It is hard for me to believe that a dream I've had since I was so young is finally becoming a reality. All of my close friends and family know that I have always wanted to travel. I am beyond blessed that Saint Vincent offers trips to other countries and has so many excellent study abroad opportunities. I have never been out of the country before but that is soon about to change.
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.
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.
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!
“Hello my name is Austin and I’m a marketing major,” seems like an ordinary greeting for anyone until you combine it with a 60 second song, a banjo, and some good video editing! Hello, and welcome to the always fun, exciting, and most of all, entertaining, life of ME: Austin Summers. As said in the song, I’m a marketing major at Saint Vincent College and this summer, I will be studying Fashion Marketing and Merchandising abroad for 4 weeks in Europe; stopping at London, United Kingdom, Paris, France, Milan and Florence, Italy. I plan on keeping a detailed, but interesting, account of all that I see and do for your reading pleasure.
The goal with my blog is to make you laugh, cry, and show off the great opportunities that Saint Vincent College offers through my strange sense of humor. Honestly, if anything will give you a sense of what my blog is going to be like, just watch my YouTube video of my 60-second pitch below.