Food, food, and more food! Oh and some catacombs

So much has happened over the past few weeks and I haven’t had anytime to write! Ugh!

A few weeks back a few of my friends and I went to a food truck festival in the Testaccio neighborhood. Testaccio is a neighborhood that has sort of remained untouched by tourists and has many great places to eat and a huge market to explore (more on that later). One 10 minute bus ride later and we were at the festival. We got to the food fest and there were trucks parked all around the perimeter of this field. I should mention that the Roman slaughter houses used to be in Testaccio, so a food festival was fitting for this location. The buildings have now been renovated and are beautiful on the inside, but I haven’t had the chance to go in them yet. As we walked onto the field the DJ was playing “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash so I felt right at home. After making a loop around to see what was being offered, we all decided on what we were going to eat. There was everything from burgers, to meatballs, to fish, to pastries. I decided to go with a classic pulled pork sandwich (very Italian, I know). Pulled pork is one of my favorites so I had high expectations for this sandwich and it didn’t disappoint. We picked a table to sit down at and we all dug in. All of us had noticed a truck called Poff Cakes and really wanted to try it out. Poff Cakes turned out to be mini pancakes with a variety of toppings of your choosing. I got them with Nutella and whipped cream and they were one of the best things I have ever had. After, we headed back to our apartments to take a much needed nap.

On Sunday Rebecca, Maddie, and I went to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus. I couldn’t spend 4 months in Rome and not visit them. There are so many different catacombs in Rome that you could never see them all. Once again we took a bus there and then walked on the Appia Antica to get there. The Appia Antica is the oldest road in Rome so it was pretty cool to walk on it. The park that the catacombs are located in is beautiful and we got there just as the sun was setting so I was able to get some great pictures on my camera. We got there just in time for the last tour of the day and our tour guide was great. We obviously went on the English tour so there were a bunch of people from the states and England on the tour, so it was a nice mix of people. The catacombs were really cool and I hope to be able to go back someday. 

The next weekend, I went on and Eating Italy food tour. The tour took place in the Testaccio neighborhood which is very close to my apartment and known for it’s delicious food. Our tour guide Emma was from Edinburgh and she was as sweet as could be. I started the tour off with a cappuccino and it was my first Italian coffee experience while in Italy. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I had to try one before I left. We then went to a little bakery where we were given a sample of tiramisu which was in a small tea cup made out of chocolate and a cornetto filled with cream. Next stop was the maccelleria next door where we tried some Parma ham and pecorino cheese. We then turned the corner and stopped at a Pizzeria and then made out way over to the Testaccio Market. They sell everything there, from food to boots. Ther market was really nice and it’s on my list of things to do again before I leave Rome in just four short weeks. At one of the stands we tried buffalo mozzarella and then had bruschetta that one of the vendors made from the tomatoes she was selling. Our final stop was at a very famous gelato place in Testaccio. They make all of the gelato in house and I found out that I have been eating a lot of fake gelato over the past few months. If the gelato looks too good to be true, it probably is. Gelato that looks very fluffy and is in piles in the trays is not authentic. If it is flat, you’re good to go. I also learned that by law you are allowed two scoops of gelato and whipped cream if you want it, but that’s only a law in Rome. As you can tell, I learned a lot on this tour haha

XOXO Maryrome

Next stop: SICILY


2 months… ALREADY?

It’s crazy for me to say it, but I’ve been living in Rome for over two months! The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” has never been more true. I can distinctly remember boarding the plane at JFK and wondering if I was actually ready to go on such a huge adventure. As much as I don’t want this to end, I can’t wait to get back home and share my experience with my family and friends. I have seen and done so many things in the past 2 months that at times it’s hard to keep track of when I went where and with who, but thankfully this blog is helping me remember all of those details. I can’t wait to look back on this in the years to come and be very glad that I forced myself to write even though I didn’t always feel like it. I still have 3 more trips next month so I have a lot to look forward to!

I would like to say though that not every day is full of sunshine and unicorns. Lately, I’ve found myself to be more stressed out than I ever have been at Marywood. Sure, there were times back at home when I stressed about an approaching deadline or an exam, but here in Rome I also have to deal with travel plans, expenses and making sure I get as much as I can out of this experience on top of going to class and doing my work. I am not one who can slack off, because sooner or later that little voice in the back of my head will remind me that I have work to do. Some of this stress is self-inflicted though because I am trying to get ahead before I get behind, so to speak. I have two 10-page papers due before the end of the semester and 3 more trips planned in that exact same time frame. Sicily, Paris, London, and Edinburgh are looming on the horizon and so are these papers.If I wasn’t going somewhere every weekend, this would be a much different story. I guess it’s not great to say, but I didn’t think I’d be doing this much work during my time abroad. And yes, I understand that I am here for an education and that I have to do some work to earn the credits, but at the same time I am in Europe and in a few weeks I don’t want to be staring at the Eiffel Tower thinking about that Art History paper I have to write. I am doing everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen by the way because I will not be a happy camper. My ONLY complaint about John Cabot is that I wish they had a curriculum specifically designed for the study abroad students. My classes are a mix between degree-seekers and study abroad students AKA people who will be in Europe for 4 years and can travel in that time and people who are trying to see as much of Europe as they can in 3 1/2 months. I am in no way hating on the degree-seekers, but I am kind of jealous that they have a bunch of time to explore Rome, Italy, and the rest of Europe. I feel awful for complaining because I am lucky enough to spend 3 1/2 months in a beautiful place, but my feelings are still valid even though I’m in Italy.

With that being said, I love it here and am so lucky to be in such an historical city that gives me the opportunity to see something new everyday. I’m going to make the most out of my last month here and try not to stress too much! Because when I look back on this experience, do I want to remember all the hours I spent in the library or the time I spent exploring Europe? (I will more than likely remember the hours I spent in the library and laugh at myself in a few months…) Oh well…

Next stop: SICILY!