Friday, June 27, 2008


So Thursday afternoon, I got home back to my house, which was a relieving feeling. My mom had a nice dinner planned with my family and grandparents. After dinner, we had some dessert and coffee. It was weird to go back to American coffee after this time of drinking cafes and cappuccinos. As i was drinking it, I didn't even notice how fast I was finishing my cup. I had gotten into such a habit of drinking my coffee so fast because that is how it is done in Rome, that I was three quarters through my cup in about five minutes. Even though it is such a minor difference, its interesting how your habits can change so quickly just by being in a different culture for a short period of time.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


This blog has been about my experience while studying abroad in Rome. It was a life-changing trip, and something I am very glad that is well documented, because I will want to remember and share my times with others. More specifically, this blog focused on 3 aspects of Rome. I wrote on the themes of cafes and churches, and about Piazza Navona. I have become somewhat of a mini expert on all of these, so enjoy reading about my trip. Ciao!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Knowing Piazza Navona

So after being at Piazza Navona everyday for almost seven weeks now, I have noticed one general thing: It doesn't change. It is the same waiters at the restaurants everyday, the same vendors selling art, and the same tour guides bringing through tourists. Tourists are the reason for the existence of the piazza. The same man plays the same music on his guitar every night. The groupd of Arts and Architecture that live in Piazza Navona close their windows every night around the same time because they hear his repetitive songs everyday. I find it ironic that this place has such a great reputation but to someone living in Rome, it may get a little boring.

Doria Pamphili

Last week, one day after class, we had the option of going to into the Galleria Doria Pamphilj. This gallery is in the same building as our school here in Rome. And considering it is one of the best art galleries in the city, I definitely took the advantage of going for free courtesy of Penn State. So a few of us went with Mike and Jenny, and it may be my favorite gallery I’ve been to yet. The audio guide here is free, and that helped a lot. This gallery has more paintings than any other one in Rome, and I don’t know much about art, but it was awesome. The most famous painting we saw was a portrait of Pope Innocent X. It was an amazing painting, but what I liked better was the sculpture of Innocent X. There was actually two of them there by Bernini. There is two because one of them broke before, and then Bernini boasted about how he could make another one in just ten days, and he did it and it was just as beautiful. There were so many paintings there with awesome stories behind them. Another one that sticks out in my mind was the painting of St. John the Baptists head on a silver plate. It actually made me sad and angry looking at considering the story behind it and how genuine it looked.

Market Walk

Today we took our walk with our small group and Hilary. It was Courtney’s topic of markets, so I walked to the girls place at 8:30 in the morning and then we walked to meet Hilary in Testachio. We walked to an indoor market there. They sell everything there from shoes to fresh fruit. I saw some things there I haven’t seen much of in other places, for example Skippy’s peanut butter. I have found that peanut butter in general is hard to come by here. This market was different than the ones I have been to so far. First of all it was inside, which makes it less likely for people to just wander through. Also it is in a much less touristy part of Rome. The combination of these two facts creates a much less crowded environment and better prices for good food.

After we walked through here a bit, we traveled along the river up to the Synagogue and through the Jewish ghetto to Campo di Fiori. I was happy we were going here because I have heard that it is great during the day and I haven’t made it there yet. This market couldn’t be more opposite than the first one. It is completely open and a bit touristy. It does have decent prices, but all fruits and vegetables in Rome are. One thing that stuck out in mind about the vegetables here was the eggplant. It was almost the size of a football. All of the fruits and veggies at these markets are of better quality than in most supermarkets. Here they have cheap souvenirs too. They might not be the best quality, but it is a good place to shop.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Grantia di Cafe

Today my roommate Sam took me to Casa del Cafe, a very well known cafe in Rome. Since it was very hot today, we ordered a granita di cafe. This is an iced espresso served in a small plastic cup, highly resembling water ice. If desired, they add whip cream to either the top or the top and bottom. I asked for it just on top, and it added the perfect sweetness to the strongly flavored espresso. This was probably my most favorite thing I've bought at a cafe yet. The espresso mixed with the ice and whip cream just melts in your mouth. I highly suggest anyone in Rome to go try one of these. I know I will be back there before I leave which sadly is in 6 days.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Italy Advances in Eurocup

Here are some videos I took of a small riot after Italy won their soccer match against France Tuesday night June 17th.