By: Faith Bennett
Studying abroad in Rome, Italy was an amazing experience and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. As I reflect I think about the valuable lessons that I will continue to utilize in my future and current travels and become grateful of my experience, my interactions and established relationships and the overall journey.
To begin, being in Rome in an off season was amazing! I was able to see all of the major sights and experiences without the hassle of dense tourist lines and groups. I never waited in a line and didn’t have to fight the summer heat. The weather was cool but nice, a cute coat kept me warm on my walks to sights, class and my student apartment where I lived with five other girls. I was able to see so many things this included: The Vatican museum, St. Peters Basilica, Vatican City, Castel de St. Angelo, multiple Rome museums, two day trips to Florence, a Tuscan wine tour, a trip to Naples and Pompeii, multiple walking tours, shopping, food samples and so much more!
The class I was enrolled in was called Food: Nutrition and Culture in Italy. In this class I learned the culture of food in Italy and how it varies across different regions. I learned what the main products of Italy are and how each region specializes in certain ones (bread, oil, wine, leather, etc.). I learned the value of food and how it brings a sense of community to the people of Italy. I learned to properly drink wine, enjoy food pairings and learn about different dishes that highlight their culture and how to identify authenticity around me. We got to partake in a gelato making class as well as a Neapolitan Pizza making class as well! These were extremely fun and so delicious!
My professor was amazing and really enhanced my experience there. She was so passionate about teaching this class and was excited for us to bring back what we learned and incorporate it into our lives here in the United States. I met wonderful people and made friends! I now have friends from South Carolina and upstate New York that are looking forward to a future visit. I cannot wait to return to Europe and hopefully I will get to explore the rest of the world as well. This trip was amazing and I learned so much.