Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My First Week in Rome

To start off... I couldn't be more blessed to have this amazing opportunity. Both my parents have worked tremendously hard to be able to give me all of the opportunities possible. I couldn't be more lucky to have them as my parents. My brother and little dog Gracie have also been really supportive of me studying abroad. As much as I know they'll miss me they're happy about all the good food tricks that I'll bring back for them. 

I am a junior at High Point University and last week I arrived in Rome, Italy to study at the American University of Rome for four months. I arrived on Tuesday January 22. 

Upon my arrival I was greeted by several extremely kind people from AUR and they introduced me to one of my roommates who was actually on my flight. Myself, my new roommate Raelynn, and four other students studying abroad piled into a van that dropped us off at our new apartments. We explored our new apartment in excitement because it was both my and Raelynn's first time to Italy. Soon enough we met two more of our roommates, Step and Kristen. The four of us then walked around the corner to get our first slice of pizza in Rome. When we walked into the pizzeria and all four of us each ordered two slices of pizza that were wrapped up like they were sandwiches. 

That night AUR offered a Rome walk to the students who just arrived. Steph, Rae, Kristin, and I all got ready and tried our best to figure out where we were going since none of us knew our way around. Well... we got lost and missed the tour. But we didn't mind because we were having so much fun getting to know each other anyways. 

The next day we woke up and went to get some groceries. The supermarket is conveniently located right around the corner. We spent the rest of the day getting to know each other and just hanging out. That same day we met out last two roommates, Jacque and Natalie. 

That night Steph, Rae, Kristen and I made our first homemade dinner in Rome. We made penne pasta with red sauce and vegetables with a mozzarella and tomato salad.   It was delicious! 

The next day all we had to do was go on a walk around the neighborhood that AUR is located. Unfortunately it was raining a little but we still went. We walked around the area of Trastevere and it is beautiful. It is exactly what you picture when you think of Italian neighborhoods with the cobble stone roads, small narrow streets, and pizzerias on every corner. We saw Campo di fiori, and ended in front of the building where Caesar was murdered. 

The next day we finally were able to put our heads together and find our way to the school in order to make it in time to do the Rome walk. Hands down it was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever done, tied of course with all of my fabulous trips to Ireland. We saw the Trevi Fountain, where all six of us made a wish, the Vittorio Emanuele II monument, the Pantheon, the Coliseum, and the oldest gelataria  in Rome. There I got a huge cone filled with three flavors of gelato; coffee, chocolate chip, and my all-time favorite, nutella.  

The next morning my roommates and I went back into the historical part of Rome to see all of the places we saw the night before during the day time. 

We made our way to Trastevere to have lunch. Steph and I were the only brave ones. We each ordered a four course meal that was only 10 euros. For our appetizers we had a slice of bruschetta with crispy garlic bread, fresh tomatoes, and rocket, first course for me was penne de la casa, it was homemade pasta covered in cheese sauce with peas and homemade sausage, second course was two thin slices of chicken cooked with prosciutto inside, and lastly for dessert we had a slice of custard pie. The whole meal was amazing! We sat in a covered outdoor patio with a heating lamp next to us. I didn't want to leave.

After lunch we then made our way to the Spanish Steps. But before we got there we were doing a little window shopping at Fendi, Gucci, Valentino, and Louis Vuitton. Once we made our way to the steps all six of us were in awe. It was the perfect day to see them. There was blue skies, the sun was shining and it felt almost like spring time. We were all taking as many photos as possible. It's a good thing the iPhone have the reverse camera lens for all the selfies we were taking!

We began to make our way back to the tram, making sure we could stop and get some gelato on the way and we got a little distracted. We went and saw the Trevi Fountain again during the day and then went to see Piazza Navona. Once we got home all of us were so tired and our feet were incredibly sore. We all went to our beds thinking we were just taking naps but didn't wake up until the next morning because we were all so tired.

On Saturday AUR had a BBQ for all of the students. It was really fun! We met a lot of the other students and got to know where everyone was from.

That night we all went out for dinner in Trastevere to a place called Tony's. Steph, Kristen, Rae, Jacque and I all got a different kind of pizza and Natalie was the adventurous one and got pasta. Steph, Kristen, and I were troopers, we were able to finish our whole pizzas. And yes we were proud of it! 

Afterwards we went out for a little and two of the girls took chocolate shots, they are supposed to be really popular here. The actual shot glass is made of chocolate and then you choose the special flavor shot you want and then the bartender tops it off with whipped cream! Something that needs to be brought back to the states! 

The next morning we were up bright and early to go to the Vatican. We went into the museum where we saw the Sistine Chapel. Rae and I proceeded to get lost for about 45 minutes as Step and Kristen were waiting for us at the exit. Once we found each other we then tried to go into St. Peter's Basilica but the line was outrageously long so we decided to come back when it's not a Sunday. 

Monday was our first day of classes. As I'm sitting in my first class, myself and a few others realize that this specific class wasn't going to begin until February 25th so I walked all the way back to my apartment, in the rain, and waited until I had my next (and last) class of the day. 

Overall it was a great start to the semester. And it has definitely been a jam packed first week in Rome! I can't wait to see what the rest of these four months have in store for me! 

Just a few of my pictures from this past week! Enjoy!

The view down the street from AUR:

 The Pantheon:

 The oldest gelateria in Rome:

 The Spanish Steps:

(Left to Right: Kristen, Me, Rae, Natalie, Jacque)

 The Trevi Fountain:
 The Vatican Museum:
 The Sistine Chapel:
St. Peter's Basilica: 

(Left to Right: Kristen, Me, Rae, and Steph)


  1. Great update... looking forward to the next one!

  2. This is a really cool blog Hannah! I'm studying abroad in Rome in the fall and this blog is a huge help!!

    1. Aw thank you! Hope you get to have just as much as an amazing time as I'm having! :)