I feel much much better!! Woooo!
Now on to my adventures…
We all slept in on Saturday which wasn’t a big surprise. I went to church that evening at The Basilicata di Santa Maria in Trastevere which is the neighborhood that I live in. Even though the mass was conducted in Italian, it was beautiful and just what I needed after a few stressful days. Like all churches in Rome, it was very ornate and pictures don’t do it justice. I hope to go back during the day to take better pictures. We also made our first dinner in the apartment, which was pasta and sautéed vegetables, which actually came out great (shoutout to Alexa for her cooking skills). On Sunday, the school planned a trip to IKEA so we could furnish our apartment. It was our first experience in an Italian mall and let me tell you, it was very interesting. We boarded the bus around 10:30 and had about a 30 minute drive outside of the city to get there. From the outside it looked like a typical American mall. The bus driver had to drop us on the side of the autostrade because he wasn’t allowed to pull into the parking garages. We had a bit of a treacherous walk to the mall, but we all made it in one piece. First thing I noticed when I walked in: DOGS!! There were dogs everywhere! Some sleeping on the marble floor others barking at each other; something you would never see in the states. I’ll be honest, it was fun to look at them and comment on how cute they were, but it was all very strange. This mall had an H&M and many other American stores, but a few were strictly Italian. We walked in and out of stores, marveling at how much cheaper things were compared to back at home. We made our way over to Ikea and then grabbed some lunch at a place called WOK which was an Asian restaurant. It was pretty good considering we are in the land of pasta and pizza.
We got back to our apartment at about 5, hung out for a bit and then decided to take a walk over to the Vatican which is only 10 minutes from our apartment. We got there just as the sun was setting and it was absolutely breathtaking. If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I go to church every Sunday and have a great affection towards anything that has to do with the Catholic church. It’s much smaller in person, but as amazing as you may imagine. I took some great pictures and even though I’ve been here for only 6 days, it might be my favorite place in Rome. I stood there for a while and just stared. After, we headed back to our neighborhood and ate at Pimm’s Good which is an English inspired restaurant. I ordered a Ceasar Salad and it might be the best I’ve ever had. We also shared bruschetta; dad, I think I like tomatoes now…. We’ll be back there I’m sure because there is a 10% discount for JCU students.
Today (Monday August 31) was the first day of class for all JCU students. I didn’t have class until 1:00 so I could sleep in and finally get those extra hours of sleep that I desperately needed. I left the apartment a bit before 1:00 and walked to the Tiber campus where my class was. The walk is so nice and by that time of the day people are out and about and the sun is high in the sky which means it’s also hot. I think it reached 90 today which isn’t all that uncommon. My first class of the day was Italian and I was right at home. I could understand what the professor was saying and as a bonus the guy sitting next to me was from New Jersey. After class I walked down to the Guarini campus for my Popes of Rome class. The professor is really nice and he is one of the 69 (?) certified tour guides of the Vatican in the whole world. He hopes to take us into the tomb of Saint Peter, but it is very hard to get into now because of the “Francis effect”. I was out of class around 4 and was hungry so I decided to walk to the local fruit shop in the hopes of buying some watermelon, but the owner of the store said it wasn’t good today so I settled for some grapes. Around 7, my roommate, Ashley, and I crossed the Tiber and made our way over to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Both were amazing to see in person and once again I got good pictures, but I want to go back when the crowds die down so I can actually go inside the Pantheon. We ate at a place called Vacanze Romane on Piazza Navona and shared a pizza and had bruschetta once again. I’m still amazed at how late people eat here. Back at school I eat dinner at 6! I guess it’s all part of the adjustment process.
My roommates and I planned a last minute trip to the Amalfi Coast for the weekend and I can’t wait!