I have been in Rome for two weeks…part of me feels like the time has flown, while another part thinks back to getting off the bus at my apartment for the first time as being forever ago. Obviously, I want to share the exciting things I do and see during my time in Europe, but I also want to share the smaller things that make up my daily life here. So here is a short list of things I have learned, ways I have changed, and realizations I have had during my first two weeks in Rome.
- Italians operate on a totally different schedule than I am used to, and I am adapting to it. The biggest changes are late dinners (breaking out the pots and pans at 7 PM instead of 5), late nights out (AKA early mornings out), and naps (lifesavers).
- I eat pasta. Unfortunately like a lot of girls, I used to look at pasta like it was toxic, eat it rarely, and feel a little guilty when I did. Now, I eat pasta with no shame because honestly, I need the energy. In Rome, people walk everywhere, and walking gets exhausting. Fueling up with a bowl of pasta for dinner now feels normal, not sinful.
- If I don’t feel exhausted at the end of the day, I probably did something wrong. Rome is a huge city, and there is so much to do, see, and experience here. Of course, there are times when my warm bed sounds more appealing than another several hours on my feet, but that’s when I remind myself about my limited time in this incredible place. This weekend, we saw the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. The Spanish Steps were amazing, and the Trinità dei Monti at the top of the steps was stunning. The Trevi Fountain is under construction so that was a bit of a let down…but I guess it’s just an excuse to make another trip back to Rome when it’s complete!
- Two of my favorite things in the entire world—produce and wine—are some of the cheapest things you can buy in Rome. I walk away from the open-air produce market with a bag of fresh, delicious produce for just a couple euro. And wine here is cheaper than water (can I get an “amen”?)
- I am the world’s worst bargainer. We visited the Porta Portese Flea Market, a giant flea market open every Sunday in Rome, and I spotted an AS Roma scarf that I wanted. Long story short…could have gotten that thing for about 20% less if I had even a little bit of skill in bargaining.
- It is incredibly thrilling to successfully communicate in a foreign language. I never imagined being so excited just to tell someone where I am from and what I am doing in Rome. Learning a foreign language and trying to use it is challenging, humbling, and rewarding all at the same time.
In short, from the big sightseeing moments to the time I spend with my roommates in our apartment, I am having the time of my life in Rome right now. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this semester will bring.