This blog post will be about how I spent my last week in Rome, from December 8th to the 15th. I packed a lot into this last week and it felt great to finish off my semester abroad in this way.
My friends (under the leadership of my roommate Lydia) threw me a birthday party on December 8th. My birthday wasn’t until the 11th but everyone was busy with finals and we had off on the 8th anyway because it was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is also considered the start of the holiday season in Italy. We had talked about doing a taco night since our first couple of weeks here but it never actually happened so we decided to turn that into my birthday meal. I thought we were just going to have tacos in our apartment and that would be all but my friends surprised me by decorating our living room and getting me brownies from Homebaked (a diner/café like place near our host university) because our traditional birthday cakes that we have in the US aren’t really a thing in Italy. While it wasn’t the birthday celebration I’m used to at home. I had so much fun and I am incredibly grateful for all of the amazing friends I made.
I sat out on our balcony for a while, trying to appreciate the amazing view that I have had for months but wouldn’t have for much longer. I also took my event planning final online from my apartment on the 9th. One of my roommates had set up a desk in a small room in our apartment that we could all use to take our finals away from everyone else. Afterwards, we went to a restaurant called “Colline Emiliane”. It is a Michelin Star Restaurant so I was extra excited to eat here. I ordered butter and sage ravioli which was delicious. Everything else there was amazing too. I highly recommend going there if you are in the Piazza Venezia area but be sure to make a reservation well in advance.
Erin and I went to Galleria Borghese, which is considered a must-see in Rome but we hadn’t had the chance to go yet. I had a coop interview later that day and left for dinner shortly after I finished. We ate at Maccheroni, a restaurant my friends had been to several times but I hadn’t. I ordered pasta in a Bolognese sauce, it was delicious. On our way back home we stopped at the Pantheon for the last time. The Pantheon is one of my favorite places in Rome because it is just thrown in within the regular buildings, you are just walking down a regular street and then you just see the Pantheon around the corner. We finished off our night at Treefolk’s, an English pub near our apartment.
December 11th – My Birthday!
At 5:30am my roommate Erin left to catch a train to the airport. My other roommates, Ruby and Lydia, and I went to Castel Sant’ Angelo near Vatican City. This was something on my list to do before I left, and I just squeezed it in. I went to dinner at Open Baladin with my friends Grace and Keila, one of the few places where you can find a decent burger in Rome.
This day I didn’t do anything glamorous. I went and bought a few last-minute souvenirs and Christmas gifts and packed up the rest of my things.
I took my Italian final on-campus and Grace, Keila, and I went to Homebaked one last time. I decided to branch out beyond my usual orders and got a bagel with grilled chicken and honey mustard that was delicious. When I got back to my apartment, I watched the sunset from my balcony. We went to Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps that night.
I finally went inside St. Peter’s Basilica. I had been to Vatican City several times and had even been in St. Peter’s Square at night but hadn’t been inside the church. Then I headed into Trastevere to meet up with Lydia and visit the main piazza. We tried to visit Palentine Hill and the Roman Forum but the website listed the incorrect hours and we were turned away. We ended up watching the sunset at the Colosseum on our final day in Italy. We headed to Via del Corso to do some shopping and threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain. And lastly, we went to Otaleg to have our last gelato in Italy, I got tangerine. I also grabbed some sesame bread from Casa Manco nearby as my last meal in Rome.
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.