I am sure there will be a little culture shock setting in sometime soon.
Foto Del Giorno
(Photo of the day)
Classes start tomorrow which will be a major wake up call…I am kind of excited to act like a real person and actually have a routine of some sort. I guess this place will only start feeling a little more like home. I will hopefully start writing in here more often as well!
Also, I have just began planning some weekend excusions throughout Europe, so if you have any favorite places please leave suggestions!
Thanks for reading! I will be uploading more photos really soon!