Hi everyone! So sorry I've been so silent, it's been mostly a lot of school work, not too much to report and I wouldn't want to bore you with posts about my numerous essays and worksheets. But, I am still in Rome, so as always, I can't even be too upset about it. It's been a month today I believe, the time is FLYING by I wish it would slow down a bit! We finished our first Italian class!! Very exciting, but we had to leave our wonderful teacher Stefania. All of a sudden I realized that we've spent 60 hours with her in the past month...So it was pretty weird to say goodbye and know we won't see her every day anymore. As long as those classes are, Stefania made it bearable and was always so patient with us as we made mistakes or struggled to find the right words, or (god forbid) slipped into English. Now we have another month of the next Italian level, again for three hours a day, five days a week. It is incredibly helpful, and I don't even hate the classes, but the time commitment is brutal. Between the commute to and from the school and the homework and the actually class it's a solid 4-4 1/2 hours out of my day, not to mention the time I'm in my other classes, so the weeks are pretty much shot. It will be nice when they're over in March.
It's been raining a lot here, like literally every single day of this past week. I think today was the only day it was sunny and beautiful all day, and unfortunately I was researching a paper. It's been a good weekend though otherwise! Almost all of our group was gone, a big group of kids went to Switzerland, a few of my good friends went skydiving over the Swiss Alps and the others went skiing. Some of the boys from Catholic went London, so it was just me, Marie, Lara, Sophie, and Alyssa, four of my closest friends here, left in Rome. We had a great time, on Friday night we went to our neighborhood pub right next to our house with everyone and our waiter friend brought us all free bruschetta. We had a nice long dinner and then all went out and had a really fun night. The next morning Marie and I met Alyssa who suggested going to the top of the dome of St. Peter's because we've heard the view is fantastic. We got to the Vatican, however, and the line to just get into St. Peter's was absurd, down the block outside the Vatican itself. We weren't sure what was going on since it was just a regular saturday, but it was not looking like we were getting anywhere near St. Peter's so we said we'd come back another weekend and went to do the next thing on her list, which was climb to the roof of Villa Borghese, which is in Piazza Del Popolo and the mansion of a former cardinal, not too far from school. It has a beautiful view of the city and Rick Steves describes it as Rome's "central park" of sorts, though we didn't make it into the garden area, we mostly just took in the stunning view and walked around until we somehow wound up at the Spanish Steps and walked home from there. It was a beautiful day to just walk around and take in the beauty of the city (I will post pictures!)
Marie, Alyssa, and I went to meet our Italian Program director, Aurora, for an "appertivo" or happy hour, she had organized. It was a really fun, cool place with lots of Italians. Basically you go in and they have a big buffet of all kinds of stuff, different kinds of pasta, polenta, cous cous, beets, were just some of the highlights, and they assume you'll get drinks so they don't charge you for anything. Marie and I ended up getting these fancy martinis that were really good. We're thinking this might be a spot we'll want to come back to later on.
This week brings more work and more Italian, and hopefully no more rain, though I feel like that might be wishful thinking. And on Friday we leave for Tuscany for the weekend with our school! I cannot wait, it will be a great change of pace and I love Tuscany. I know we are going to Siena but I'm not sure where else...Will keep you posted!