Grande cafe per favore?

After ringing in the New Year with my good friends in Las Vegas, packing, flying to Italy, and moving into our Trastevere apartment was quite a blur. After 16 hours of traveling from San Francisco to Seattle to Amsterdam and finally to Rome, me and a few classmates checked in at the Rome Center and set out with a map to get lost, get lost some more, and finally find my apartment across the bridge from Campo de Fiori where our campus is located.

Crossing the Ponte Sisto

Crossing the Ponte Sisto

My roommates (Hillary and Lizzie) and I call our place the Treehouse. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight, but it has grown on us… It has quite a personality. It resembles a wooden treehouse, with a big kitchen and living room and stairs leading up to a loft where we sleep. There are no doors aside from the one to the bathroom and you can pretty much hear every sound anyone makes. Let’s just say, Hillary, Lizzie, and I have grown pretty close here.

The Treehouse

The Treehouse

The first week in Rome was spent mostly getting adjusted to the time change. The Italian style of coffee made that a bit difficult too. They drink about 1/10 the amount of coffee I’m used to getting with my usual Starbucks grande drip coffee, so that was tough, but we finally found some instant coffee at the grocery store which is making our mornings a little brighter. Although, they do have “pocket espresso” – basically a shot of espresso in a piece of dark chocolate. YUM. Aside from the time change, adjusting to life in Rome was easier than I had expected (sorry Mom and Dad, I’m not home sick at all). I do miss having a dryer and being able to safely cross the street without fearing for my life, but I’ve learned to make do.

In the past few weeks we have done a lot of exploring around Rome. The thing that surprised me most about Rome is how much history lives here. Anywhere you turn, you’ll find some ancient building that has a story behind it. The architecture is stunning. Pictures just can’t capture the beauty and detail. And it seems like no matter how much you explore, you can always find something new. The class has taken tours at Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum, and the Colosseum!

The Colosseum!

The Colosseum!

We have also ventured to the Trevi Fountain (crossed making a wish here off of my bucket list!), the Spanish Steps, and the Trastevere Hill where the Spanish Embassy and various other statues live.

Making a wish!

Making a wish!

For one of our assignments, we were told to basically get lost, make a map, and find our way back. Arianna, Levi, and I somehow ended up at the top of the Palatine Hill among dozens of orange trees. We made it our mission to eat an orange grown from the grounds of ancient Rome.

One of many attempts...

One of many attempts…

So, after piggy back rides, shaking the trees, and finally throwing a water bottle at the orange tree, we successfully obtained this very special orange which we split 3 ways… Sadly it turned out to taste more like a lemon (but pretty much everything else in Italy is delicious somehow – gelato, pizza, pasta, you name it). I’ll return to Seattle mid-March with just a little “more to love.”

That’s all for now! Until next time. Ciao bellas!

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