When coming to a new country, there are things that stick out to you right away. One of them happened to be the beautiful and historic buildings that surround me everywhere I go. I had imagined what Rome would be like, but I didn’t realize that wherever you go, there is a story of each old beauty you pass. In my first few weeks here, I have had the opportunity of visiting some of the most intricate, assembled structures that brings awe to whomever places their eyes upon it. These places included the Colosseum, the Altare della Patria (the wedding cake), the Trajan’s Column of the story of Rome, the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary (place where Julius Caesar was rumored to have died), Trevi Fountain, and many more places. You really need to see them to imagine the stories told.
Many people come to Italy because they want to see the big cities that are portrayed by the movies. I’ll admit that this was me. What I have learned is that Italy is so much more than that. I had the privilege of visiting Tivoli and Agriturismo La Cerra. Villa d’Este in Tivoli was especially incredible because it wasn’t raided with so many people like the center of Rome is. I could spend time enjoying everything without being rushed.
When the SAI group arrived at Agriturismo La Cerra after going to Villa d’Este, we were greeted with ponies and donkeys that soon became our friends. The restaurant here served food that they had produced on their farms. The food was divine and the experience was definitely something I could never experience back home in the States.
With all the places I have been, it has only been three weeks. I am still trying to figure life out here with little knowledge of Italian but I am making it with the help of SAI staff and all the knowledge I have learned from the trips I have experienced. The locals of Rome have been a blessing because of their delicious food and understanding that I have no idea what I am doing half the time here.
The idea of being in a new country where I must learn about the culture through the interaction of natives is exciting. I will continue to learn about Rome, but so far so good!
Krystal is a spring 2018 SAI Rome student from Point Loma Nazarene University.