Indulging in the Italian Culture

If my first week of being here went by like lightning, I can’t imagine how quickly this whole trip is going to go. I couldn’t feel more elated than I am now! As I mentioned previously, Rome reminds me so much of San Francisco. It has everything for everybody – antiquity, spirituality, culture, and fun. Everywhere you go is so lively; the people are extremely friendly and helpful even if they don’t speak English; crowds of people are out until dark – even families! – just to chat over cappuccinos or wine; and you always see locals walking around with gelato in their hand while enjoying the brisk winter and outdoors.

Day-to-day life is an adventure. I’ve been walking more than 10 miles a day, I’ve gotten lost, discovered cute cafes and restaurants, met new people, and have been to some of the city’s most historical sites. I seriously have fallen in love with Rome’s history and charm. This city is already broadening my perspective on life – I want to travel all over Italy, I want to learn Italian, I want to learn about their food and culture, I want to eat more gelato!! But seriously, I am thinking of taking an Italian101 class because I want to chat with the locals, and I think a course about Italy’s culture would be pretty sweet PLUS our University takes us on field trips around town for those courses.

Last week our program took us on a 3 hour walking tour from our university and across the Tiber River to: Campo dei Fiori, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Novana, the Pantheon, a gelato shop, and the Trevi Fountain. Another day, we went on a bus tour where we learned how Rome used to be divided in different districts. On the same day, we were dropped off at the Colosseum and also toured the Roman Forum. Lastly, we were able to go to Vatican City and go inside St. Peter’s Basilica – everything has been breathtaking.

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Tiber River

The Tiber River is the third longest river in Italy, and is the main reason why Rome exists.

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Campo dei Fiori

Campo dei Fiori is a rectangular square south of the Piazza Novana. Campo dei Fiori means “Field of Flowers” – in the Middle Ages public executions and entertainment would take place here, so locals would hang flowers outside their windows to try and rid the awful scents. The famous philosopher Giordano Bruno was burnt alive for heresy – in the 1800’s a statue was built in the exact spot he died and stands for freedom of thought. I fell in love the story  and open-air market they have here everyday. This place is always flourishing with people and great for night life.

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Piazza Novana

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Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Novana

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The Pantheon

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Trevi Fountain

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The Colosseum

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The Roman Forum – ancient ruins

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Vatican City

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St. Peters Basilica 

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