Isabel G. is currently a junior at SYA Spain and a blogger for our Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from The Loomis Chaffee School. Read more of her work throughout the year here.
When ones thinks about Rome, the usual and stereotypical thoughts most likely pop into your head: pizza, pasta, gelato, art, romance...and more pizza. Naturally, these things were very attractive to me and three other friends as we thought about our next location for spring break. For two months we fantasied about stepping onto our budgeted Ryanair flight with overflowing suitcases only slightly above the weight limit. We would dream of the amazing calories yet to pack on and the famed Italian accent. But, not even hours of stalking our hostel and the endless sights to explore could prepare us for the adventure ahead.
From the moment we landed in the airport and stepped into the taxi that seemed set on making sure our music was loud enough and backseat dancing hyped enough, we knew this city would be everything we had hoped. We weren't planners— so our first day began somewhat unplanned. We also quickly realized that Rome was just as unorganized as we were and winded up stumbling upon the biggest tourist attractions without even trying. Casually stumbling upon the Trevi fountain at night, complete with gorgeous lights and scenic background music was like a clip from a movie. Obviously, we each took turns throwing in euros and wishing for whatever we could.
An experience I am likely to never forget is the cooking class. I had always assumed making pasta (and authentic, Italian pasta at that) was a feat I could not overcome. And I was somewhat correct. However it is far easier than one could imagine. Olive oil, flour, eggs...you're set! So, we began making our ravioli with ingredients freshly purchased from the market 15 minutes away. Everyone from the hostel was laughing and enjoying getting to know one another, as well as getting competitive with who would make the best pasta shapes. Unsurprisingly, everyone's ravioli turned out beautifully, save for mine. It became a running joke that any pasta somewhat deformed belonged to me. Our chef even joked that I was "a natural"...a laugh no one, even him, could resist joining in on.
It is almost impossible to pinpoint another place or sight to explain, as each has stood out on their own. I could marvel for hours about the historical beauty of the Colosseum and the surreal thought that many years ago, such events took place. Or I tell you all about the gorgeous beach we visited for the afternoon...and our not so gorgeous sun burns we were delighted to find later on. Maybe even the day trip we took to Florence. No, that would take about two more blog posts.
I guess if I had one overall takeaway from the trip, it would be how thankful I was to truly get to know another amazing city. 10 days is a actually a large amount of time. We were able to master the metro, a very useful skill to anyone that has visited Rome. We were able to make lifelong friends with he people in our hostel and the staff members. We even knew where out favorite gelato was...down the street from beautiful live music that plays at all hours of the days. Of course that goes without saying, returning to Spain and the usual café con leche and afternoon brunch had its perks.