Everyone chooses their location to study abroad for their own reasons. Some choose a location based on its culture, the nightlife or maybe even their genealogy. However, I picked Rome for a much different reason than most. Sure, I knew I was going to grow as a person and explore parts of the world I have never seen, but that can be done from any city abroad. I personally chose my city, Rome, purely because I love Italian food. I have grown up all my life with fresh sauce every Sunday and the ideology that you need to finish everything on your plate before you leave the table. My upbringing surly planted the seed for my love of Italian food, making Rome a no-brainer.
Upon arriving in Rome, I expected it to feel like Sunday dinner at grandmas every day, to be greeted with a wide variety of pastas, pastries and pizzas. And Boy was I not disappointed. It seems as though Italians only eat the 3-p’s pasta, pastries, and pizza. For the first couple of weeks, I was in heaven and gorged on the bountiful supply of the food I came to eat. I ate pasta and pizza almost every day for lunch and dinner, and pastries for breakfast and I was loving life. At about the fourth week of my study abroad journey, I began to yearn for some different flavors. I could not believe that I was getting a little sick of the local cuisine.
I could not believe that I was getting a little sick of the local cuisine. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in myself for getting sick of the local food so quickly. But it’s hard not to when there are so few other choices. I set out to try and find some different food options but to my surprise, it was very difficult. There is an occasional again place or kebab shop but besides that variety when it comes to food is few and far between. Don’t get me wrong– I still have a burning passion for pasta which will never die but eating it every day has begun to deteriorate its magic.
I tied eating Asian food and kebabs, although great still didn’t fill the void. Eventually I realized that what I was searching for was some good old fashioned American food. I needed a big steak or a cheeseburger to set me straight. I headed to the local grocery store and bought the biggest steak I could find. I cooked it alongside some potatoes and broccoli, it tasted like home, just what I needed. With my craving for a taste of home subsided I was able to continue to devour the 3-p’s just as I intended.
Drew is a Fall 2017 SAI Rome student from the University of Tampa.