I have been here for a month! My time abroad has been flying by and I have loved every minute of it! I feel the biggest change from last month is the fact that I now call Rome home. After doing some traveling, it is always nice to be back home in Rome and sleep in my own bed. This feeling of home away from home is very comforting.
I am from Minnesota and I would say that there are many differences between Rome and the Twin Cities area. In my opinion, the biggest difference is the use of open space. The Romans love being outside and using steps, piazzas, and streets to gather. They enjoy spending their time relaxing, chatting, eating and drinking outside during a cool Rome night. When walking around Rome, especially at night, you are surrounded by people, both tourists and the locals. All the bars, restaurants, gelato and pizza places stay open late. This makes it easy to grab a midnight snack while walking around. I love how fast and accessible delicious food is in Rome. This is definitely something I will miss when I go home.
In Rome people tend to stay out later and lead a more relaxing lifestyle. For example, while eating at a restaurant it isn’t uncommon to have to ask to order or for the check after you are done eating. I think this is a sign of courtesy. The servers are not rushing you out of their restaurant. They let you sit for however long you would like and enjoy your food and company. Also, the Romans don’t wait for everyone to get their food before they eat. When they get their food they start eating right away. This is because they value food and want to eat it while it is still hot and fresh. Another difference is how late Romans eat dinner compared to Americans. I now enjoy my dinner no earlier than 8:00pm.
Something new that I had to learn how to use was public transportation. In Rome, I use the bus and tram usually everyday to get to class. I like to walk as much as possible; however, sometimes it is just easier to jump on the bus. The public transportation also makes it easier to get around the city faster. I would also like to note that I have not been lost yet. I have explored a lot and may not always know exactly where I am, however, still manage to walk around and figure out how to get back home.
Kelsey is a current student at Gustavus Adolphus College studying at John Cabot University in Italy during the Fall 2015 term.