First Week: January 9th through 14th

Rome is beautiful. I’m not entirely sure what I expected Roman centurions everywhere, but I am blown away by how spectacular everything is. The city is an interesting take on both old and new. You turn a corner and BAM ruins, or a gelateria. Either way, you can experience it all without having to go too far.

All I have to say about my flight: I hate planes, and thank you world for having an Ed Sheeran concert as a documentary choice.

I remember almost nothing from our first day in Rome. As soon as we got to the hotel it was lights out for me. I had been awake for 24 hours and quickly transforming into full grouch. The bed was super comfy though.

Our hotel room had a huge private patio/balcony with an amazing view; utterly ridiculous.

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The first “official” day we walked through the Villa Borghese. The trees there are my favourite.

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Alexander Pushkin statue.
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Just look at these trees.

The Villa is basically this massive park complete with a zoo, museums, and statues everywhere. I had no idea it existed until we stumbled into it, literally. There were quite a few families walking around, and so many dogs. Not to mention there was a group of teens hanging around a large tree, just past the Pushkin statue, playing electric guitars. Very scene.

On the outskirts of the park is the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna. Go to it.

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Viale delle Belle Arti, 131
St.Peter’s Square 2015-01-10 16.28.49

We then accidentally walked from the Villa all the way to Saint Peter’s square, a good 8 km trip. It was massive, and the columns, oh the columns. The architecture is so unbelievable; I just want to cry over everything

My phone cannot do any of it justice. In fact there’s no proper way for me to even explain the emotional whirlwind I’ve gone through just driving by all of it. You think you know what to expect, from movies and TV, but nothing can prepare your for the magnitude and grandeur of these Ancient Roman landmarks. I am continually in a state of awe.

Thankfully this time of year there aren’t as many tourists in the city. There are some Australians on summer vacation, but almost everywhere we’ve gone there have been little to no lines. I’d highly recommend traveling to Rome right after the holidays, mainly because Christmas decorations are still up which gives the city an extra little dazzle. Also the weather is perfect.

It rained Saturday so we took one of those bus tours, and walked around the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna. My mind is starting to jumble events together so I have no idea what we did Sunday. I’m sure it was something important.



Even a fuzzy photo is magical.
Even a fuzzy photo is magical.

On Monday we went to the Colosseum. The first time I saw it was by bus, at night, and it was great. But, seeing it in all it’s glory midday was even better. I still can’t believe that I walked through it. If there hadn’t been other people around I probably would have wrapped myself around one of the massive supports and cried. There is so much I love above Roman history, and being able to experience some of it makes me want to jump off a cliff. Someone please build one for me.

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We only went through a section of the Forum, but what we did see was freaking amazing. The view from the hill above the ruins is life changing. You can see a good portion of the city, but the best part is the view of the mountains. In Texas, especially the Lubbock area, there are zero mountains, so anytime I see one it basically blows my mind.

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Tuesday I moved into my apartment in Trastevere. It’s a one bedroom flat with a huge common area, small kitchen, and bathroom. Thankfully it’s on the ground floor. Our windows face directly into the courtyard between all of the buildings, which is both fantastic and horrible. The best part is of course AC, and our own washing machine, but being this close to the entrances of all the buildings means I hear everything; odio il rumore*. But, somehow I ended up with only one roommate, and the apartment is massive, so everything evens out. Better than anything Texas Tech could ever provide.

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I found my first Italian cat Tuesday night; it hated me.

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Wednesday morning I didn’t have any orientation events scheduled so I walked around Trastevere. Behind all of the residential area there is a forest, or large park, that I have no idea how to get to. I trudged up and down streets, but still no clue. I found a garden that you have to pay to walk through, but that’s it. I need to find this darn forest. I believe there is also a hill you can hike up and look out over Rome, so I’m going to attempt to find that as well.

           2015-01-14 12.01.07               2015-01-14 12.02.06              2015-01-14 12.01.59

During my wanderings Wednesday I ran into this little babe. At first she hid, but as soon as I made my weird cat noise you know the one she began to follow me. Her meows were so pitiful and she kept rubbing up against the car; I love her. Hopefully I will be able to find her again…

Operation “International Cat Lady” has officially begun.

*This is in Italian. Google it.

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