When in Rome

It’s been a while since I’ve written but I guess we can take that as a good thing because I’m so busy. Last week was just your run of the mill week in college: class, eat, sleep, repeat. My roommate Julia and our other friend (also named Julia) went to Rome on Saturday and did a lot of walking. It was astounding how big everything there was. Pictures just don’t give you a good idea of how massive Rome really is. We did the normal stereotypical stuff like take selfies in front of the Colosseum,

take pictures of each other making wishes at the Trevi Fountain,

and enjoyed some live opera by the Pantheon.

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We also had, hands down, the best pizza I’ve found in Italy so far. By the end of the day, we were exhausted and just wanted to be home but had a 3 hour train ride ahead of us. (There are more pictures from Rome to come)

We’ve been planning trips for later in the semester and I have a much greater appreciation of the work my mother has to do when planning family vacations. So far, we have flights booked to Paris, but that’s about it. We have hardly thought about what we want to do there, where we are going to stay, how we are going to get around, and basically everything else that comes along with planning a trip in Paris. I haven’t done much other traveling yet, aside from Rome and Florence, although I did just get back from Ukraine yesterday but I need to write about that one separately.

Of course, traveling has been fun, and planning has been stressful but there is more to living in Italy than just that. There are differences in many aspects of Italian life compared to American. I’ve noticed that solar panels are much more prevalent here than in America. If someone uses solar panels back at home, they are amazing and green, and saving the environment. Basically, it’s not a normal thing. Here in Italy, I’ve seen solar panels being used far more often than in the states. It seems to be less of a luxury and special thing, and more like something that everyone should be doing. Going along with the environment theme, Italian recycling laws are far more strict than American laws. It is absolutely necessary that everyone recycles everything possible to avoid being fined. Recycling here is also not single stream meaning we have to separate everything into different bins. For Italians, it’s like second nature but I am learning there are many things that should be recycled that I do not usually recycle at home.

The drive to the Pisa airport was probably one of the most beautiful drives I’ve taken. We were driving straight through Tuscany and really got to see the rolling hills. You don’t quite understand the extent of the hills until you are driving through the valleys. Another thing I noticed on this drive was the use of land. Farming seems to be very efficient, using as much of the land as possible. Now, farming in Italy appears to be much different that in America. When you imagine and American farm, you think of huge pieces of land, extremely large fields with endless rows of one crop. One of the main differences here is that farms are much smaller and crops are not mass produced. It’s interesting to see the differences between Italy, a country that relies on slow food (a movement started by the government to preserve the authenticity of Italian cuisine) and America, a country whose economy relies heavily on fast food.

The next 2 posts about Ukraine will most likely be quite long and wordy and will have less pictures than usual, but hopefully will be interesting 🙂

~Sarah Ann

My Last Post: Florence, Classes, and Food

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