So, I realize it has been about four years since I have blogged at all. Whoops.
It's not that my life hasn't been interesting enough to write about, I just don't seem to have time. Or remember I have it. Quick review: I graduated high school and am now a student at Bowling Green State University. My major is Tourism and Event Planning, and I will be graduating in August. Anyway... I'll just go ahead and re-begin this blog with a post about the biggest thing that has happened to me within the past four years. I went to Italy. AGAIN :)
This past summer I was fortunate enough to be a study abroad student in the Eternal City: ROMA! And let me just say, I officially have an Italian soul. I felt more at home while living in Rome than I ever have hear in the United States. On my first trip to Italy, I was only in Rome for a two days- definitely not enough time to even begin to REALLY see the city.
So I guess this second journey to Italy was my REAL Roman holiday as opposed to my first.
The program I was in was six weeks long and was a lanugage study program. I chose to do this because my minor in school is Italian. The first Italy trip convinced me that I wanted to learn the language, and now I'm in love with it. I'm still not fluent, but I am doing my best to keep at it.
Honestly, I'll probably have more time once I graduate haha. Anyway, back to the trip. I stayed in an apartment which was only a short walk to the Trevi Fountain. That's right - the TREVI FOUNTAIN, one of my favorite places in all of Rome. I shared the apartment with three other girls from my school, all of whom I already knew, which was nice. There is nothing more frightening than traveling to another country and knowing absolutely no one. I say this from experience, see my previous post.
There were six of us, total, on the trip from my school. But I really bonded with two of the other girls in particular: Sarah and Becky. We had a great time exploring the city and hanging out together. Of course, pesky school had to get in the way, though. We attended the Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri. The school was small, but nice. I loved the teachers there, they were all really sweet and truly wanted to help us learn the language. It was hard at times, but that's to be expected when learning a new lanugage. The hardest part for me was getting the confidence to actual speak it. Reading and writing weren't as much of a problem. I would lie in bed at night and run through potential conversations in my head so that I would know what to say to people.
On top of the language classes, we also took a Roman City class. This class was taught by a professor from our university, who was also our "chaperone", along with his wife. Not a chaperone in the traditional sense, however. He was just around to take us on trips to places and if we ever got into trouble. Basically, the class was us going from one museum to another, but we did see the major monuements as well. I FINALLY got to go inside the Colosseum. Although there were some places that were more exciting. Our professor took us to Pompeii and Naples for an overnight trip, which was amazing! The ruins were such a wonder to see, especially with Mt. Vesuvius looming in the distance. Naples is really dirty, FYI. The food is amazing, but there's not much to look at. He also took us to CineCitta, the old movie studio. They still had sets from old movies and television shows there. I have been really into Italian film this past year, so it was awesome to be able to go there and feel the history.
I'm not even gonna begin talking about the food. If I did, this post might not end. I will just say that I found the best pizza and gelato in all of Rome. Ristorante Al Padovano has the BEST pizza, and right around the corner from there is Gelateria La Gradisca, which has the best gelato. My usual was cioccolato and stracciatella. Delicious!
Okay, so now on to my free time there. When the girls and I wanted to go out, we usually began at Pepy's Bar in Piazza Barberini. The waiters and bartenders loved us there, and we would receive discounted drinks every time. We'd also go to the Trevi Fountain at night a lot. It was soooo beautiful. I loved just walking around to see all the shops and people watch. The best shopping is on Via del Corso, but I also love the places near Piazza Navona. At the school I made a few friends: Reilly (from London), Jennifer (from California), Jenna (from New York), and Ana (from Uruguay). We would go to the bars near Campo de Fiori and Piazza Navona. Reilly even worked at a pub near there, called Abbey Theatre. They had some really good food there, even though it was an Irish-themed pub.
Last thing I'm gonna tell ya'll about is my favorite day. One Sunday, I went by myself to Garbatella. That won't mean much to any of you, but to me, it was an honor to go. Ever since last year, I've been watching an Italian TV show called I Cesaroni, and it takes place in Garbatella, a sub-section of Rome. There's not much to see, but I was able to find the building that was used for the father's business. Yes, I am a TV and movies freak. Sue me.
So, that was my trip in a nutshell. I could go on and on, but much of what happened really can't be described all that well. It was the best experience of my life and I would only change a few things about it haha. But seriously, never pass up the chance to study abroad. Or even just vacation abroad. You'll never know what you're missing until you go into the world and see for yourself.