The GoGlobal Blog

Life in the Eternal City (Part II)

Life in the Eternal City (Part II)

We’ve been in Rome for a month now, and so far I’ve crushed grapes for wine with my feet, jumped out of an airplane over the Swiss Alps, attended a papal audience and eaten enough carbs to last a lifetime. It’s been wonderful, but some old habits are dying hard.


A typical day in Chicago would consist of waking up and walking down the street to the nearest Starbucks or coffee shop for an iced coffee with caramel. In Italy, I can do the same. Except I’m not walking to Starbucks, because Starbucks doesn’t have a presence in Italy. My order has also changed, and pumpkin spice lattes are not on the menu.

“Vorrei un caffè per favore” (I would like one coffee please) has become one of my favorite phrases. It’s also one of the few things I can say in Italian. The coffee culture in Italy is significantly different from that in the United States. Milk is frowned upon after noon. Ordering a cappuccino after then will not only get you strange looks it will also give away your nationality. Italians drink one cappuccino in the morning with breakfast — usually a small pastry— and then order espresso periodically throughout the day, including after dinner (which they eat at 8 p.m.).


Learning to navigate Rome is a bit of a challenge. Chicago is literally built on a grid, while Rome is pretty scattered. Students typically travel in groups, so getting lost is never terribly problematic. I would not recommend exploring on your own unless you know Rome like the back of your hand. If you don’t want to take my word for it, call the U. S. Embassy.

Lack of data has also played a role in the struggle of navigation; however, it gives you a more realistic feel of what Ancient Rome was like pre-Apple.

Classes have resumed, and it’s nice to be back on a schedule (unlike the public transportation of Rome). We’re all working to establish a healthy balance between studying and living abroad. I’ll let you know when I’ve mastered it.

Ciao until next time,


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