Ciao a tutti!
Welcome to blog 3 (of 6) ... what a week it has been.
"Sleep when you're dead" has become my new mantra. You'll understand after reading Monday's recap in a moment, but needless to say, this week was action packed. This week's blog will be chalked full of photos especially from our picturesque weekend trip to the Amalfi Coast.
I can't believe we've already hit the half way mark! Thanks for sticking around, and happy reading :)
Monday I hopped off the plane at Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) at 8 AM and was determined to make it to my 8:30 AM Italian class. After running to the train station in the basement of FCO I made the 8:27 AM train and rode for a half hour to Trastevere where I then speed walked to my apartment 9 minutes away. I dropped off my bags, changed clothes, washed my face, and prepared myself for the treacherous walk up to campus. Somehow I made it to class at 9:30 AM, only an hour late, sweating profusely and sporting a tomato face.
We walked out of class at 11:30 AM to a long line of students in line to buy American University of Rome (AUR) merchandise. I picked up a cute sweatshirt as a memento then remembered I hadn't eaten since Delta fed me an egg sandwich for breakfast at 7 AM.
My friends and I made a b-line for Santi Brothers, a sandwich shop down the road, where you can order a surprise panino for 5 euro. Basically you say "Ciao, sorpresa per favore" and one of the Santi brothers starts making you a panino of their choosing. This is a great option for Americans because it limits having to point at meats and cheeses through glass, plus who doesn't love a good surprise.
The day's not over yet! After a 2 hour nap it was time to grab dinner in the Jewish Ghetto by Portico d'Ottavia. This section of Rome is known for carciofo alla giudia, or crispy artichoke. Of course, we had to order the famous dish as well as a full meal equipped with pasta - duh.
Tuesday we woke up for Italian class bright and early, made the trek to AUR, plopped down at our desks then received an email stating that class was canceled. There was absolutely no way we were climbing up the hill to campus twice in a day so we decided to grab breakfast and have a chill morning.
Today was the day I discovered what has been missing from my life for 21 years - crema di caffe. I had been searching for the drink for quite some time while in Italy, but found out it was not at all what I originally thought it to be. I thought crema di caffe was whipped fluffy coffee, however I was very wrong. The best way I can describe this heavenly drink is as a velvety cold coffee similar to a drinkable Wendy's frosty.
After that life changing experience we killed time on the AUR terrace overlooking Rome. Then decided to picnic after class in the park with snacks, juicy cherries, and Prosecco. Took an evening nap then got a little antsy in the apartment, so I called my friend Marin and we explored the pop up shops and bars along the Tiber river in downtown Rome. We stumbled across a mixology bar, ordered a cocktail, and eventually spent 2 hours chit chatting. Luckily the tram was still running, so we scurried home and made it back half past midnight.
Wednesday started off with an in-class Italian exam, which we immediately followed up with a celebratory crema di caffe down the road. After classes I did some last minute shopping with my roommates for our exciting weekend ahead, however our time got cut short in order to make it our final group dinner.
As a group we enjoyed bruschetta miste antipasi, then a pasta tasting of cacio e pepe, rigatoni carbonara, and lasagna. I quickly inhaled my whole plate of pasta, and when I came up for air I realized I was the only one who was able to finish their pasta trio. What can I say, my Italian family raised me to mangia mangia mangia!! We finished with a Nutella pizza for dessert, and left dinner with overly full bellies and big grins.
Thursday once again began with Italian where we performed skits in pairs of 2 pretending to order at a restaurant. We then played Kahoot, an online multiple choice quiz game, competing against one another in Italian. The game was a hoot, and our class of 7 bonded with Signora Rosemonde as we giggled and reminisced about our time together learning Italian.
Our regularly scheduled classes were canceled for the rest of the day due to the influx of students leaving for weekend trips, including myself. I quickly ate a hard boiled egg and salami tramezzino and before I knew it I was on a bus heading to Sorrento.
Roughly 4 hours later on a massive coach bus weaving through narrow cliff side roads, we made it to our quaint Airbnb in Sorrento around 6:30 PM. The couple that owned the property met us at the gate and gave us a full tour of the space. The apartment came with a fully stocked fridge, pantry, espresso machine, and bottle of champagne waiting for us upon arrival. It was truly one of the best Airbnb experiences I've ever had. If you ever find yourself in Sorrento I highly recommended checking it out! https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18252604
After raiding the kitchen like we had never seen food before, we popped champagne and got dolled up for our dinner reservation downtown. I love a good beach town, and Sorrento is just that. The narrow streets were scattered with lemon themed ceramic shops, mingling people, and a perfect sea breeze.
Friday we took a day trip to Positano. We caught a bus at around 8:30 AM and arrived in the picture perfect city at 10 AM. Next it was time to carefully walk down the steep stairs and streets to get to the beach. To our surprise we were the early birds that day and got front row seats on the pebbled sand looking out onto a sea of yachts and boats.
After weeks of go go go, Positano was the perfect relaxation spot. I basked in the sun all day taking in the scenery and swimming in the chilled salt water with my girl friends. The experience was truly surreal. I had been to Positano before with my family and knew what to expect, but the view is just so remarkable that I felt like I was sitting in a movie scene.
We came fully prepared with dresses to quickly change into on the beach for a fun photoshoot - how could we not! Once dressed we recharged with bruschetta and cocktails then began snapping a few pics. The sun began to fade, but not because it was about to set, a storm was brewing.
We nervously clutched our ferry tickets to take us back to Sorrento as we watched the thunderstorm roll in. Lightening came with the storm, and so did our ferry. Worried we might have a Titanic situation on our hands, I popped a Dramamine and slept for the duration of the trip.
We made it back in one piece, showered the sea salt and rain away, then got ready for night 2 in Sorrento. I feasted on my favorite, spaghetti alle vongole, and wrapped up the evening with a plate of mussels and free limoncello shots from our enthusiastic waiter.
Saturday we took another day trip, but this time to Capri. Lily and I woke up early to catch breakfast in Sorrento and pick up the ferry tickets for the group. When we came back to the port with everyone to catch the ferry it was running rather behind, and we had a private boat tour to catch on the island. Luckily we made it to Capri with a few minutes to spare, and met up with our boat.
Alright, picture this. The water is choppy, the boat tour is 2 hours, and I have a history of getting sea sick. Can you guess what came next? Unfortunately I was only able to enjoy the tour for about 15 minutes before the sea whisked me away in nausea. I was doing just fine when we docked the boat to swim the first time, so thankfully I was able to experience the caves and beautiful clear blue water. Fast forward a few minutes, my head is hanging off the side of the boat and I am vomiting. Yikes.
Don't you worry I was a trouper! I made it through the 2 hours and even the ferry ride back to Sorrento where I proceeded to nap and "puke and rally" as the college kids say. I miraculously felt somehow decent enough to get jazzed up for our 3rd night in Sorrento and even made it to the discoteca. We met new girl pals from Sweden, Canada, and London and danced the night away.
And here we are, Sunday. We got booted out of the Airbnb around 11:30 AM, however our bus didn't leave until 5 PM. Therefore we set up shop in a park nearby and laid in the shade catching up on sleep and conversation. The bus ride back was unexpectedly long. We had no idea it was stopping in Pompeii and Napoli which extended our trip significantly. We made it back to Trastevere around 10:30 PM, and now I am here writing to you.
I am very excited for blog #4 next week! Tomorrow at 7 AM we hop on a 10 hour long bus ride to Cannes, France for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022. I truly do not know what to expect, but I am extremely excited for this experience and networking opportunity. Most of all, I cannot wait to share it with you.
Until next time, bouna notte :)