I have officially been in Rome for a week now! Part of me thinks the time flew by, and the other part of me can’t comprehend how many memories I have already made and how fast I am becoming comfortable within the city.
One of the highlights of the past few days was a night walking tour where we saw the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, The Trevi Fountain, and a few less famous monuments.We have pretty much seen all of the main “touristy” attractions but the tour made us realize we have to set up some real tours in order to get the most out of each sight. I never knew I was so interested in the history of all of these, but hearing our tour guide talk about the background of each monument was crazy! Who knew the Pantheon’s pillars were transported in from Egypt?
Classes started on Monday (Told you it wasn’t a vacation Dad…) and that has definitely changed the daily routines. Fortunately I am really enjoying the classes thus far, partially because they are interesting and partially because the professors are mostly all adorable italians. I am taking 5: New Product Development, Multicultural Negotiations, Italian Visions in Literature, Popes and the History of the Catholic Church, and Travel Writing. The classes in and of themselves are even a change from what I am used to at UW. They are all under 20 students and taught by very interactive, passionate professors. The classes are a mix of study abroad students and John Cabot degree-seeking students who come from all over US & Europe.
Yesterday some friends and I checked out our first museum, Museo Nazional Castel Sant’Angelo. We hadn’t done any research (shocker) so had no idea what it was about, just thought the idea of going into a castle seemed fun. Turned out it was a tomb built for Emperor Hadrian, but was also a prison and a place where popes hid out in time of danger. Seems like everything here is somehow related to the popes which is why my class on the history of the catholic church has been so interesting. It was fun navigating our way through the castle, but our favorite part by far was the top which gave us a 360 degree view of Rome and the mountains beyond it. The pictures don’t even do it justice.
After exploring the city I have realized the coolest part of Rome is that on one corner there will be an ancient monument and then a few streets over you will run into Burberry boutique. YES, we officially found out why Rome is one of the top shopping cities in the world. I think I was drooling a little bit at the huge H&M, Zara, and of course every shoe store (Italians take their shoes very seriously). The mainstream stores are pretty comparable to those in the states but the little boutiques and specialty stores are a little different. First of all, Italians kind of decide their hours the day of and stores will randomly be closed in the afternoon. Also it isn’t uncommon for the owners dog to be chilling by the register (I don’t think I have mentioned this yet but there are dogs everywhere..AND PIGEONS).
Earlier today I went on the most beautiful run along the Tiber. The first time I went on a run it felt a little weird because you never see Italians running–I think they just stay skinny via cigs–but once you get along the river there are no cobblestone and its the perfect getaway from the city life. Any who, during todays run my day was made because an old italian man stopped me and asked me if I knew Rome (or at least thats what I think it translated to)..I told him I was American and he looked surprise (SUCCESS) then he asked me where Campo Di Fiori was and I confidentially pointed in one direction. There is no better feeling than getting confused as a local so I was buzzing on life but then I continued on my run and realized I told him to go in the exact opposite direction…oops.
Foto Del Giorno
Erica is sitting next to me right now playing a “learn italian” tape. At least we are trying? We frequently ask the italians “Como si dice _____?” in order to learn new words when we are at caffes and stores. Some people get a kick out of us, while others glare at us and ramble italian to their friends probably calling us “stupid americans.”
But I am sipping on some 1 euro wine about to go meet some friends out (when people say that it is cheaper than water they aren’t lying).
MISS YOU ALL.
Until next time…