View of the Forum from the Capitoline Hill
I am just now approaching my second week of classes in Rome, and I have hardly any complaints. I signed up for two classes during my four-week program here, The History of Renaissance and Baroque Art and The Style and Culture of Italy. While looking over my syllabus, I was ecstatic to see that most of my classes included on-site visits and lectures to some of the preeminent spots in Rome!
Each day, I have class from 9:00-11:30 am and 3:00-5:30 pm. Although it sounds like a big chunk of the day, I get most of my sightseeing done during my classes! For a place as rich in history as Rome, this is the great perk of taking classes in the middle of the Eternal City.
For my art history course, we visit churches and museums to discuss the architecture and art that fills the city. It is one thing to view the Forum or the Vatican in a text book; it’s a whole new experience to view them in real life. You can see the elegant details of the Sistine Chapel, feel the sheer massiveness of the Pantheon, and observe the incredible view from the top of Capitoline Hill.
For my culture class, we have visited places in Rome I might not visit otherwise. I have visited neighborhoods that required a twenty-minute subway ride from the center of the city. It is really nice to see both sides of Rome, from the spectacular tourist filled spots to the quiet areas only the locals know about.
Having on site classes has made me appreciate the academic aspect of studying abroad, as well as allowing me to see so much more of the city. I am so lucky to be in a city that has pieces of history around every corner. The classes in Rome have brought me to places I probably would have never seen on my own; I am seeing more of Rome than I would have ever imagined!