By Kara Goldfarb > Junior > Writing > Ithaca College
Welcome to Rome, the place where the pizza and shoes make all other pizza and shoes look bad.
So here I am, my first week studying abroad in Rome, Italy. On my way to school I can take one of two routes. Route one is walking through the Vatican; route two is walking past a castle. Oh the burden of choices. Other choices I have come across in my first week here: which of the multitude of pizza places, gelato stands and cafés to stop in (and that’s just on my own street).
I’ve just begun to explore my apartment and all the loveliness that is has to offer–a quaint outdoor patio, the painting on the ceiling of my bedroom–as well as a few things that I now find myself without. Goodbye clothes dryer, heat and closet space.
Already I’ve learned a bit of practical knowledge since I’ve been here. For instance, Italians don’t dress for the weather; instead they dress for the season. Thus, despite my intense desire to pull out my spring skirts and tank tops when the temperature hits 65 degrees Fahrenheit (an unprecedented temperature for Ithaca, New York in February), I still feel obligated to wear my winter scarves and tall boots.
Speaking of shoes, here’s another thing I’ve learned about the Roman life: heels and cobblestone sidewalks don’t get along. And since cobblestone is everywhere in this city, from now on it’s flat boots for me. Luckily, Italy has a pretty good reputation when it comes to shoes. Not to mention the scarf-selling street stands that are in abundance here–even more options to choose from.
Despite my attempts to blend in, so far it seems that every person here recognizes that I’m American at first glance. How do they do that? My ultimate goal: to have one person mistake me for a local Italian before I leave. Hopefully, starting intensive Italian class this week will help. Plus, my apartment is in the district known as Prati, which is considered a more authentic area of Rome than some of the heavily-Americanized regions.
It’s a big goal I know, but I am all about possibilities this week. Whether it’s the possibilities that come with the endless variety of gelato flavors to taste, or shoes to buy, or simply the endless possibilities for adventure while I am here, I’m liking the odds.
Stay tuned. Arrivederci for now!