Melissa Tait checks in weekly from her study abroad semester in Rome; catch up with her every Wednesday on Trazee Travel.
The realization I was about to embark on a four-month journey abroad didn’t hit me until about a month before take-off. As I was wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of summer internships, a full-time job and a struggling social life, I was too distracted to think about the upcoming semester. I started getting excited though and managed to pack as much of my wardrobe as would fit in two suitcases.
My flight was a red eye, which allowed me to sleep and hopefully escape the side effects of jetlag — unfortunately, it didn’t. What I did escape to, though, was the beautiful city of Roma. My residence is only 10 minutes north of Vatican City and about a 30-minute walk to my classes at Temple University’s campus.
Instead of using a grid system, Rome’s roads were built around a piece of architecture. This made my first couple of days a navigation nightmare, walking around in circles and asking for directions in broken Italian. When I finally took a tour around where I was staying, the guide told stories about the architecture and pointed out some of the best lunch and dinner spots in town. I was amazed by the amount of facts he knew and began to be intrigued by Rome. A city full of so much history and art, I hope by the end of my trip I will be able to identify every building I walk by and the history behind it — and maybe even have a conversation with locals in Italian.
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