Hello from my favorite city in the whole world and my home away from home! I feel like I never left Rome. I guess that should have been expected since not a lot has changed here for over 2,000 years.
When we arrived in Rome, our hotel was not ready. That was not a problem for me, though. I dropped my bag off, grabbed my bus ticket, and headed back to my old stomping grounds. After speaking with and giving directions to an old Italian lady on the bus, I got off and rang the doorbell of my study abroad school, IES Rome. I spent about a half hour there, speaking mostly Italian, with all the staff. It was really nice and enjoyable!
Then, I walked by my old apartment building and spoke with the woman who managed the building for a few minutes. Apparently, IES still rents my apartment for students! Then, I went and grabbed a panino from my favorite deli. The butcher remembered me and we had a small chat as well.
I walked down to Piazza Navona to eat my sandwich and people watch. It was as beautiful as I remember. After, I walked to the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps. Then, I walked into the phone store to get my Italian sim card and my old Italian roommate, Silvio’s, friend, Maia, was behind the counter. Small world!
Art in Piazza Navona
After, I went to drop my laundry off at a place close to my hotel and relaxed for an hour or two. Then, we grabbed dinner with the group at an Italian restaurant which was not very good (by Italian standards) and I took the group to Campo di Fiore for a night on the town.
This morning, we woke up at 7:00 AM for a tour of the Colosseum, Forum, and St. Peter’s Basilica. It rained on and off for our five hour walking tour, but it was still enjoyable and our tour guide was well informed. I learned a thing or two as well!
Inside the Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Roman Forum with the Colosseum in the background
St. Peter’s Basilica
After our tour, I took a group of 17 people to my favorite restaurant, Monte Carlo. The wait staff remembered me and made us feel right at home. The food was definitely amazing. Then, I took a smaller group of my friends to get gelato at my favorite gelateria, Gelateria del Teatro. Then, we walked to Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. After we arrived at Via del Corso, we parted ways and I headed back to the hotel.
After a nap, I met up with my Italian roommate, Silvio, my Italian teacher, Anna, and three people I’ve never met before. We went to San Lorenzo, a district where a lot of young Italians socialize. It was great to see everyone!
I am loving my time in Rome and am surprised by how easily I fell back in love with the city. The people are wonderful, the character of the city is unique, and I love the language. I honestly feel like there is no language barrier anymore (even though there still is a big one) and would love the opportunity to live here again for an extended period of time. This city will always have a special place in my heart. To me, Rome will always be home away from home.
Note: This post was originally published on May 22, 2012 in a blog entitled “Romeing Around Europe…Again” which chronicled my post-graduation trip across Europe.