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Anna: When in Rome

February 2, 2011

I went to Rome last weekend and basically saw everything I could! (Except the inside of the St. Peter’s Basilica because of lines…I feel like a horrible person but oh well.) It was such an awesome weekend. We left Friday at 6:40 am and came home Sunday at 9:30 pm so we spent quite a bit of time there. I saw the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel (wasn’t allowed to talk pictures and had to remain silent), Borghese Museum and gardens, Colosseum, Roman Forum & Paletine. We saw numerous churches, monuments and buildings. I could go on and on and describe everything but I will just mention some of my favorites so I don’t bore everyone.

I really loved the Borghese Museum and gardens. I described it as very whimsical and happy, not heavy like a lot of the artwork we have seen thus far. The Vatican museum was also awesome because of the history of the rooms we were in and the paintings. The Sistine Chapel was incredible. I wish I snuck a picture but I was too scared to be kicked out! The Colosseum was also really great. Everything I ate in Rome was delicious as well. I was surprised being tourists we found great places to eat. Also, all of the piazzas in Rome have more going on than in Florence and were more of a social place to hang out. I really liked sitting there and taking a break for walking.

On Friday night I met up with my dad’s cousin Fernando Lupia who lives in Rome. His wife Raffella was there as well as his son and daughter in law who actually speaks English because she is Canadian. My friend Ellen came with me who is in Italian 4, so she was very helpful before their daughter in law arrived to help translate. Raffella made a 5 course meal—so delicious. They were so friendly I really loved visiting them. Even Ellen said it was an unforgettable experience for her as well. I might coordinate a weekend when I am staying in Florence for them to come visit me again and bring me to Prato (a city nearby) to visit another relative. Fernando and Raffella took us on a small tour of the city in their car. It was really nice to see the city without walking. Raffella is also teaching herself English so she enjoyed speaking to us in English I think. I was proud I was able to tell them my age in Italian (since I learned that on my first Italian quiz). I hope I will be able to visit them again sometime.

I met up with a friend who is studying at the Loyola Chicago Rome Campus, Katie Hynan. It was great to see her and catch up in such a beautiful place! We met at the Trevi Fountain and later went to a cute hole in the wall (those are the best!) restaurant. I ordered spaghetti with lobster in a creamy red sauce and the house white wine. It was so delicious. Afterwards, we went to a piazza where there were a lot of bars, and I randomly met people who were in my program.

Overall, Rome was amazing but also exhausting. If I were to live there, my feet would not only disintegrate but it would be so difficult to learn my way around. When I am here in Florence struggling for directions…so I am overall very happy with my choice of where to study. I describe it as Florence is more scenic and artistic, Rome is more historic and has more going on. The night life in Florence is pretty low key compared to Rome, but I like that about it. Rome had less dog poop on the streets that is for sure. They also had less little dogs running around in hot pink jackets. Everywhere I looked I saw people holding a map looking confused, and it is not even tourist season yet! Can’t imagine what it is like in April or May.

Overall, I had a great weekend. It was really exhausting but fun! We had to take a fast train home because there was a scare of a train strike but it ended up being fun to experience something a little classier. More expensive though. Probably won’t do it again.

Next post will maybe talk about the rest of my week and Florence but then I am off to Interlaken, Switzerland! Let’s hope I come out of night sledding alive.

At the Trevi with Katie
ROMA
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