When in Rome...
I arrived in Rome officially eight days ago and I have loved every moment so far. My time here has been filled with delicious food, beautiful architecture, and LOTS of walking. From the moment I stepped off the plane, completely exhausted from traveling, the faculty at Temple Rome were incredibly welcoming and friendly. I accredit most of this impression I made to Gianni, the head of our orientation. His outgoing, quirky personality has entertained my friends and me ever since we arrived.
These past two weeks have been incredible, but with that, came a steep learning curve. The culture here is very different from what I am used to. Whether it was learning how to use public transportation, and on top of that, public transportation in Italian, discovering you can drink out of the running faucets coming out of the ground on the streets, or trying to figure out how to order and pay for a cappuccino, I was quickly learning the societal norms here in Italy.
Orientation week was filled with lots of eating, walking, and an overwhelming load of information provided by Temple University. My apartment is made up of all Chapman girls, therefore apartment 231 is known as the “Cali Girls” because apparently everyone out of the state calls California “Cali.” Our distinguishing “Cali” factors are our blonde hair and hydroflasks.
Todi and Titignano
Aside from exploring the famous structures in Rome such as the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the Vatican, a few highlights from my time in Rome have been waking up every morning and going to a small bar for a cappuccino and croissant, the endless Aperitivo’s, and our day trip to Todi and Titignano. Aperitivo, or what we call Happy Hour, is a common outing in the Italian culture. Around 7pm we make our way down to a bar or restaurant and sit down for a glass of wine or aperol spritz. Our drinks are typically served with some snacks. We finish up around 8:30pm then either go out or cook dinner.
Last Saturday we went on a day trip with Gianni and the other students to the region of Umbria. We visited Todi and Titignano, which both lie a few hours outside of Rome in the countryside. Todi is a small town that sits on a hill, made up of narrow cobblestone streets and a beautiful church. In Titignano we visited a castle with an incredible view, where we ate a traditional Italian meal. This meal was around ten courses and lasted three hours. Some of my favorites from the meal were the white wine, the onion pizza and, surprisingly, the venison. The venison tasted like carnitas, so I was obviously very excited about that.
I have not just been exploring since I arrived in Rome. Classes started on Monday. So far, my favorite class is Painting on Paper. Every session we venture out to a different museum, park, piazza, or market in Rome to paint a new subject. I think it will be my most challenging but also my most rewarding class while I am here.