By Caroline Clapp
We’ve been in Rome for just over 3 weeks now and so far it has been amazing. I have already taken a few small weekend trips around Italy and have seen some pretty incredible sights, but my favorite thing so far has definitely been getting to discover Rome. The first week felt almost like a race to hit all of the major sites. I saw The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s, the Pantheon, and pretty much every other landmark site the city has within my first few days here. Most of these sites all proved to be just as (or even more) magnificent as they look in pictures, but, after completing the tourist circuit, there was a brief pause where I wondered what else the city had to offer. After class one day I decided I was going to venture out on my own and explore the city. With no map and no plan I crossed the bridge from Trastevere into the main city and wandered around for the day. I walked into almost every Church I passed and saw amazing artwork in each one. I stopped for lunch in a huge piazza and enjoyed a panini as I sat by a fountain and listened to some street performers. I continued my journey through the city and discovered lots of little shops and even some ruins. I initially thought the graffiti that covers almost every wall in the city detracted from the beauty of all the buildings, but after walking so many of the streets I appreciate the character it brings to the city and I have since discovered how useful it can be when trying to navigate your way around. As I headed back to campus, I took a wrong turn and ended up above the campus and at the top of the Janiculum Hill where I was treated to a breathtaking view of the city. The longer I stay here the more I love the city and can’t wait to see more of it along with the rest of Europe.