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Rome – My Bucket List

Rome – My Bucket List

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There has been so much “Rome” talk these past couple of weeks! I am totally anxious to board my flight to Italy on Tuesday, and it seems impossible that it’s just two days away. After being accepted to study at the John Felice Rome Center last year, I remember thinking August 30th was a lifetime away. Don’t get me wrong… though I am nervous for it to come, I’m definitely excited, too. The only idea I have of what to expect is the advice I’ve gotten from my mom, who recently visited Rome. She has given me her most meaningful tips, including taking an excess amount of black clothing and traveling as light as possible. And while packing has taken up most of my time this past week, I am more focused on arriving in Italia to start checking as many items off my bucket list as possible.

Here are 10 things I hope to do across the pond:

1. Befriend locals

Whether it’s in Rome, another Italian place, or a random city in Europe, I’d love to chat up people who actually live there. Talking to strangers is an everyday occurrence in Chicago, and I only hope to carry on the tradition abroad.

2. Visit Paris

I can’t really explain why this city is on my list, but ever since I have observed other students abroad visiting Paris, it has been making its way to the top of my list. Perhaps it is there because it contains the world’s largest art museum and monument, the Louvre. Something about it has always intrigued me.

3. Have a crazy 21st birthday

When I tell people that my 21st birthday will occur while I’m abroad, they seem sort of sad for me, since the drinking age in Rome is 18. Ha! You all just wait. I have something big planned.

4. Spend a day painting and drawing in a famous piazza

I am obsessed with arts and music!!! My love for the two happens to be a huge reason that I chose to study in the first place. Today, I purchased a couple of small drawing pads and watercolors to push me to sketch and paint while I’m there. Don’t worry; I’ll post pictures of my artwork, too!

5. Bring back at least one Italian tradition

Whether it’s an Italian dish or some Italian language, I can’t wait to share something foreign with friends and family once I return. I hope it ends up being food, to be honest!

6. Go to a concert

Rumor has it, the Chainsmokers will be performing in Milan during the month of October. For those of you who don’t listen to EDM, just know, they would be an AMAZING one to go to.

7. Fill up on wine, gelato, and espresso

I did mention I turn 21 in a month right? Also, who doesn’t love ice cream and coffee?

8. Visit the Vatican City

Well, you know I had to put something touristy on here? The Colosseum and Trevi Fountain are pretty much a given, but visiting the Vatican City is always something I’ve hoped to experience, as well! Besides, my grandma MJ would kill me if I didn’t at least try to see Papa Francisco.

9. Experience nightlife in more than one European city

I am a 20-year-old, after all. I absolutely have to experience the nightlife. Discoteca, anyone?

10. REALLY get to know Rome

This was a tip from the SLAs, to really get to know the neighborhood we live in as well as the rest of Rome. Even though I plan on traveling to much more than just Rome, I’ll definitely spend some quality time wandering around local shops and plazas.

After reading this bucket list aloud to my parents, they seemed slightly worried that the next four months sounded like just a vacation. “You are taking classes, right, Molly?” To justify the “study” in “study abroad,” and to put my parents at ease, know that I will be taking some awesome classes, too! If you have any tips for traveling or any specific spots I absolutely have to visit while there, email me at

I can’t wait to cross every one of these off my list, mostly so I can share this craziness with you all via blog. See you on the other side!




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