Summer Study Abroad Series: Experiencing Rome
After a great night in Rimini, we all staggered out of bed early in the morning and left for the last stop of our visit. We’re finishing the trip at the place I had always wanted to go to – Rome. I have been extremely interested in ancient history since the first day I took ancient history class in middle school, so seeing Rome first hand is a life-changing experience. We all have heard that Rome is full of history, but what I have seen so far has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. When we arrived at the Piazza Venezia, the central hub of the city, even the dreadful four-hour bus ride did not stop all the excitement and happiness in each and every single one of us. The beauty of the Altare della Patria, a massive monument built in honor of the first king of a unified Italy, simply took my breath away. And it was only the beginning!
Our tour guide, Chiara, met us in front of the Colloseum. This massive yet stunning building had the capacity of seating around 50,000 spectators. The games played in the Roman Coliseum, which remained in use for over 500 years, are believed to have taken the lives of about half a million people and over a million wild animals. Completely amazed by all the stories told by Chiara, we were walking by the ruins of Ancient Rome towards the other top attractions of the city.
Rome has many beautiful fountains, but without a doubt the Trevi Fountain is the most famous and photographed one in the city. The legend has it that this majestic fountain can decide whether you will or will not come back to Rome in the future. Needless to say, we all threw a coin in the fountain hoping to return to this magnificent place. None of us are sure whether the story is true or not, but why would anyone risk it?
I came to the realization that Italians don’t seem to find any laws or rules agreeable with their constitution. However, what happens on the streets of Rome is beyond crazy. Red lights are more of a suggestion than a rule. Moped drivers believe crosswalks and sidewalks are just as well suited for them as they are for pedestrians. There are no visible lanes on the streets. And finally, no matter how good of a driver you think you are, whatever you do on the streets of Rome will result in ten other drivers honking at you. Doesn’t it all sound extremely safe?
Overall, I could not ask for a better way to end our trip. Our stay in Rome has already been quite eventful, and we still have one more day to explore the magic of this beautiful city.