Valentine's Day!

Amanda Sztein
May 1, 2015
Panorama of Rome taken from the Castel Sant'Angelo

 It is hard not to fall into a deep, heads over heels love for Rome. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are a few of my favorite things about my new home:

The well connected train system: a spider-web throughout Italy that can get you just about anywhere. The freccia trains are especially nice, making Florence, Bologna and Venice easy weekend trips. On a related note, Italians giving advice on trains is also a highlight of the traveling experience. I’ve been told that every girl should have clean shoes if she is looking to attract an Italian man. I have also been woken up every ten minutes to look at the sea and being told that I am too young to not daydream and stare out the window.

Italy is well-known for their large number of churches. One of my favorite things to do is pop my head into the little churches that I see and search for hidden gems. Right around the corner from my apartment I found a church that had alcoves specific to different countries. In the United States chapel, I found a mention of my hometown Baltimore.

There is a Roman attitude that is absolutely magnetic. The city strikes a balance between bustling European capital and relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle. You can spend an hour in an artist’s store chatting with the shopkeeper about the craft and be sandwiched between lawyers in suits on a bus in the same day. Don’t worry - the frenzy of the workday often has time for a cappuccino break or two.

I walk through Rome as a real estate agent: I look at buildings, assess their age (old), aesthetic value (high) and if I would live there (yes). The street blocks are full of Mediterranean colors and accents. Nearly all have balcony flowerboxes or orange trees in pretty courtyards.

It is hard to fault the stopped crowds who block sidewalks while snapping photos -we are lucky enough to spend four months in a city full of picture perfect moments. 

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Amanda Sztein

<p>Amanda is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Economics and Contemporary European Studies with a Philosophy, Politics and Economics minor. After graduation, she wishes to travel frequently while working with international trade and diplomacy. Her idea of a perfect day is enjoying an Orioles victory at Camden Yards followed by fresh crab cakes in Baltimore&#39;s Inner Harbor. She is excited to achieve Italian fluency,visit every Roman museum, find the perfect scoop of gelato and argue about soccer with locals at the neighborhood café.</p>

2015 Spring
Home University:
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
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