Monday January 30
First day of school.
Sadly my time of being able to explore the city with no homework to do has ended. Now I have to focus on the real reason I was able to come to Rome this semester; school. Today started out at 9 with a meeting about the alcohol policy for the school. They also taught us about general safety and earthquake safety. After this class ended it was time for lunch which was some great ravioli along with bread, salad, cheese, meat and dessert. It was great and super filling. The pefect thing I need before my first 3 hour and 15 minute class. My first class of the week is a film class where we will be analyzing different things about Italian films. Turns out that the 3 hour class doesn't include the time to watch any of the film so thats another 2 hour class on a different day. My film professor seems great. His name is Pino and he comes to campus from the city of Bologna. He likes to make a lot of jokes which is great for helping the time pass. Soon enough it was the end of class and I had a little bit of free time until dinner. For dinner we had chicken (veggie patties for me), cauliflower, rice, bread, cheese, meat, salad and dessert. The cauliflower was amazing. I have learned that lunch will usually be a starch and dinner will be a meat along with a veggie and starch. The first day of class was generally a success and after dinner it was time to get started on all the homework I already had before some of my classes even met. I will be doing a lot of reading this semester it turns out. After studying for a while a bunch of my friends and I got together to plan our trip to Florence for the next weekend. This trip is half through the school and half through us. We pay the school a small amount for our admission to the sights, tour guide, gelato, and a multi course dinner. We are so excited but we have to now figure out where to stay and how we are getting there. But, after contacting some places to stay we decided it was time to go to bed before our first on-site class.
Tuesday January 31
Time to sign up for some excursions
6am- Time to get up and go sit downstairs for an hour in a half before I can sign up for excursions. Duquesne sponsors trips to different regions within Italy where they take us on tours, food adventures, and beautiful scenery. The trips they were offering were to Perugia and Assisi Umbria Italy, Matera and Craco Basilicata Italy, and a day trip to Tivoli and the Lakes in Italy. The trips all sound super exiting and I am hoping I can get into all of them. However, most of the trips only have about 18 spots and there are 57 of us at school right now. The odds are not in my favor to be able to get into all of the excursions but I figured the earlier I wake up, the more likely I am to get into them. I headed down to sit in our lobby and the whole time I was walking down the steps I was hoping that there would be less than 18 people already down there. As I rounded the corner I heard voices and as I got closer I saw there was only 7 people in front of me. I was number 8. I was going to get into all the excursions! I was so excited but now I had an hour and a half to kill. We immediately set a rule that no one who came down later could cut in line but we could go to the bathroom or get food if needed. Luckily, breakfast was going to start being served at 7 so I only had a little time to kill before I could go get some food and much needed coffee.
Soon the time has come and I pull out the pen I had been holding onto this whole time. I signed up for the three excursions, the trip to Florence and a wine tasting they are holding. I am going to come home seeing all parts of Italy and also knowing a lot about wine (hopefully I find one I like but at least I can tell people about it). After the excitement of signing up it was time to head downstairs for the super early showing of the movie assigned for this weeks film class; 1900. This film was..... interesting. 2 hours and 45 minutes later I was finally done with the movie. Well just the first part. The second part of the movie running at 2 hours and 30 minutes is due Monday morning.
After watching the movie it was time to venture into the suburb near us and attempt to get an Italian sim card for our nokias that are virtually impossible to type on after using an iPhone for so long. When we get to the store the first thing we ask is "parli inglese" or do you speak english. Luckily the employee spoke a little english so we were able to get the smallest plan they offered and get out in less than 30 minutes. Then it was time to head back to school to get some lunch before heading back out on the bus to go to our first on-site class.
On-site classes take place at different points throughout the city of Rome. This weeks class takes place at the Capitoline Hill or where the capital of Rome is. We ended up going on a tour of the Capitoline Museum where we learned all about the different sculptures and art located in the building. It was a pretty interesting class and we were able to get some really nice pictures both inside the museum and of the city. After class it was time to eat dinner. On Tuesdays dinner is located at a restaurant in the city where we get vouchers for whatever we want to eat. The only problem is none of us who were walking from class had been there before and we weren't quite sure where the restaurant was located. After many wrong turns we eventually did make it. Todays dinner takes place at the Old Bear which has a lot of pastas and salads. I ended up getting some spinach ravioli which were amazing. They were super light and the filling was really flavorful. It was nice being able to sit at a table with people I don't normally get to talk to and learn all about them and make new friends. Afterwards our group of 8 headed out to find a gelato place before attempting to find the bus stop back to school. After cramming into the crowded bus and waiting over an hour for both of them we finally make it back to school. We were all exhausted and all we wanted to do was sleep but instead I stayed up and started on the massive pile of homework already forming. And tomorrow would most likely bring even more.
Wednesday February 1
I can finally sleep in! Today my first class doesn't start till 11 am and its my only class of the day. I took full advantage of being able to catch up on sleep and slept until 10. It felt so good to be able to catch up on all the sleep I have missed. My only class today is a cultural awareness class where they basically teach us about the Italian culture. It was very interesting to learn different greetings in Italian to say to people. Soon enough that class was over and I had the rest of the day free. I used that time to organize my room and get all my school stuff set. I also decided it would be a good time to do some laundry. Laundry here costs 2 euro a wash or dry cycle which is so different than in Pittsburgh where its free. Luckily they give us 50 euro of laundry money but I am starting to wonder if that will be enough. Turns out I didn't shut the washer correctly so I ended up paying twice to wash one load of clothes. And then I learned the dryers are a lot weaker than home so they weren't even able to completely dry my clothes. I ended up laying them out to finish drying. At least I wasn't like some other students that spent 10 euros for a single wash and dry cycle. After the failure of laundry was over I had dinner and then spent the rest of the night watching the second half of 1900. I would have to say I definitely do not recommend this movie and have wasted 5 hours of my life in watching it. I wonder what the class discussion would be like. I will find out on Friday because while usually we don't have any classes on Friday we have all our Monday classes again to make up for the fact we have a Monday off for Easter later in the semester.
Thursday February 2
Today starts off at 8 am where I get onto a private bus for my second on-site class of the week. Usually we are expected to take public transportation but since we are going to a location outside the city they give us a ride for this class. It was nice being able to sit comfortably while listening to our professor talk and be able to take notes on our lap. Our destination this morning was the Catacombs. The catacombs were very interesting. Some of the paints that were done on the ceiling and walls were spectacular. The technique they used left them with only a couple hours to finish the complete design. Sadly we were not allowed to take any pictures so I don't have any examples to show. After the class ended our professor was nice and asked the bus driver to take a slower way back to campus but one that allowed us to see different parts of Rome we otherwise might not have. We even drove past where the hotel I stayed at the last time I cam was. The tour was great and we got back just in time for lunch. After lunch was time for homework before heading into the city for dinner.
Thursday is another day where we are provided a voucher for dinner and this time it was at a pizza restaurant by the Vatican. We took the metro there which a much better way of traveling than the bus. I ended up getting cacio e pepe pizza which was pretty good. (Not as good as the pasta from last time though mom. ) We even had enough money left that we could get dessert so I got a chocolate mousse that was so rich I could only eat a couple spoonfuls. After dinner when we were stuffed we headed back to the metro so we could get home and do more homework before bed. It seems like I will be staying up late most nights. Good thing I am in a place with really good coffee.
Friday February 3
Back to my film class. The discussion turned out to be more of a history lesson than discussion of the movie which was nice but boring at times. Soon enough class was over and it was time to sprint up stairs to grab our bags. We had 15 minutes to get to the bus stop to catch our bus that would take us to the metro. It was time to go on our first trip outside of the city! We were headed to Florence. Stay tuned for how the weekend in Florence is!
I'm Sabrina Kirsch a sophmore physical therapy student at Duquesne University. I will be spending the spring semester of 2017 in Rome, Italy where I will eat my way through all the gelato and pasta they offer. My goal is to see everything possible and visit as many countries as possible.