As I enter into my final week in Rome, I am overwhelmed with joy. These almost four months have been some of the best days of my life. Not only did I find my new home in Italy, I learned to live on my own, I can say some words in another language, I found THE best gelato place ever, I have seen so much history and I have made some incredible friendships. I was so blessed to be able to share this experience with the people closest to me and show them a place that I now call home. I made my way not only around Rome but to Venice, Milan, Assisi, Florence, Tuscany, Turi, Positano, Sorrento, Capri, Naples, Pompeii, Sicily, London and even Stockholm. And I met family I didn’t even know existed!
Well, these past two days have been some of the greatest in my life and were also some of the most challenging. My parents and I departed Rome at 10 a.m. on Monday in our Volkswagon Passat station wagon and headed toward Bari. For this part of our trip we were going to meet our relatives that live in Turi, which is right outside of Bari. My great-grandfather Angelo Spinelli on my mom’s side was born in Turi in 1902 and came to America in 1921 to live and raise a family. He left behind his parents and two of his sisters to go to America to join his oldest sister. Once in America, WellAngelo had two children, my grandfather and great aunt. Although my grandpa Perry never met his aunts or cousins, they were in touch by writing letters and sending photos.
These past two weeks have been quite the adventure, from giving another Bearcat the grand tour of Rome, to traveling to Sicily for the weekend and celebrating my 21st birthday, I have never been so exhausted and excited at the same time. Like I have mentioned before, it is my goal to try to get to as many places in Italy as I can and Sicily was next on my list.
After a busy, busy weekend of traveling I am back home in Rome ready for this week of classes! Last Thursday a group of ten other students and me traveled to Venice, Italy.
Today is Monday, Jan. 19, and it's my first day of classes here in Rome! I am studying at John Cabot University (America's University in Rome). I had my tour the other day, but today I got out of bed early and met my roommates for lunch on the Tiber campus (right across from the Tiber River), and then we started heading toward the other parts of campus.
It's day three here in Rome and, after all the walking and eating, I notice how adjusted I am becoming to living the Roman life. I arrived on Tuesday around 4:30 and was shuttled to my apartment here in the city. All of my roommates were already here and unpacking, so I had some catching up to do.
In less than a month I will be making the trip to Rome! All my final preparations are being made and when I get home from my last exam on Thursday I will be in full Italy mode. Its been pretty difficult trying to figure out all the fine details with my parents being in another state but with all the help from Ms. Hart and even my friends this is already an experience I would not trade for anything. Just yesterday I received an email giving me my apartment address and the names of my roommates in Italy! I am so excited to immerse myself in a new culture and environment not knowing anyone or really anything. I might need to learn a few Italian phrases before I leave!