I am having the time of my life. It's been a week since I left NYC but it feels as if I've been in Rome for months. The pre-departure nerves I had last week now seem, to be frank, a bit stupid. In just one week I've seen most of Rome, experienced the nightlife, seen beautiful churches and architecture and made the most amazing friends.
Although I've been taking loads of pictures here, I won't be posting them for a while. My time on the computer is limited so I'll upload pictures to my blog the second I return to the states (August 1st).
Anyway, it's really hot here and we walk for hours off end everyday. Every time we return to the hotel, we jump in the shower--even if we only have 5 mintues until our next rendevous. The day tours around Rome are both scorching and exhausting but they're so worth it. Plus, the heat during the day make the cooler nights that much more enjoyable.
Last Monday, the day we arrived in Rome, we explored the streets surrounding our hotel. Our hotel, the Grand Hotel Palazzo Carpegna, is located about 20 minutes north from the city's center so we have to take either the bus or the metro to get downtown. In the evening, a group of about 20 students, including myself, took the metro to the Trevi Fountain. The Trevi Fountain is beautiful, especially at night. Tourists and even locals gather around the fountain to eat gelatto, drink vino, socialize and throw coins into the fountain in exchange for wishes. It's very romantic actually. Couples hold each other close and different languages echo through the surrounding streets.
After a good hour at the Trevi, some of the group retired back to the hotel. However, me and about 8 others were still eager to venture the Roman streests so we walked to the Spanish Steps: A series of steps located in the Piazza di Spagna that is packed with tourists during the day but is full of young socializing locals by night. Within a few hours, these last 8 students became "my people": my group of friends who fearlessly explore the foreign streets and who eventually became my closest friends on the trip.