To the Roman Forum and beyond…

So, yesterday was a busy day. In the morning we had a lecture by one of the professors here, Dr. Evers. He is from Holland. He lectured on the Roman Forum and the significance of all of the different buildings. It was really intersting, but he went over about twenty minutes, so we didn’t really get to eat lunch.

We then hopped on some buses and were driven to the Forum. We spent about an hour and a half there – not nearly enough time. It was so cool to see everything again (as I’ve been before). I am really at a loss for words for most everything that I’ve seen thus far.

Then, we were supposed to go to the Colisseum.. But we were too late, as it closed a little early. We’re working on Loyola getting us passes so that we can go back for free. But let’s be honest here. It’s Loyola, and it’s probably not going to happen.

Asll was not lost, though, as we got the rest of the day to spend however we pleased. I navigated (which actually went pretty well with the help of my friend Katie’s map. Though I did look like a complete tourist.. whatever). We first stopped at the Trevi Fountain. It was just as beautiful and crowded as I remembered. I played tourist and threw a coin in. I returned to Rome after I threw a coin in last time. Coincidence? I think not.

Then we walked to the Spanish Steps. They were really, really crowded, as usual. But I enjoyed going there and watching the sun set over Rome. Afterward, we decided to get gelato at this place that my friend Christina remembered from an episode of Rick Steves’s show. It was called Giolitti. All of the roads leading to Giolitti were extremely crowded, as many of the high end stores are in the area. When we finally got to Giolitti, I got three flavors: chocolate, bacio (chocolate with hazlenut pieces), and chocolate chip. The bacio was my favorite.

Italy is colder than I expected. I only brought my Northface zip-up (stupid tourist mistake), so I will probably buy another coat at some point. It is fine during the day, but that night it gets a little chilly, especially while eating gelato.

After getting gelato, we walked to the Pantheon. It was more exciting in the daytime, I will admit. It was still really crowded at night, though. We then walked to a little pizzaria down the street. It was pretty good, but it also seemed really Americanized. The pizza wasn’t as thin or as good as I had in Rome previously. The waiter that we had spoke English pretty well and didn’t really look Italian. We thought that was from England or somewhere in Britain.

Then, we walked quite a ways to the Vatican and finally found the 990 bus stop. One of my goals for this semester is to learn the prublic transit system pretty well so that I can navigate easily around the city.

Today, we had out last survival Italian session. Professor Schwarten was really helpful and I am excited to have him as my professor for Italian 102. Next, we departed for Orvieto. Orvieto is a city about an hour north of Rome, built on top of a volcanic rock formation. The views from the city were breathtaking. We then went on a walking tour that took us into the cathedral in town. It was adorned in gold and many mosaics depicting Mary’s life. It also had marble carvings that portrayed bible stories. I would definitely recommend it.

To end our trip, we were taken to a well built overlooking the countryside and neighboring towns. Apparently, one of the popes sought refuge there at one point and demanded that a well be built, as the city did not have a source of water. We didn’t have time to go down into the well, unfortunately.

We then drove back to the Rome Center, ate dinner in the Mensa, and now I am here. Classes start tomorrow, which will definitely change things. I do not know if my schedule will stay the same, so stay tuned for a post once it is finalized! I also apologize for not posting pictures yet… I’m waiting for all of the buzz about the internet and initial uploading of pictures to wear off so that I can actually connect to the internet on my laptop.

About Austin Sears

I'm a junior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in sociology and minoring in urban studies and photography. The purpose of this blog is to document my semester abroad in Rome!
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