Having visited Rome for four weeks last year, I had already seen all the tourist sites more than once, so I just set about exploring the city on foot, solo. I live just south of the Coliseum in San Giovanni. I love San Giovanni as its tranquilissimo; safe, pleasant and quiet, but the downside means that you have to travel further for all of the action.
I paid homage to the traditions of gelato and pizza, making pilgrimages into central Rome everyday just to sample some sweet, sweet salvation. I was disappointed! The quality in the centre was poor and the prices weren’t cheap either. Because I can’t exactly live like a king (or queen) on my British Council salary in future I’m just going to go off of tried and tested recommendations, but the gelato above was my own find 🙂
The weather is incredible, much hotter than an English weather, with temperatures rising to 28 degrees some days. Coming from gray London, I couldn’t get enough of this. (Although to be fair to my native city, we had fantastic weather this summer, thank you London). Most of my time is spent walking around Rome and exploring. I love just looking at all the sunsets, ornate buildings, coffee rituals, Italian conversations, shoe shopping and lots more. I’ve been to the beach countless times…
The hardest thing to cope with has probably been the language; I have a burning desire to communicate, but can’t transmute my thoughts into words. Its so frustrating, since I felt I’d gotten to a really good level in Spanish, only to have to start back again at square 1. In fact, just today I was speaking Spanish with a native Spanish speaker and once I heard their reply thought “man my Spanish is obviously shitter than I thought,” until I realised he was speaking Italian. Doh!
I’ve made a few Italian friends and am doing at least five language exchanges a week, which I feel is still not enough. I will be severely disappointed if I leave Italy not fluent in the language, so will have to step it up a notch. I spend a lot of my time reading and writing at Piazza Navona (the main photo) and my work is just a few minutes walk from there. It might be heaving with tourists, but its popular for a reason and I don’t think my mbile phone photos do it justice!
I also climbed this badboy made out of bamboo, fittingly called Big Bambu, in Testaccio. You had to sign a disclaimer waiving culpability for death or something like that, but walking up 25 metres on bamboo was scary! Its part of MACRO, the contemporary art museum. I’ve also made some lovely international friends here too.
And finally here’s me on a vespa. Who’s Vespa? Who knows, but one of my goals is to drive one by the end of the year and maybe take a roadtrip. I don’t know if this will be somewhat impeded by the fact that I can’t drive a car…