Spending Time Around The Vatican

1/11/18- Rome, Italy

This week of orientation has been a bit of adjustment to living in Rome.  While I have been able to ask for cappuccino É un Cornetto, the language barrier is very much still a hurdle I soon hope to overcome.  As a part of the orientation we went on a walk around the area surrounding our Temple building seeing different shops, and again practicing what I would call very bad Italian.

As today was a lighter day of orientation, a few friends and I walked back from Temple Rome to our residence.  This 1.5 mile walk has been a nice walk when the weather is cooperating and has also been a great source of exercise to burn off all the extra calories from all of the food we have been eating.

After a later lunch around 3, my friends and I decided we should go over to Vatican City, as we live about a block outside of the northern wall. To say we were all amazed at the beauty, grandeur and the holy feeling the Basilica held within all in our group, Catholics, and non-Catholics alike.  It was a truly massive building in size, making us spend about 2 hours outside in the square and inside the building walking around, observing the various sculptures, and relics. I hope to post some pictures both to my Instagram and eventually to a gallery on the blog as well.

Unlike many who have visited Rome and the Vatican, we did not feel compelled to do everything in one day. Seeing the Basilica was such an awesome experience as we were able to take in a lot of the sites inside made us appreciate the place that we were at, and made us want to return several times for different tours of the different parts that the Vatican offers to tourists.

After returning, we decided to try a restaurant down the street from our residence to “Birreria Old Trafford” we were looked to find some sort of early dinner snack. We were happy to find such a great restaurant, both in cuisine and experience and decided to actually get dinner there.  The place was run by an old Italian couple, with the husband running the bar and the wife cooking in the kitchen.  After we ordered our paninos, we were given free gnocchi with our dinner, which was a great surprise! As the entire experience in the little restaurant was fantastic for us, we think that this may be our go to spot for dinner throughout the semester.

A fun day was needed, especially going into tomorrow which will again be a very busy day with orientation and some paperwork we need to fill out. I will be sure to keep you all posted.

-DJ

Day 1 Exploration

1/10/18- Rome, Italy

So, we have been in Rome for just over 24 hours at the time of this being posted, and it has been a wild day so far.  After getting to the airport in Rome Alex and I ran into our other roommate Wynn where we also came into some issues with Alex’s baggage not arriving. Though it should arrive in the morning, it has been a hassle for him.

Once in Rome, we settled in to our apartment at the Residence Candia, just a few blocks North of the Vatican walls. The place is a little on the small side, but as we have come to learn that this is the norm in Italia.

After a very, very needed rest last night, we had a full day of orientation meetings and a  crash course Italian. Though these events were of some help, it was nice to get out and explore during our free time.

I spent some time in and around Piazza del Popolo, which is on the northern edge of the Aurelian walls, just South of our campus building. It was the first time entering this part of the city and it was extremely picturesque.

As the Romans do, we ate dinner extremely late. As an old soul, late lunch is one of the best meals, which makes, the 8PM/9PM dinner time extremely tough personally.  We went to a restaurant call La Fornace. Though the slight anxiety of not knowing much Italian and trying to order food in broken Italian and some English, the Gnocchi, mussels, and especially the tiramisu made up for the nervousness. It truly was one of the best meals I have ever had.

It seems like the semester is off to such a great start. The scenery, food, and of course the coffee is fantastic and it seems like this trip should a great time.

-DJ

The Adventure Begins

1/8/18- Kennett Square, USA

After long anticipation and a fair amount of planning, Alex and I left Kennett around 11 AM for Newark Liberty Airport for our flight to Frankfurt, and eventually Rome.

The first day of travelling always seems to be a very stressful experience.  The first second, and occasionally third check to make sure the clothes are packed, phone, computer, and camera are all charged, and the good ol’ passport is with you can wear on someone, especially when the return flight is for another 16 weeks.

Though the lines, the extremely long lines eventually break and one can repack their bag after passing through security, it is all worth it for the thrill of travelling.

While it’s been a great Christmas break with friends and family is the coolest town, which I will miss dearly, this homebody is ready to see Rome, Italy, and the rest of Europe.  I appreciate all of the well wishes and hope to keep in touch with everyone.

Keep checking back here for more updates on my travels.

-DJ