Three weeks ago my parents were able to come and visit me in Rome! It was so exciting and comforting to see them for a week and show them around Trastevere, though the time went by fast. They seemed to enjoy themselves in that short, busy week. It was their first time abroad and it was fun to watch them experience everything I once experienced a few months ago for the first time. I couldn’t help but think, ‘Did I really act like that too?’ –Just kidding, they were champs and I was so proud. They booked a hotel that was in close walking distance so it’d be easy to visit after class. The night they flew in I made a surprise phone call from the front desk of their hotel and rushed up to their room right after.
We spent as much time together as we could- from eating lunch and dinner together, to getting extra help with grocery shopping (and more cooking ideas). We booked a couple tours together with my friend Emily and toured the Coliseum, which included the third tier of the stadium and the dungeons below, and another tour of the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. The tours were so amazing and knowledgeable! Though I had walked by these major sites and monuments before, I love knowing history to explain what I’m looking at. Tours might seem cheesy and touristy at times— being in a large group with a handful of obnoxious people, wearing ‘whispers’ that relay the tour guide’s voice, and don’t forget following a giant umbrella or selfie stick rod with some goofy toy on top, but tours are part of travelling and learning. Despite everything, they’re definitely worth it.
The best part of having my parents in Rome was being able to goof around and talk with them without having a 15 second delay and a fuzzy, pixelated image. Oh, and don’t forget the many gelato runs. That was good too! When we were out and about, we stopped at a gelateria that Emily and I usually visited and bumped into Jude Law there with his son. We also bumped into a couple of peaceful demonstrations in Piazza Venezia one night, both nerve wracking and thrilling.
Saying goodbye was hard after a week of finally seeing them, but I’m still thankful they came to visit. Hopefully, I’ll be able to power through the next short month of classes. I’m so surprised how fast the semester has gone— I’ve already filled out some paperwork to organize my transcripts to send home!
The weekend after I went on a catacombs tour! We visited the Katabome Domitilla, the Basilica of St. Clement and its archeological excavations below the church, and Convento dei Frati Cappuccini (the Capuchin crypt and museum). It was an interesting tour filled with underground tunnels, burial sites, and some bones— only on the Capuchin walls that served as lovely decoration from their brethren’s remains. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take pictures in the catacombs and crypts, but the experience really delved into the religious history of Rome and Christian myths, rumors, and known facts. I went on this tour on my own just to get of the apartment for the day.
Allison is a current student at St. Norbert College studying at John Cabot University Italy during the Fall 2015 term.