Exploring Roma - The First Weeks

Allie Wineland
September 25, 2018

It's officially week number three in the Eternal City and I have learned so much and loved every minute of it. From weekend trips, to field studies for class, to exploring the ancient streets by myself, it has all widened my view of living in Italy and Italian culture. While I haven't found my study spot quite yet, I already feel at home in Roma and can't wait to see what the next couple months bring. Here's a sneak peek into my daily life!

After a very long day of travel, missed flights, and meeting a ton of new people, waking up to this view was so refreshing. My bedroom in my apartment leads out to this terrace where my roommates and I like to eat, study, and host friends.

My walk to class includes this beautiful view of Saint Peter’s Basilica, which I will be touring with one of my classes later in the semester.

Everyone who lives in the Prati neighborhood has to cross this bridge to get to the IES Abroad classroom building each day. We endearingly call it the Bridge of Angels after the ethereal angel sculptures leading from Castel Sant’Angelo to the Ponti neighborhood across the way. This photo I took during my first field study for my photography class; we explored the bridge, running path underneath and the bridge and piazza adjacent to the Angel Bridge.

The IES Abroad building is in such a cool location! We are right across the river in a couple story building with a beautiful terrace for us to hang out on during the day. This photo is the view of the town and the terrace (the red awning) from one of my classrooms on the third floor. Everyone seems to have rooftop gardens and patios, which just makes everything so much cuter!

During orientation week, we did a walking tour of Rome in which professors took us around and showed us the major sights as well as some hidden treasures. This was one of my favorite places, not too far from IES Abroad. The church of San Luigi de Francesi is actually France's national church in Rome. Hidden inside are three breathtaking Caravaggio paintings that depict the story of Saint Matthew. While I know no one might appreciate this other than my sister and high school humanities teacher, believe me when I say they are AMAZING.

While not a great photo, you can see the intricacies in Caravaggio's attention to expression and the anguish in the face of the people depicted. Caravaggio was known for how he could inject emotion into his works, and I couldn't believe that I was seeing a REAL Caravaggio only ten feet in front of me.

During the tour of Rome, we went to Piazza Novana, a popular spot for tourists, but for a good reason. In the middle of the Piazza stands a giant fountain sculpted by Bernini, topped with an obelisk that was created in Egypt, in the style of the Egyptian ones, but created by Romans. The history of this city gets me every time!

Turning the corner to see the Pantheon almost took my breath away. Something I had only ever seen in textbooks and online was finally real, and right in front of me. We were hitting it near the time it was closing so there weren't too many people, but I can't wait to go back at night in a month or so to be able to take in its entire grandeur (and sit there for an hour because I'll be processing the history attached to this amazing building).

During the second week of classes, I went on my first field study with my Rome as a Living Museum class. We went to the Capitoline Hill, only a bus ride away from IES Abroad, to see the beautiful view of the Roman Forum. We had to idenitify the different arches, temples, and buildings that we could see from the lookout and discussed the place each structure played in the history of the Forum and Rome.

Another IES Abroad led trip was to the Colosseum. Stepping off the Metro to this view... I looked like a crazy person; I couldn't stop smiling. Again, something I had only read about was finally right in front of me, and I was about to go inside!

The upper floors of the Colosseum had just been opened up to the public a few years ago, but our group was lucky enough to be able to go up there. Adding another layer of interesting: our whole group was female and the professor leading the group said that in the time that the Colosseum was used for gladiator fights, the upper levels were where women and slaves would sit, as the men would sit closer to the ground, and the important men even had their own reserved section.

During my photography class field study, we were allowed to go down to the banks of the Tiber to try to get some interesting shots. This is mainly used as a biking or running path for locals, which led to lots of interesting pictures.

This terrible photo is courtesy of our first "family dinner" that the women in my apartment did. I made dinner the first week, starting the tradition of one of us making food for everyone else once a week. It also allows us time to catch up and get to know one another more. Last week was Taco Tuesday (a welcome food after all the pasta and pizza we've eaten), followed by a feast the next week of fried zucchini flowers, burrata, and a really good Tuscan soup. Molto bene!

Last, but not least, is from when a few friends and I ventured up to this restaurant that we kept passing on our way to class. It boasted of a rooftop garden bar that we decided to try one night for aperitivo and were not disappointed. The 360 degree view of the city at sunset was worth the expensive food and drinks.

I am excited for what October brings, including my first international trip and a visit from family. I hope to be able to explore more of what Rome has to offer and its hidden jems that I can share with you! 

Allie Wineland

<p>Hi! My name is Allie Wineland and I am an Arts Management major (and History minor!) at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. I was born in Indianapolis and love all kinds of art: performing, creating and experiencing. I am a huge history buff and love films. I have three pets: a corgi named Theo, Tamir the hamster, and Podrick, a betta fish. I am passionate about advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities and hope to incorporate that into my future career.</p>

2018 Fall
Home University:
Indiana University
Indianapolis, IN
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