Mese Numero Un.

{Month Number One}


So to those of you who doubted my ability to stay up on top of this whole blogging thing…you may have been a little correct. Its harder than I anticipated but lets just blame it on me becoming acclimated to the Italian way of life…a slower life that doesn’t care if you miss a deadline and expects you to always be 15 minutes late–in other words, I am fitting right in.

Any who, it has officially been over a month ago since the day I was boarding a plane to Europe–a little scared and a whole lot of excited. And boy has it been filled with memories.


The past couple weeks have been great as I transitioned from the initial “I am on vacation” stage to the “i live here” stage. I have figured out where the best places to grocery shop are and how to effectively barter at the daily market. I have (somewhat) figured out the public transportation–and how to cheat the system to avoid paying. I have even learned how to ignore the “Ciao Bella!” and “Come in, I give you deal” that line the touristy streets.

My classes unfortunately picked up their workload quicker than I anticipated. Turns out I have two different 6 page papers due next week both on books I have yet to read. It has also become quite clear that the Professors prefer the “degree-seeking” students over the study-abroad students which adds an additional stress in the academia world.

On the bright side, I got to go on some field trips last week–haven’t been on one of those since about 8th grade! For my Perceptions of Italy scaviliterature class we went to the Casa di Goethe, who was a famous writer and artist from the 18th century. It wasn’t really my thing but my professor was straight cheesing so I tried to appreciate it the best I could. For Popes & History of the Catholic Church, which may be the most interesting course I have taken in college, our professor brought us to the Vatican Necropolis, which are the excavations under St. Peters Basilica that were discovered in the 1940s when the Vatican sponsored an archeologist exploration. Apparently you have to apply and plan months in advance to get a tour of these so that was pretty cool. I literally felt like I was in Indiana Jones when my Professor had me press a button and a glass door moved away, opening up to a small staircase that guided us far below. The whole thing put me in awe as I was surrounded by intricate walls built around 130 AD (DAD YOU WOULD HAVE LOVED IT). It was made up of tombs of various prominent families of the time and of course what they think to be St. Peters tomb. The whole thing was very interesting but my professor speaks about 8 different languages and half the things he were saying went over my head.

Afterwards I joined the rest of the tourists and checked out St. Peters Basilica which was B-E-A-UTIFUL. I will definitely have to go back another day to fully appreciate it.

Standing in St. Peters Basilica--beneath this grate are the Papal Grottoes and a level under that were the excavations we saw.

Standing in St. Peters Basilica–beneath this grate are the Papal Grottoes and a level under that were the excavations we saw.

Last weekend Anna ( a friend from high school) visited from Florence. She had already seen all of the main monuments so we got to enjoy our time relaxing and exploring the city together. Her and I can sometimes be a dangerous combination–lots of talking to strangers, exploring new places, and gawking at delicious food. But hey, isn’t that what studying abroad is all about?


Sunday with her was one of my favorite days in Rome so far. We went to the park near my apartment to escape the city. It’s a whole different world there. Makes me so excited for it to warm up just a little more because apparently I have yet to find the actual famous parks that stretch for miles with fountains etc. Per usual, talking with Anna made me appreciate everything I have been experiencing. I finally recognize what people mean when they say you’ll change abroad. (and I’m not talking about the extra 2 pounds from all of the pasta). It is inevitable to learn new things about yourself and grow as a person when you are thrown in a completely new environment.


Things I still have yet to get used to:

  1. Getting charged more for sitting down to drink my coffee at a table vs drinking it standing up (and they don’t believe in to go cups)
  2. Laundry. It is hard enough to get me to do laundry back home, and now I only have a miniature washer and a clothesline (which I am rather intimidated by)…Will you judge me if I tell you I have only done one load?
  3. Not having a library open into the wee hours of the night to get my work done. Anyone that knows my study habits knows I work best 10pm-2am and that is hardly an option here.
  4. Random closures. On an average day when you are planning on going to the bank or to a certain restaurant you would naturally assume it would be open 9-5 (give or take) so when you get somewhere at 2pm and its closed with a hand note on the door saying, “Be back in an hour” it can be a little frustrating.
  5. Walking slow. Even in Madison I am always darting around people trying to get to class but the Italians are on a whole other level. I am working on mirroring them, and appreciate the things I see as I walk somewhere but it America we are so used to getting where we want to be as fast as we can.

Foto Del Giorno


Finally caved and bought an umbrella from the umbrella broke in 20 minutes.

Finally caved and bought an umbrella from the umbrella men…it broke in 20 minutes.


Erica's version of yoga at a trip to the park.

Erica’s version of yoga at a trip to the park.


Drinking a bottle of wine before class is fine until you have to take notes..

Drinking a bottle of wine before class is fine until you have to take notes..


This actually happened. Lowest of lows.

This actually happened. Lowest of lows.


The result of touring places alone...just me and St. Peters Basilica!

The result of touring places alone…just me and St. Peters Basilica!


Vorrei gnocchi per favore.

Vorrei gnocchi per favore.


Great company, deep conversation, and a beautiful view..couldn't have asked for a better day in the Rome.

Deep conversation and a beautiful view..couldn’t have asked for a better day in the Rome.





64th Primetime Emmy Awards Press Room

Ended my day by watching this family for a little reminder of home.



Had a little too much fun with this girl on her visit from Florence.


From taxi to bus to train to airport..longest day.

From taxi to bus to train to airport to barcelona..longest day of travel.

I was in Barcelona this past weekend and can’t wait to tell you all about it in my next post (DIDN’T WANT TO COME BACK).

Looking back on everything I’ve experienced these past few weeks, I can easily say this has been the best month of my life.

Hopefully you’ll hear from me soon again. Also, if you didn’t notice I added a tab on the homepage of “Photos of the Day” that you can click on to see them all.


PS– I am sure you all heard the pope resigned?! This hasn’t happened since 1415 and it is going to be a crazy time to be in Rome. Can’t wait for all of the chaos. I hope to walk over to Vatican City tomorrow to check it all out.


One thought on “Mese Numero Un.

  1. Hi, Kelly!

    It sounds like you’re having the time of your life! I wish I’d had been as young as you when I went to Rome for the first time.

    You classes sound amazing too! I hope my articles about Saint Peter’s Basilica were useful to you.

    Even if you’re not catholic, going to the Vatican Necropolis is an unforgettable experience!


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