Spring Break is right around the corner (hello, 5 cities in 8 days), so most of the students in my study abroad program decided to keep our traveling pretty minimal this past week and weekend. Instead, we had a great week exploring, eating, hiking, and running our way through Rome and nearby cities. Who says you need an airplane and a hostel for an adventure?
1. A.S. Roma vs. Sampdoria
Since soccer is so big in Europe, I knew I had to see a game during my semester here. On Monday night, our program took us to an A.S. Roma game at Stadium Olimpico. I have been to sporting events in the United States, but nothing like this game. The fans were singing throughout the entire game; their passion and energy filled the stadium, even though the rainy Monday night kept the seats from filling up. Unfortunately, Roma ended up losing 2 to 0, but the game was a blast. Plus, now I have a cool picture wearing my Roma soccer scarf, so I am a happy camper 🙂
2. Fridgidarium and Piazza del Popolo
On Thursday, my friends and I ventured back to our favorite gelato place in all of Rome…Fridgidarium. It stands out from the rest of the amazing gelato shops by topping off your cone with a hard chocolate shell, and adding a cookie to your cone if you order the “Fridgidarium” flavor (basically, cake batter). All of this for only 2 euro…if this is a sin, I am happy to say, I am a repeat offender.
After spending some time in paradise (aka eating gelato), we walked over to Piazza del Popolo. This is one of my favorite piazzas in Rome because unlike other piazzas with shops and restaurants surrounding it, Piazza del Popolo, which literally means the People’s Square, is just full of people. It’s the perfect place to sit and enjoy the gorgeous, sunny weather with great friends, which is exactly what we did for over an hour. It was a day beautifully spent.
3. Friends and Food
On Friday, our entire program had a midterm exam for our core course, so my roommates and I decided to host a potluck after the exam to celebrate. We had almost 30 people over to our apartment and everyone brought something to share. The food was amazing—mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, pasta, bruschetta, veggies, fruit, beer bread, and more. It was a wonderful mix of our comfort foods from home and our Italian favorites. Fridays are monumentally better when friends and food are involved.
Although we decided not to travel anywhere far this weekend, we couldn’t help ourselves from going on a day trip on Saturday. Orvieto, only an hour train ride away, was the perfect destination. We ate a wonderful lunch at Gallo d’Oro (probably one of my favorite meals I have had here so far) and explored the small city of Orvieto. The city is on a hill, so after taking the tram up to the city and then back down to the train station, we decided to hike up the hill ourselves. The climb was amazing, and we stopped along the way to look at the view and take advantage of some awesome photo ops.
5. RomaFun 5k
Sunday brought all of the runners (and rain) in Rome out bright and early for a race. Even the rain couldn’t bring down the spirit of the hundreds of runners at the starting line and throughout the race…because how can you be bummed when the route takes you past the Colosseum?
I love how unique each week in this city is…I never know quite what to expect. Although, there is always a pretty good chance that pasta and gelato will be involved 😉
Baci, baci (kisses, kisses),