Limiting myself when it comes to traveling has really given me the opportunity to relax and explore Rome. Make sure you leave at least two weekends (ideally more) to explore the city you’ve been living in!
Too many times I’ve talked to fellow students who have been to countries you can’t even imagine, but have yet to visit the Coliseum, which is only a Metro ride away. It’s impossible to appreciate Rome and everything it has to offer if you’re only here Monday through Thursday while class is in session.
Even though traveling is really cool and exciting, you don’t want to waste you’re time abroad sitting in airports. Sometimes I think students are more interested in being able to go home and tell their friends and family all of the different countries they’ve been to and forget what’s in their backyard.
It’s pretty obvious that tourist season is starting to pick up in Rome. I remember walking into the Vatican like we had VIP status, now I can’t imagine getting in without waiting in line for at least an hour and a half.
Last weekend I took on Rome solo. I decided to go back to one of my favorite places, the Trevi Fountain. I don’t know what it is that draws me to the Trevi Fountain. Maybe its size? The history? The water? Lizzie McGuire? Whatever it is, the Trevi Fountain never gets old. I sat at the fountain for about two hours doing a combination of people watching (a very Italian thing), taking photos, and just watching the water.
The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. The fountain contains a statue of Neptune, god of the sea, and two Tritons to represent the contrasting moods of the sea. The Roman Catholic charity, Caritas, sorts and collects the coins nightly, and bring in around $1.3 million annually.
On Sunday a few friends and I decided to go to the Porta Portese flea market to do some souvenir shopping. It’s all about the bargaining here; NEVER pay what they say the price is!
After spending the morning at Porta Portese we were starving, so what better time for brunch? Earlier in the semester Gianni gave us a packet of places he had recommended… and so far this packet is spot on!
Deb and me decided to try “Akbar.” We were immediately drawn in by the decor of this place, a mash up of vintage chairs, desks, tables, and lamps. We paid 25 Euros a person for the brunch buffet. While expensive, it was totally worth it! We were offered a variety of fruits, grilled vegetables, pastas, meats, and cheeses. On top of that we had unlimited access to a diverse selection of juices and tea.
As we finished our brunch they were still bringing out different dishes for their customers! We didn’t want to leave! The staff was friendly, the American 80’s rock soundtrack (all coffee house covers) was perfect, and the food was incredible! What else could you ask for?!
I finally feel comfortable in this city. I can do things now that I could never imagine doing the first week. It’s the little things like going from not being able to check out in the grocery story smoothly to being able to do it all in Italian and being able to navigate the bus system that validate just how much I’ve learned from living abroad.