Grocery Shopping In Rome

One of the first things we did after getting settled into our apartment was go grocery shopping. In my day to day life, I don’t typically take many risks and prefer to stick with what I’m comfortable with. However, this study abroad opportunity has already put me out of my comfort zone in ways that I didn’t expect. There is a grocery store right next to our apartment, which has been a nice break after walking about 15 thousand steps everyday. Unsurprisingly, all of the items sold in grocery stores are written in Italian, most of which I don’t recognize. When the only thing that’s the same is the Philadelphia cream cheese and the Skippy peanut butter (which they charge triple for), I had to take a step out of my comfort zone and risk that whatever food I buy, I may not like.

Last Saturday, two of my roommates and I went to Eataly. It’s a giant grocery store that is four stories tall with restaurants and a bookstore inside. Since I got here, I have been using the app Citymapper to get around. It is similar to Google Maps and any other navigation app, but it is much more detailed, to the point that it notifies you when you are at your stop to tell you to get off the bus or tram. Overall, this app has been very helpful and accurate for the most part. On our our way to Eataly we took a bus to a train station. Citymapper showed that we were supposed to walk through the train station. We initially thought that that must be a mistake but then one of my roommates realized that we should be able to go down underneath the platforms, walk all the way down to the end, and come up on the other side. We were walking for a while, then we got to a long, dimly lit hallway with low ceilings, went up an escalator, and there we saw it. The big Eataly sign.

Eataly sign when we went up the escalator

When we first went inside, we saw what all the hype was about. It was huge. There was a ton of fresh bread at the entrance that we put into our cart. We hadn’t eaten in a while so we were all very hungry. We had broken the rule to not shop on an empty stomach. I ended up leaving with at least 4 kinds of bread, gnocchi, and a tote bag. The second after we checked out and walked outside, my roommate Lydia and I took out our slices of focaccia bread and ate them right there. They tasted great, I’m not sure if they were actually that good or if we were just so hungry. We walked back under the train station and waited about half an hour for a bus to bring us back to our apartment. We definitely plan on going back soon, and this time we’ll make sure to buy more than just two pieces of focaccia.

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.