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Are these the same blocks Julius Caesar walked on?


It’s been a while since I last updated, but I had another crazy week in Roma.  With every passing day, I come to love this amazing city more and more.  It seems like everywhere I go I wind up admiring a beautiful statue or an intricate fountain.

Last week was what IES called “Intensive Italian” week.  This meant that we had Italian every day for 2.5 hours.  On Monday, we had 12 students in our class.  By the end of the week, we were down to 8.  For me, the class was not too hard.  We reviewed three of the “past tenses” in Italian for the majority of the week.  Although I have studied them before, I welcomed the review.  Each tense has very specific rules about when you can use it, so the review was helpful.

Our class also watched a movie called “La Finestra di Fronte”.  When our teacher asked if we wanted English subtitles, one of the students surprised her by asking for Italian subtitles instead.  This was a great idea as it allowed us to better understand the film and the Italian language in general without depending on English.  I know that I definitely expanded my vocabulary while watching that film!

We had an exam on Friday followed by a field study.  Since the film we watched took place in the Jewish Ghetto of Rome, we took a field trip there to fill out a worksheet.  I love how IES tries to get you out into the city as much as possible.  I was very happy to have my first field study so early!

The whole week I was debating whether to go to Florence with some friends or stay in Rome and do “Rome as a tourist” with some other friends.  I decided to stay in Rome.  On Saturday, we decided to go to the Colosseum (or try to go to the Colosseum).  We wound up getting there at 3:30 PM thinking we would have no problem getting in.  We were wrong.  It turns out that people are not allowed into the Colosseum after 3:30 PM and it closes at 4:30 PM.



A few of us posing with the Colosseum

A few of us posing with the Colosseum

While this was very disappointing we certainly made the best of it.  We walked around the Colosseum, took pictures of the Forum, and basked in the glory of the Arc of Constantine.  It was amazing.  At one point, I turned to my friends and said “Are these the same blocks that Julius Caesar walked on?”  It really put everything in perspective, for me at least.  The blocks I was walking on, the statues I pass every day, the monuments I gaze upon with awe, and the fountains I stop and rest next to are all older than not only the United States of America, but were there when Christopher Columbus discovered that the world was not flat.  That is pretty amazing.  I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Tomorrow, my full schedule begins,  I can’t wait to meet all my professors and find out exactly what we will be learning about.  I want to continue to take advantage of all Rome has to offer.

Note: This post was originally published on February 13, 2011 in a blog entitled “Romeing Around Europe” which chronicled my study abroad experience.  

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