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2nd Half of OcToBeR

2nd Half of OcToBeR

October 17 to October 28th
Fall Break
Instead of Spring Break in Rome at the JFRC we are given a fall break. Now our fall break is the lasts one week, the equivalent of a spring break. It gives us students a chance to travel to and go see Europe or Italy. I chose to do the latter of the two and stayed in Rome for half of fall break, than explored Italy for the other half. While I stayed in Rome I spent one full day walking all of Rome starting at Piazza del Popolo, checking out the Borghese Gardens, Via Del Corso, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and continued all the way to Piazza Venezia and the Roman Forum and the Coliseum and I ended the journey at Mount Testaccio which is a ancient landfill/dumpsite of roman pottery. It was a full day of walking that was much needed “ME TIME.” Also snapped a few photos on the journey as well.

Hunger Run 10k
My 5 days in Rome also consisted of running a 10k starting and finishing at the Baths of Caracalla (one of the biggest bath houses from ancient Rome). Through out the 10k various tourist attractions were passed such as the Coliseum which was unbelievable feeling as I ran on the closed streets of Rome that are normally packed with tourist buses and taxi cabs.  The street was packed with people going back to the ancient days of Rome when everyone either was walking or on horseback.
I finished the race with a time of 39:40 and finished 80th out of 1500 people which was fun. My goal time was 40 minutes and for never having ran a 10k I think that was a good place to start. The race ended with laying on the field of an old track waiting for a lunch call from the US Ambassador to UN Mission in Rome.
Somehow our head of student life got connected with the US Embassy and it was set up for participants from my school that after the Hunger Run we were invited to the US ambassador’s residence for a rooftop BBQ. Now you may think that Lays Potato chips, Heinz Ketchup, Chipsahoy cookies, and burgers are extremely normal in the United States. But here in Italy you would be lucky to find any of the above items, it was honestly heaven on a plate. Not to mention we were eating the BBQ amongst the green parrots of Rome’s forests just inside the ancient city walls of Rome.

In Italian Parco Regionale Dell Appia Antica in English Appia Antica Regional Park
Another day I went to the Appia Antica Park which is a regional park located in southern Rome. This park is extremely cool because it almost feels as though you are in a different world, or land, or country all together. The park is located in a valley of sorts and when you are within the valley you cannot see outside to the normal hustle and bustle of Rome. Even though you are only a mile or two south of the historic city center of Rome and just barely outside the city walls. There were ancient houses, crypts, aqueducts, and the original Appian way. The Appian way is the ancient road that the Roman’s used to transfer their troops fast off to battle. Also it was the first main road built that was leaving the city.Also this was the first time that I had seen more than one Roman working out, there were plenty of people doing physical activity whether that be biking, running, or walking.

Perugia – chocolate FEST
The Chocolate festival was a very chocolaty experience to say the least. Perugia is located in the region of Umbria, one region north of Lazio – Rome’s region they hold the Euro Chocolate Festival every year. Usually over 500,000 people visit just to get their hands on Europe but mainly Italy’s best chocolate. At the chocolate festival was Chocolate bars the same size as oversized bricks, also full extra extra large pizzas of chocolate not to mention chocolate kebab and chocolate covered apples. Most of the chocolate was extremely expensive so I just went around to the 150 plus booths asking for free samples and acting interested in purchasing. Lets just say, I consumed my fair share of chocolate… well as much as my stomach could handle.The highlight of my visit was not the chocolate but it was the friends and views of Italy that made it most worthwhile. I went on the trip to Perugia not knowing the two girls that came with me very well. Howeve, by the end of the day in Perugia both Shimoli and Karina had became great friends. It was a great coincidence that they happened to be around for fall break and joined me on a chocolate adventure when almost everyone at JFRC is traveling all of Europe.

Au-Pair Family Visit #2
Also during fall break was my second visit to the family that I will be living with for around 6 to 8 months from January until June or August. The second visit exceeded the outcome of the first visit. On this visit I got to meet more of the extended family and also bonded with the two boys Giacomo and Niccolo and their mother Francesca more so than I did last time. That being said I also got to meet Francesca sister and husband and their two kids. They live in London so I assisted the two boys with their school work due at the end of their holiday. I also met the Giacomo and Niccolo’s grandma and although she only speak Italian, I had a minor and brief conversation with her. The visit consisted of consuming the best food I have ever had in my life, SORRY PAPI! I had truffles grinded on top of my pasta. Had ravioli filled with veal, also had homemade gelato, and farinata that is made out of chickpeas I believe. Anyways I am trying to grow out of being a picky eater being surrounded by all this unbelievable food. Yes Gram, finally you would be proud of me although I do have to say that focaccia and salami is unbeatable when it comes to a sandwich.

Another update is to come, sorry I am behind we’ll get back into the swing of things soon…

Extend a hand to someone you do not know today, never know what someone may need!


Steve OOOooo

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