WHEN IN ROME
Documenting my travels across the globe
By the time I arrived at my apartment I was in a complete daze. My flight was almost canceled because of the blizzard along the east coast and I was definitely lacking sleep. I tried to stop my eyes from closing as I shook the landlord’s hand and awkwardly attempted to pronounce, “Buongiorno!" (good day).
I squeezed my giant suitcases into the tiny elevator and watched the tile floors pass by. The owner turned the key to our apartment four times, a common lock mechanism in Italy, and opened the door to a pleasant surprise.
The apartment was beyond my expectations and suddenly I was feeling more awake than ever. Having traveled to Italy before, I expected the apartment to be relatively small and cramped. On the contrary, it has high ceilings, a large kitchen, multiple balconies, and a spacious common area. I was beside myself and suddenly giddy with excitement. Two of my six roommates appeared in the hallway and introduced their selves. They both go to Boston College and happen to know one of my good friends from home! After all the anxiety I had about my flight potentially being canceled and feeling unsure what I was getting myself into, I was beyond relieved.
We live in the quiet, residential neighborhood of Monteverde (which means green mountain) right outside Trastevere. I have been here for less than a week and am already in love with Trastevere’s beautiful views of the city and authentic Italian restaurants. The shopping area is built along the Fiume Trastevere (Trastevere River) and is filled with locals at any given moment. On the outskirts is the American University of Rome's quaint campus, contained within large stone walls.
The American University of Rome's campus is small but beautiful. There are three colorful buildings and a large garden that students study in. I am looking forward to a small classroom atmosphere and really getting to know my professors, in comparison to the University of Maryland's daunting lecture halls. I also can't wait until it is just a little bit warmer so we can comfortably study in the garden and on the rooftop terrace.
Overall, the move to Rome has gone smoothly. I just need to work on my transition into the Italian culture. The first day Brittany and I were so jet-lagged and overwhelmed. We went to the grocery store to get some essentials and ended up only grabbing toilet paper, olive oil, and wine because we had no idea what we were doing or how to read any of the labels.
It has definitely been difficult to adapt, especially regarding the language barrier. Luckily, I know bits and pieces of Italian and studied a few CD lessons prior to leaving the United States, which has been helpful. We also quickly realized that Romans generally love American students and genuinely want to help us when we ask. The first day Brittany and I were lost and forgot how to get back to our apartment after getting dinner. We approached a couple by asking for directions in Italian and they stopped what they were doing and stood with us for twenty minutes to try and help us find our way back. I am so grateful that the locals are so kind and welcoming because it has made the transition a lot easier.
When In Rome
Two of my most cherished hobbies go hand-in-hand. Writing is my favorite way to reflect after traveling to a new country. I have kept this blog ever since I studied in Rome to share my travels with families and friends. I hope you enjoy learning about my experiences and getting a sense for my writing skills. If you have any questions, please reach out!