Alumni Ambassador Ariel studied abroad in Rome with us last spring and like so many before her, she fell in love with the Eternal City. She shared with us her best advice and what to know before studying with AIFS in Rome.
1. Say yes to every cultural activity offered! You can take wine tasting classes, pasta making classes, play soccer with local Italians or even something you never thought you would do—like go to the opera.
2. Sign up for the Art and Culture class. Most classes are site visits to places like the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Colosseum, and the many churches in Rome. Viewing a Michelangelo sculpture in person is something you won’t soon forget. It is essentially a four month guided tour of Rome.
3. Make a point to get to know Rosanna and Marco well. Ask them for help with anything, they are truly amazing and a great resource to have.
4. Visit every main tourist site at night while you are there. They will be much less crowded, and seeing them beautifully lit up at night makes for a completely different experience.
5. The best pizza in Rome is Dar Poeta in Trastevere. I would recommend the blue cheese and honey bruschetta, any red pizza, and a Nutella ricotta calzone for dessert.
6. The best gelato in Rome is Giolitti by the Pantheon, hands down! But try as many as you can for yourself.
7. When you visit the Vatican Museum, purchase your tickets online a few weeks ahead of time. This will save you hours of waiting in line and it’s especially useful if you are going with people visiting you.
8. When you visit the Colosseum and the Forum, do not wait in line for tickets at the Colosseum. There is one ticket for both locations and the line is significantly shorter at the Forum.
9. To get around and navigate the city, search for your destination on your smart phone while in wifi, then turn your phone on airplane mode. The little blue dot will move with you without using any data.
10. Practice your Italian language as much as possible. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; you will. But the locals will appreciate your efforts and you will learn much quicker that way.
Ready to pack your bags? Find out more about semester, summer and January term study abroad in Rome on our website.