I’ve Met My Match in Rome
Alyssa, Spring 2020, Rome
April 27, 2020

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m restless. Nothing is ever quite enough to keep my attention for too long. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been beautiful places that I’ve loved wholeheartedly. But after a short while, I’m craving something new. I can always go back – but there is still so much I haven’t seen. Going abroad is something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. The thought of easily being able to travel not just inside one country – but across multiple – was just too good to be true!

One of my favorite parts of Rome has been taking in all the detailed architecture.

I’ve been in Rome a month now, and it seems I’ve met my match. I distinctly remember in the SAI packet reading how in my four months here, I’ll only see a fraction of the city. And now I understand how true that is. I’ve been here almost three weeks, and I’ve still barely scraped the surface of Trastevere, my temporary home. And not only is this city giant, but every single street I walk down has a little piece of history, so many small details to take in. If you aren’t looking carefully every second, you’re guaranteed to miss something. I’m learning Rome is like one giant I-spy book, and I am constantly searching for anything that sticks out.

This Gelateria is quickly becoming one of my roommates and I’s favorite spots – it’s right across from our apartment!

Believe it or not, it gets better. Aside from the endless streets and bits of history hidden in them – there are the more obvious pieces of art and history around the city. So many museums, buildings, and fountains to explore. Markets galore, where I can practice my very limited Italian – or when all else fails – talk with my hands. Best of all – an endless array of places to eat. One of SAI’s excursions was a food tour and it truly may have been the most valuable knowledge about living in Rome. How to tell which places are authentic, and where to order a house wine? Essential information. Not to mention – the most delicious tour I’ve ever been on.

Ancient Ostia ruins from our first SAI excursion.

And speaking of excursions – I truly didn’t realize how much SAI offered. I was so caught up in ‘ohmygod I’m going to Italy’ that I barely processed what I was going to be able to do with them. During orientation, we went to Ostia (along the lines of Pompeii) where our tour guide walked us through the history of this amazing port town. After we had lunch at a farm in the countryside – and let me tell you – I’ve never had a meal like that. I think what I love about the SAI excursions is that in a city so big, and frankly a little overwhelming at times, they help make it seem a little smaller. I trust that they’re going to bring me places and to meet people that will stick out in my memory years to come.

The dessert course from our delicious meal at the farm after visiting Ostia.

Needless to say, I think I may have finally found a place to slow me down. Now that I’ve been here awhile I’m starting to fall into the groove of things. But unlike in most cases, I’m finding the enjoyment and wonder in one place – and I don’t see myself feeling restless anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong though; I will absolutely be taking advantage of how close I am to other areas in Italy and other countries!

Ciao for now, Lyss.

Alyssa is a Spring 2020 Rome student from Oklahoma State.

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.