When It Rains in Roma, It Pours

Well guys this week I am coming at ya live from a bus. I am on my way back from a place where that I never dreamed I would go, ROMA. I actually still cannot believe that I just said that. This trip has been a dream of mine since I was little. Yes, thank you Lizzie McGuire. It truly was what dreams are made of (come on I had to). Instead of writing this when I returned I could not help but to reflect on my week and weekend while we are stuck in traffic.

Classes are in full swing now; daily readings, and trying to slowly learn Italian. I have learned this week that it is about the little things that I need to cherish while abroad. My roommates and I try and walk around the city as much as we can during our free time. As nice as a bed and Netflix sounds some days we have realized that those things will still be around in December. Florence, however will not be. This realization happened after classes and homework on Thursday. All of us decided to venture out and just take in the city. We stumbled upon an orchestra playing outside the museo of the Ponte Vecchio. These simple little events are the moments that we will treasure in our minds for the rest of life. These moments are truly what makes the city unique and wonderful.

Sometimes I still cannot believe that this is two minutes away

The weekend however was not spent in Florence but as I said before, Rome. This trip was very different for me. It was for learning and discovering a place I never thought I would see. Roma is incredibly different than Florence. In Florence you can walk everywhere in under twenty minutes, Roma is another story. I was not expecting it to be as big as it was it had a more New York City feel to it. It was almost surreal to see all the ancient sites randomly in parts of the city.

No, this is not a movie set

As much as this was about seeing the sites this weekend was also a trip for my faith. I was discovering and taking in places I have learned about since first grade. I walked the Vatican grounds knowing I was at one of the holiest places in the world and it felt unreal. Saying a prayer in St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s and the Sistine Chapel were all special and meaningful moments for me. I could not help but to thank God for this experience and opportunity.

Standing here is every Catholic girl’s dream

We spent beautiful Saturday roaming the Colosseum and the Sistine chapel. The colosseum was another moment when you have to pinch yourself and realize that you are not in a dream. We compared it to a movie set, like it felt truly unreal. What was shocking to us was how well kept it was for how old it really is.

Like I said before the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s and Vatican City were major moments for me. Not only was this a huge trip for my faith but I am also a huge art history nerd and for me to see paintings that I have studied was surreal. There were multiple moments during this day where I thought I was going to cry. Standing in the Sistine chapel was an amazing experience. For you that have not visited the chapel, fun fact you actually cannot take pictures of the famous work nor can you speak. The chapel is truly about the experience. I stood there in complete awe that I was finally there. I was shocked by the size however, I was picturing these huge paintings and they are fairly small to what I was imagining but nevertheless beautiful.

Raphael’s “School of Athens:” My mouth actually dropped

After a very long tour we were exhausted. Luckily for us we had a delicious dinner waiting for us. We had a traditional three course Roman meal. I am an adventurous so being in another country has made it fun. I kind of love not knowing what you are going to get. I mean when in Rome, am I right?

The weekend also brought about quite a lot of rain. It made me think deeply about the tragedies facing America these past few weeks with hurricanes. Throughout Sunday morning, we found ourselves struggling to walk the flooded streets of Rome on the way to the Trevi Fountain. We did not get that picture perfect experience at the fountain. It was empty, except for us soaked students. As much as this was an inconvenience, it was also a moment none of us will ever forget. We stood in the pouring down rain looking at each other, laughing that we were actually here. I found myself throughout the day reminding myself that everything could be worse. Families in both Texas and Florida right now are watching their picture-perfect lives crumble in front of them all because of rain. I realized that if the worst thing I have to deal with is a lot of rain, soaked pants all day, and soppy shoes that I can see change at the bus my day is not bad. We have learned to always make the best out of every moment because every minute here is a new experience and memory.

Not even a flood can hold me back from this!

That is all for this week guys! This coming week is a taking it easy week. I am planning on hitting a few museums and taking in the city so stay tuned!! See ya next week!

Olivia Pienta

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