My friends and I went on a beautiful (and exhausting) weekend trip to Cinque Terre this weekend. After waiting at Rome Termini Station until midnight last night, our bus finally arrived. I was exhausted, hungry, delirious and so happy to be going home. And then I realized how odd it is to feel almost homesick for a place where I’ve only lived for two weeks.
In my short two weeks in Rome, I’ve discovered a lot about this city. Some of it is unfavorable- like how public transportation has such a laissez faire attitude (what’s Italian for laissez faire!?) about timetables sometimes. I’ve also discovered a medley of little things that make me really love the city.
THE PRODUCE: fruit and vegetables here are cheaper and fresher than anything in the United States. It’s pretty amazing. At the supermarkets, at the piazza fruit stands… eating here is a treat. I think my ideal day in Rome would be finding an outdoor market, then buying a loaf of bread, a block of cheese, fruit and wine, then having a picnic with friends on one of Rome’s hills.
THE WINE: or, more accurately, the way Europeans drink wine. Generally speaking, it’s not binge-drinking. It’s having a glass of wine with dinner and chatting with friends. Most nights I’ll cook my dinner, poor myself some wine, and just sit and relax for an hour. It’s very pleasant.
THE STREETS: in an awful attempt at poetry for a creative writing course, I jotted down in the margins of a notebook, “the streets serenade you…” It’s corny (I’m not a poet) but it’s true! You find a neighborhood nearby, choose a direction and walk. You’ll hear a language you don’t understand, but it’s a beautiful language. You’ll hear music coming from every bar and restaurant. Just the other day I heard the most romantic accordion music coming from a cafe. I sat and listened for a couple minutes before I continued walking. And then there’s that visual, poetic effect coming from windows and street corners. On your right, books messily stacked on outdoor racks outside bookstores. On your left, knick-knacks in a window display. Brightly colored red and green and yellow fruits at a vender straight ahead. As for the smells… sometimes it’s fresh bread, sometimes it’s pesto, (sometimes it’s something much less pleasant- but, hey, it’s a city! What else do you expect?). The bread is the best.
ART HISTORY CLUB: we’re checking out the Andy Warhol exhibit this week; next week we’re dining with the Art History professors; the week after that we’re auctioning off dates with club members who are dressed as figures from paintings. It’s fantastic. I get to assist in choosing the paintings people will be impersonating. I’ll be a fun project…
EASY TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES: as I previously mentioned, three of my roommates and I spontaneously booked a trip to Cinque Terre, which is tied for #1 Most Beautiful Place I’ve Ever Been (*the other is Piran, Slovenia*). The highlight of this trip had to be jumping into the sea at sunset and admiring the city, sky and cliffs from the water. I could write about it, but I couldn’t do it justice. I’ll just end this post with pictures instead…