Ciao! I am FINALLY in Italia!!! After months and months of dreaming about being here, I finally am and I couldn’t be happier. I was in Rome last week, as I engaged in a week-long travel around Italy program. I was in Rome only for the first two days of the week, and although it doesn’t seem like enough time, I saw and did so very much. With my group, I spent the days wandering around the magical streets of one of the best cities in the world. Everyone always says that Rome is an amazing place, a place where “dreams are made of,” (if you got that Lizzie McGuire reference I love you) and they are totally right.
Unlike the U.S., the only other place I’ve ever lived in, Italy is very ancient, and there is something extremely charming about that. While in Rome, it didn’t matter what street I turned down, I would be presented with beautiful beyond words architecture. All of the buildings in Rome look as though they’re straight out of a storybook. In Italy in general, there is so much preservation of beauty and the past. All of the beautiful buildings from centuries ago still remain as if they have been frozen in time. This was a cultural aspect I was unfamiliar with, for in the U.S., once buildings show sign of wear and tear, it seems as though they are immediately destroyed to allow room for the next technological and commercialized advancement. This is simply not there case in Italy.
While in Rome, we first visited the iconic Spanish Steps. The sight of them blew me away. I couldn’t believe that I was actually in Rome, visiting a place I had only ever dreamed of visiting. Some other places that we visited during our time in Rome included the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Saint Peter’s Basilica and the truly amazing Trevi Fountain. Each monument was amazing and took my breath away; however, my favorite of them all would probably have to be the Trevi Fountain. Prior to visiting, we got our first cone of Italian gelato (now one of many, opps!) We went to Venchi, where I ordered a coconut gelato served in a nutela dipped waffle cone (um yes?!) After downing my gelato in approximately 0.2 seconds–it’s amazing okay, we set off for the Trevi Fountain so we could finally have our highly anticipated Lizzie McGuire moment. At the Trevi Fountain, I unfortunately did not meet my Paulo (rip me); however, I did meet another Italian man, and by “Italian man” I mean police officer. Let me explain. Okay so the backstory of this unfortunate story is that prior to visiting the Trevi Fountain, my group was told that it is extremely rare to miss the fountain when backhand throwing a coin in. We were told that if you miss the fountain, which is unlikely to happen, it is bad luck and you shall never return to Rome. I’m sure you can guess where this story is going. All I wanted was to have my special Trevi Fountain moment and throw my coin in the fountain, but did that happen? No. I was so focused on getting an ~insta worthy~ pic of me tossing the coin that not only did I totally miss the fountain, I ended up throwing my coin directly into the eye of a passing police man. Honestly what is my life. Now the irony is, legend holds that if you miss the fountain, you will never return to Rome. I was supposed to visit Rome again when my family visits for Thanksgiving, but guess what? I have a scheduled school trip to Sicily. Moral of the story: don’t focus so much on getting that perfect Trevi Fountain picture because you might end up accidentally assaulting a police officer.
Along with the beautiful monuments that make up Rome, Rome has some of the very best food in the entire world. Prior to arriving in Italy, I was told how good the cuisine was, but it has honestly surpassed all expectations. On the day that we visited the Colosseum, we had lunch at a family-run restaurant. What was so cool and unique about the experience was that instead of just serving us the food, the owners actually came out to speak with us about it. They talked of the history behind the food they serve and about the process it takes to actually make it. I found this very intriguing because I could see the passion that these Italians have for their profession, and the immense pride they have for their culture. This is something that stood out to me the most during me travel week. Italians all express so much pride in being Italian. Also on the topic of food, all meals are eaten at a very slow pace. This took a little getting used to, but now I absolutely love this mode of eating. After a long day of adventuring around the fantastic city of Rome, my group would wind-down for a relaxing, multiple course dinner. Dinner is served over the course of hours and during this time, everyone has the opportunity to catch up and reflect on the day’s events. Every single meal and course was delicious beyond words–from homemade pasta to decedent tiramisu, I was completely in love.
You could definitely say that I loved every minute of my time spent in Rome. It was a great place to visit to kick off my long term stay in Italy. I am completely enamored with this incredible country and couldn’t feel more blessed to have the opportunity to live here for the next three months.
I have a TON of exciting European content to come so be sure to subscribe to follow me on this incredible journey:)