This past weekend, I spent the weekend in Rome with my best friend from Sacred Heart! It was awesome to reconnect and see some familiar faces, especially because there are quite a few SHU students studying in Rome at John Cabot! In high school, I took a trip to Italy and visited Rome, but this time was different, you have a different type of appreciation for the culture, the architecture, and the history when you are a bit older.
My journey started on Thursday when I made my way to the Alicante Airport. The Alicante Airport was SO easy and I got through security in about 5 minutes tops. So for my next trip I definitely won't have to arrive so much earlier! I left 75 degree weather and headed towards Rome where it was about 55 and rainy. It was actually refreshing to see rain, it doesn't rain at all in Alicante. When I got to Rome, i took a train to Trastevere where my hotel was. The train was easy to navigate! Once i arrived in Trastevere, I met up with Emily and we walked to my hotel and I got settled in and then we went to eat. it was an early night from there.
On Friday, we hit all the best spots in Rome. The iconic Colosseum, The Roman Forum, an of course we had to stop and get some gelato on the way. As I said, I have visited Rome before, but you definitely gain a greater appreciation for the rich history. In the Forum, it is like the entire city is trapped in time and has been that way forever. It is amazing to see all of the detailed architecture. Also while I was in the forum, I saw green grass for the first time in months *it's the little things*. After the Forum, we made our way over to the Colosseum. While walking through, we would listen to tours that were being given to learn some more information about the Colosseum (broke college students to the max). It was amazing just ROMEing around and seeing all the things many people only learn about by looking at pictures or reading books. After the long day, we made our way to Dar Poeta where I had the BEST PIZZA OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!! A Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella *heart eye emoji.*
Emily and me in the Roman Forum
Emily, Rachel, and me in the Coloseum
Eating THE BEST PIZZA OF MY LIFE AT DAR POETA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Throughout the weekend, I was pleasantly surprised that there were TONS of people speaking Spanish and I was able to practice, even while in a different country. When you hear people saying "claro" and "vale," you whip your head around and immediately ask where they are from. It was awesome to just talk to people. Not many people understand the concept of study abroad and traveling on the weekends, so that was tough to explain.
On Saturday, we had a day of shopping and some more sight seeing. We went to the Trevi Fountain and we also saw the Spanish Steps, which were under construction. Near the Spanish steps is where all of the name brand expensive stores are. It was nice window shopping! Stumbling upon the Spanish steps made me long for Alicante. it was like a little piece of Spain was right there with me in Rome! On Saturday, we also headed to Campo de' Fiori, that is the local market where there are vendors selling anything you can imagine, from clothes to food. There I bought a few souvenirs, bags of pasta, to bring back to my host family and my real family in the US.
The Spanish steps
We will see if this wish comes true ;)
While I loved traveling, catching up with my friends, and seeing so many beautiful sights along the way, there truly is no place like Spain. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but I feel as though THIS is my home. I have gone from being super homesick, to traveling and being homesick of my new home, Alicante. There is something about this city, the language, my family, the culture that has effected me in such a way I could not even imagine. Everyday I find something new to love about this place. From a new gelato flavor (my current favorite is Kinder Bueno flavor) to walking around the rambla to find a new place to eat with my friends and ending up at kebap or taco bell, this place is my temporary home. My friends and I have already started talking about when we will be coming back to visit Alicante. Time is FLYING by. I can't even believe it is already mid February!
This coming weekend, I will be traveling to Madrid with CIEE! I am so excited to go! Many people I have talked to say that is their favorite place! Vamos a ver! While in Madrid, I will be visiting Santiago Bernabéu Stadium where the Real Madrid soccer team plays! I am not much of a soccer fan, but my host family loves Real Madrid, my sister says Cristiano Ronaldo es su novio.