I flew American Airlines from Philly to Rome FCO Airport. The feeling of me living here for 6 months has not hit me yet and I’m wondering when it will happen. Usually there is a part of me that will feel out of place when I leave Marin, but from the time of saying goodbye to my family, to traveling across seas has felt just right. Luckily, some of my roommates Christina, Kimberly, and Dani were on my flight which made me feel immediately comfortable as well. You would think that a flight across the world would be extremely tedious but I kept myself occupied by being obnoxiously thrilled with the fact that I was going to a different country and by sippin’ on some wine provided by the flight attendants. YUM!
As I peaked out the plane window when we landed in Rome, I couldn’t help but feel at home. The landscape reminds me of a mix of Marin and San Francisco. From a birds-eye view, there’s deep green rolling hills, trees, and patches of the city in between. I imagined it as ruins, or a stone-like city like the pictures I’ve seen of Vatican City or the Colosseum. When we landed, we took the taxi to our apartment – I swear everyone drives like psychos here!!
The first thing I noticed when I set foot onto this amazing place was that every guy I saw was “dressed up” and that every car was European. It didn’t cross my mind that I wouldn’t see any American cars here. On the taxi ride to our apartment I was thinking why.. are.. there so many Mercedes, Beamers, and SO MANY Fiats!? Also, you don’t see guys in hoodies and sweatpants like in the states; they’re all in parkas almost cuter than mine, tight jeans, and some nice lookin’ tennis shoes. After unpacking and settling in, my roommates and I decided to walk around the area we live in and bought some groceries. The grocery store has an aisle dedicated to a jillion types of pasta; a deli-like section full of cheese, fresh bread, and meats. It was an interesting and pretty cool experience.
View from the balcony of my cutie apartment!!
After a long day of getting used to the time difference, trying to figure out how to unlock our front door, and taking in our new environment, we attended a dinner with our ISA program at Tonnarello. We walked from our apartment to the Trastevere area to the restaurant – when we got there, I was immediately filled with euphoria. Every cobblestone street branched off into various alley ways leading to wine bars and restaurants and had a welcoming feel.
Our advisors had us experience the country’s cuisine and culture by providing us with a semi-formal Italian meal. We had hot focaccia (bread with oil and rosemary) and fried mozzarella balls as aperitivos (similar to an appetizer); pasta amatriciana, a traditional Italian red sauce pasta that is based on guanicale (cured pork cheek) and perconio cheese as our primo (first course); straccetti which is sliced beef, rucola, and parmesan with roasted potatoes as our secondo (second course), and finally ended with our dolce (dessert), tiramisu della casa. Luckily the restaurant had gluten free options so for my aperitivo I had roasted vegtables, gluten free pasta amatriciana, and strawberries. It was a huge meal and everyone was full of food and jetlag but it was a great way to end a long day.
MY DELECTABLE DINNER!!