Home Italy Blast Off: Why I’m Over-The-Moon to Study in Rome

Blast Off: Why I’m Over-The-Moon to Study in Rome

by Paige Kocourek
Blast Off: My First Few Weeks in Rome | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in Rome, Italy

Sublime. My favorite word. Additionally, the perfect description of my life in its current state. It’s hard to compare one’s own feelings to another, but I am about to do just that. So, sit tight, ladies and gentlemen, and prepare to second-handedly experience the emotional high I am currently riding on. Imagine Neil Armstrong landing on the moon for the first time and taking that monumental first step; a step no man had ever taken. Imagine the extremity of exhilaration Armstrong shared with his fellow astronauts. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. I am going to ask you to multiply the excitement you are imagining by 100. Now you understand how I am feeling. I am over-the-moon elated. All the walls in the history of walls? Yeah, I have bounced off them all.

Why all the excitement you ask? Well, let me tell you… in the form of a list.

1. I am currently living in Rome (AKA the most incredible city amongst all cities). 

I have been wandering the streets of Rome for approximately three weeks now. If you have yet to visit, go. Whatever you need to do to get there — fly, kayak, swim  — whichever mode of transportation you prefer, Rome must skyrocket to the top of your bucket list. From intricately designed buildings to iconic and historically dense sites, Rome never fails to leave its inhabitants with feelings of awe. Truly, I have found myself stopping in my tracks, causing innocent tourists to run into me, because I have stumbled upon something so strikingly beautiful. One recent example of this was the view from the top of the Spanish steps or Villa Borghese.

Blast Off: My First Few Weeks in Rome | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in Rome, Italy

2. I haven’t stopped consuming sublime culinary creations.

You think I am joking? Eating has become like breathing for me.

Some may say that I am a ‘serial eater’ of sorts. Down every beautiful cobblestone winding street, you will find irresistible restaurants and cafés. Not to mention the hundreds of gelatarie sprinkled throughout the city! I have already eaten my way around Rome, but have barely touched the surface of its endless supply of pasta, gelato, pizza, supplì (fried rice balls), and heaven. Because that’s what Rome is. Heaven.

A few quick culinary recommendations given to me by locals:

  1. Saltimbocca: A restaurant with an endearing atmosphere and top notch carbonara.
  2. Giolitti: A gelateria around the corner from the Pantheon. My recommendation? Choose anything because every gelato flavor is like tasting nectar of the gods.
  3. Café Ole: A charming café owned by the sweetest Italians who will give fantastic recommendations when asked.
  4. Sant’Eustachio iI Caffe: The best coffee I have encountered thus far. It is a must in my books.
  5. Alfredo alla Scrofa: Let me give you an extremely brief history lesson. This incredible restaurant is said to be the home to the creation of fettuccine alfredo. Enough said.
Blast Off: My First Few Weeks in Rome | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in Rome, Italy

Exploring Assisi, a town close to Rome

3. The opportunity for adventure and exploration is, quite simply, sublime.

Extraordinary historical masterpieces lie everywhere you look. For example, I casually walk past the Pantheon on my walk to class every day (a necessity to venture inside of). Picturesque villages — such as Frascati, Spello and Assisi — are a sole train ride away. While studying abroad, I have realized adventuring to every intriguing destination within Rome and surrounding will be impossible, which only means there are no dull moments! My sleep has suffered because of this, but that is what an espresso shot is for.

I could write an entire novel surrounding my infatuation with Rome and Italy in general! Clearly this incredible place has made an impact on me, even though I have only been here a mere three weeks. Being in this historically sensational city has brought to life a new definition of adventure and excitement. I don’t know what the rest of the semester has in store for me, but I am embracing every second. No small steps, just one giant leap for Paige. Simply sublime.

This post was contributed by Paige Kocourek, who is spending her spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Rome, Italy.

Blast Off: My First Few Weeks in Rome | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in Rome, Italy

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1 comment

Jane Fischer March 5, 2018 - 2:12 pm

You lucky girl to study abroad soak it all up, I loved the time I spend there.

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