There’s No Rush
Amie, Rome, Spring 2014
April 30, 2014

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The Roman Forum

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Good food and good friends, what more do you need in life?

There’s no rush, for anything, ever. Enjoy the little things in life and you will see beauty everywhere. Music truly is the universal language. Old is beautiful. Some things need no translation, and for other things, a translation simply isn’t possible.

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St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

I feel like it’s impossible to sum up my semester in just a few words; I’ve learned so much: about myself, the world, Italy, Europe, wine, how to “do as the Romans do” (while still keeping who you are intact), and the difference learning to speak someone’s language can make—both literally and figuratively. Be kind, but assertive—let your elders take your seat on the bus, but if someone is trying to run you off the road don’t be afraid to curse their dead relatives (a favorite Roman insult). Nuns may look sweet and innocent, but they will run you down to see Papa Francesco. PDA isn’t a shameful thing; if you love someone then who cares if everyone and their Nonna sees you kissing in the middle of a piazza. Don’t be afraid to cross a busy street: no matter how chaotic the traffic, just throw your timidity to the wind and step off the curb with confidence. BUT use your common sense and look both ways, because the tram stops for no man.

3

Umbrian Country Side

Undoubtedly I will be bringing bits and pieces of Italy back with me into my daily life. One of my favorite Italians idioms is il dolce far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing. This is an honest to goodness philosophy for Italians and I love it. Frequent coffee breaks with friends, 3 hour dinner conversations, leisurely evening strolls through the city, afternoon siestas… In a society as fast paced as ours is today, Americans could really learn a thing or two from this art of relaxation and simple enjoyment of the little things in life. If Italy has taught me one thing it’s that there are more important things in life than deadlines and that if you don’t have time for a coffee with friends, you don’t have your priorities in order.

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Il dolce far niente

 

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Bottle of wine on the beach at sunset… perfect end to any day

I still don’t have my life figured out, but I’m 100% ok with that. After this semester, I know that I am on the right track to finding my way in life. To say my time here has been formative, that I have discovered my passion and zest for life, that I have unearthed what I truly value, would be only scraping the surface. What I do know for certain is that I chose the right area of study (I found things in this timeless city that I simply find unfathomably interesting) and that I will definitely be returning to Rome one day—sooner rather than later.

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Tuscan vineyard

Travel the world, experience other cultures, but be proud of where you come from. Because at the end of all things, there truly is no place like home. And most importantly, you are never, never, too old for a gelato.

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Milan Duomo at sunset

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A simple snapshot of Italia

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Amie is a student at Gustavus Adolphus studying at John Cabot University during the Spring 2014 term.

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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.