Or in English, new perspectives – my first few days in Roma have been an emotional roller-coaster, to say the least. If anything, traveling to a new place is a sensory overload (sometimes good, other times not). I can’t say I didn’t think I’d have a lot of adjusting to do, but I was surprised that strange bathrooms and a painful bunk bed ladder had me feeling so off-kilter. However, after a traumatic and honestly terrifying experience on the bus on Thursday, I was even more surprised at how quickly I adjusted to the very quirks that shocked me the day before. And while everything is new, my campus and the people here have become familiar quite rapidly.
Thus far, I’ve spoken with at least 15 Italian people about anything from directions and bathrooms, to food and hairdryers (I’ll never forget the reaction I got as I butchered l’asciugacapelli, the Italian word for hairdryer). Never did I imagine I would come in contact with this many Italians in such a few short days, and I am growing increasingly grateful for my semester in Italian 101. Everyone has been more than gracious, and it’s clear that Italians truly appreciate when Americans make an effort to use their beautiful language. Well, all except for the man that yelled at a friend on the bus to shut up… I can’t say she didn’t have it coming.
After the first few days, which felt like an eternity of uncertainty (mostly a remnant of my first bus experience), I finally fell in love with Roma. My mood changed dramatically on Saturday as we drove downtown past piazze, open-air markets, and countless gelaterie. It was truly a perfect day – a trip to Il Colosseo, Il Foro Romano, and La Fontana de Trevi, finished with zucchini pizza and long-awaited suppli.
I have seen men painting picturesque watercolors in the street, a faux Pope greeting tourists, and dozens of well-dressed dogs wandering around stores and restaurants. I even had the pleasure of hearing Side to Side (yes, the Ariana Grande one) play in the near vicinity as I stood in front of the famous Castel Sant’Angelo. I somehow still haven’t gotten my hands on any gelato, but regardless, I am rapidly learning to love this beautiful and disorganized city.