Of course when anyone goes to Italy, the one place they HAVE to see is Rome, so naturally I was beyond STOKED to see the wonderful city of Rome! However.. It was definitely not at all what I expected. After
Bridge to Castel de S'ant Angello
the train and the bus ride, we had a good fifteen minute walk to our Hotel and this is where I placed my first impressions of Rome.. IT'S HUGE! And such a CITY! I guess I got used to all the little towns so I was taken aback by how busy and city-like Rome is. It definitely didn't have the peaceful beauty all the other small towns had, but it was beautiful in its own respects.
Before I go on to how Rome earns its beauty, I also wanted to mention the FOOD - since this was practically the first time I was really able to experience actual meals outside of Santa Chiara. On the first night, when some of us went to dinner with Dr. Lombardini, Sharon, and Dr. Wilburn, I was able to try a traditional Roman dish called Cacio e Pepe. The noodles in this were exquisite - they were a thicker type of spaghetti noodle and the sauce was perfect! It was really cool to be able to try something traditional to the city we were in, because being on a budget (and time-wise), we're not always
Pizza al la cabonara
able to do that. However, for majority of the time I feasted on pizzas and small sandwiches and it made me realize just how much of a delicacy meat kind of is here! There are very few dishes centered on protein, most meals are predominantly bread and/or pasta! Boy, I was definitely looking forward to Santa Chiara food after this trip. No offense to Italian food, because it's still absolutely delish!
As I was saying earlier, Rome gains its beauty from its history. Yes, there's the Colosseum, Pantheon, etcetera that everyone knows about, but I'm talking about the streets and plazas that you pass by while walking around. Literally there is a fountain, sculpture, or some form of art around every single corner of Rome. I think, honestly, my favorite part of Rome was the last night when my roommates and I decided to roam around and find the Maxum Ice Cream store and the Ferrari Store. We ventured through Piazza de Navarro and walked our way down some streets and found our destination. It was in these moments of navigation that I realized how amazing Rome really is. The way they do street signs as placards on the start of the street.. In my eyes it gave importance to every single street. And the big streets, especially! They each had their own characteristics based on the stores that reside on it. After we got some sweet souvenirs and had the best chocolate ice cream of our lives, we walked down Via del Corso all the way down to Piazza de Popolo. Piazza de Popolo was so absolutely beautiful to me! It was so spacious and just structurally
Piazza de Popolo
gorgeous. I loved the way the three streets met up to the plaza and how symmetrical the plaza itself was. This plaza was also different than the other plazas we'd seen since it was not at all that busy! We ventured on around this area and eventually stumbled upon the Villa Borghese - which I had been wanting the see the whole trip! We managed to catch a glimpse of the gardens, but it was hard to fully appreciate at night. As I soaked in my last night in Rome for this trip, I realized that although Rome isn't as pretty and quaint as the small towns, it gains beauty in its ability to gather thousands of people together in an area so rich in history. Thus, my only regret was not being able to explore more and really appreciate this new side of Rome. But hey, I guess that's why they say it takes more than one life to truly experience Rome, right?