Global and Local Experiences in Rome

Kurumi S. is currently a junior at SYA Italy and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Spence School in New York.

Upon receiving our privileges to travel outside of the quaint Viterbo province, my friends and I took a 7:55 am train at la Porta Romana to the most magnificent place I can imagine: Rome, the Eternal City.

As it has been about two and a half months since our arrival in Italy, I was beginning to feel slightly reminiscent of my home in New York City, whether it be the food, the ambiance, or my friends and family. Hence, spending a full day in a big, urban, touristy city such as Rome all on our own appealed to me as the perfect remedy.

Upon our arrival in the center of the city, my friends and I meandered through the refreshingly vast streets of Rome, occasionally stopping by any negozi, or stores, that caught our attention. Surrounding us were thousands of tourists speaking a variety of languages, including American and British English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese and many more. I had not experienced anything like this in Italy thus far, and I could start to discern the parallels between New York City and Rome. Sure, there is also Uber and food delivery systems, but other than the services that are offered, there also exists a great sense of internationalism ingrained in the Roman culture, specifically the people.

For lunch, we went to the renowned café, Babington’s, for nice English tea and snacks (I recommend the Savoury Breakfast with the Ham and Cheese English muffin). Afterwards, we moved from England to Spain, as we approached the glamorous Spanish Steps. Climbing all the way to the top, we strolled along taking a few pictures of the scenery as well as with the old stone sculptures of Archimedes and Zeus.

Finally, we arrived at the beautiful Villa Borghese Gardens, where we saw families with cute children blowing bubbles, drivers giving horse rides (despite the great problem of animal cruelty), tourists using their selfie-sticks, and much more. Exploring the beautiful park, I was in awe; zoning out for about fifteen minutes, I had forgotten that I was in Italy, but instead was heavily reminded of my almost daily walks in Central Park. In that moment, it was clear to me that I was in fact home. I can get familiar foods from places like Babington’s, the ambiance of Villa Borghese is exactly like that of Central Park, I feel very close to my SYA friends and Italian friends, and I have an amazing host family to whom I return when travelling back from Rome to the charming city of Viterbo. So yes, I do miss aspects of New York City, but Rome offers so much more, with a global aspect in its proximity to other countries, especially European ones, as well as a local reminder for me, in its resemblance to my home in the States.

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