Buon giorno from Italy! After several hours of waiting, traveling, and waiting some more- I am finally settled into my apartment here in Rome!
This semester I will be living in an apartment with six random roommates who are all from different schools across the country. Coming from Wofford, where I previously only lived with one roommate, living with six of them is going to be an adjustment, but one I am excited to experience! My apartment is centrally located in a neighborhood of Rome called Prati, which means that I am, at most, an hour walk from all of the major things to do in Rome. While being given the tour of my apartment, there were a few things I immediately registered that were going to take some time to get used to:
- Our washer is outside, and we don’t have a dryer
- We also do not have a dishwasher
- The electricity can go out several times a day and it’s called a ‘blackout.’ To turn the power back on, we must walk to a control box outside and flip it back on
- We got lucky with our apartment having both a stove and an oven, but we don’t have a microwave
- We don’t have control over the temperature in our apartment. Our apartment doesn’t have AC, but the heat is controlled by our building as a whole and is usually only on for certain (minimal) hours during the day
- Our bathroom has both a regular toilet and a bidet!
- In Italy, they take recycling very seriously and require that you separate your trash into different containers
While these are all different from what I am used to, these situations are common in most apartments in Italy/Europe in general and I know after a few weeks of being here, it will all seem perfectly normal.
A major concern of mine before arriving in Italy was the language barrier given that I don’t speak Italian. This worry was quickly nonexistent after my first few days of being here. A good thing about living in a touristy area such as Rome is that most servers, taxi drivers, shop owners, etc. speak enough English that we can carry basic conversations for what is needed. While we can communicate mostly in English, people appreciate a simple ‘grazie’ (thank you) when leaving an establishment or finishing an interaction.
As I mentioned earlier, most things are an easy walk away from my apartment, which meant that within a few days of being here, I got to check off some major bucket list items by just walking around!
Even though I have only been here for a few weeks, I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be, and I am so excited for what this semester has in store for me!