It’s the Weekend!

I love the feeling on Friday when you realize that it’s the weekend. For me, this feeling comes a day early, as we don’t have class here on Fridays.

I’m not complaining.

On Thursday night, my friends Caitlin, Christina, and I decided to go exploring. We started out at Il Vittoriano (or the “Wedding Cake” building, as it looks like an extravagant wedding cake).

Side view of the "Wedding Cake."

Then we walked down Via del Corso for a while. Everything was pretty much closed, since we didn’t get there until around 8:30. There were some people (mostly in their 20’s, I’m guessing) walking around, probably going to dinner or out for a drink or two.

We discovered that they have a Shape-Ups store here in Italy...

We decided to get gelato at Giolitti (one of our favorite places). I decided to try Mora (blackberry), Fragola (strawberry), and Arancia (orange). The Fragola was my favorite.  Then we walked down the street past the Parliament Building, and found ourselves in front of one of the scariest/coolest Zara stores I have ever seen. I should have taken a picture. It was closed, of course, but it was brightly lit and interesting to look at. Then we decided to walk across the Tiber River to Trastevere, since the three of us had never been there. It was fun to just walk around looking at things. We ended up at Piazza di Santa Maria at one point. It was really neat to see at night. I also failed to take pictures there… Whoops! Then we headed back and caught the last 990 bus of the night. Score. I think I’m finally starting to become more comfortable with the Italian transit system. I guess only time will tell…

Then, on Friday (yesterday) I started the day off by looking for internships to apply for. I’m not going to disclose any specific details at the current time, as I don’t want to get my hopes up. I’m not really worried though. There are a lot of options out there for anyone willing to work for free. Who knows? I might even find a paid internship for this summer. Only time will tell.

Then a group of us (Caitlin, Christina, Sarah, and James) all went shopping on Via del Corso near Piazza del Popolo. Our goal was to find H&M. We found it, but they only carried women’s clothes at that location. Bummer!

I wanted to find a relatively cheap jacket... Oh well!

It was fun to just walk around. We realized that the night before (Thursday) we had been so close to where all of the shops were. We decided to walk to the end of Via del Corso to get a glimpse of Piazza del Popolo:

There was so much open space! It's just hard to tell from the picture.

It's hard to tell, but through the two buildings you can see the "Wedding Cake!"

We walked down Via del Corso and made another stop at Giolitti. I got Stracciatella (chocolate chip), Bacio (chocolate with hazelnut pieces), and Oreo. They were all great. Then we shopped for a while more and caught the 913 bus back to Monte Mario. It had started raining anyway. I walked to the market and bought 1 kg of Nutella, just because I felt like it.

I mean, it was only €4,99. I couldn't pass it up!

We decided that we didn’t want MENSA food, so we thought it would be a good night to try the Chinese restaurant down the street.

I got pineapple fried rice and Sweet and Sour chicken.

The Chinese food was a little different than Chinese food in the U.S. I didn’t feel as disgusting as I usually do after getting Chinese. Then we had the best desert ever…

Fried Nutella is now my favorite desert. YUM!

Then we came back to campus and I felt pretty drowsy. I took myself to bed and slept full and happy, excited for the days ahead.

Today, I woke up, worked out in the gym, got lunch, and booked some flights. I am going to Barcelona two weeks from now, and Brussels the weekend after that. It was so strange to be booking flights to places like that. My friend Sarah and I counted, and so far I will be traveling to five countries for sure (Italy, Vatican City (it is a country, after all), Spain, Belgium, and Czech Republic). I also started planning my spring break with my friend Emily. We’re planning on starting in Paris, taking the train under the English Channel (one of my life goals), staying in London for a few days, and finally ending in Dublin. At some point I am also planning on going to Finland.

I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned for further travel developments!

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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