I thought that I had city living down after five semesters in Oakland, but I was in for a whole new adventure when I got to Rome. My beautiful apartment in the Prati neighborhood of Rome is located off a very busy street, Via Cola di Rienzo, which has a lot of good shopping. The neighborhood is modern compared to the other parts of Rome. Prati has wider streets, more modern buildings, and lots of busy people heading to work in the morning. Some other students live in the more historical part of Rome across the Tiber River. That part has more narrow cobblestone streets and lots of restaurants and gelaterias, and is overall more touristy. The Pantheon and Piazza Navona attract many tourists there each day, whereas I see more local Italians in my neighborhood.
Living in a luxurious Italian apartment cannot provide any real complaints, although one adjustment would be not having a dryer or dishwasher, but that is no problem! Electricity is used more scarcely here, so I cannot just plug my straightener in while running the shower and washer all at once, or the electricity may burn out and need to be reset! The Italians also divide their garbage into 4 different types, so you have to be careful about which bin you put your trash in (compostable, paper, plastic, non recyclable) or the Italian government may fine you if you incorrectly organize your trash! The traffic outside can be noisy at night, but earplugs can help fix that problem. Also, because the heating system is very old and the heat only runs for a few hours each day, the apartment can get musty if you don’t keep the windows open for a couple of hours each day. The prime location is an easy walk to so many amenities like supermarkets, clothing stores, or convenience stores.
My four roommates all are students in the same IES program as me. I did not know any of them before I came to Italy, but we all have bonded through meals, shopping, and just living together! A couple of blocks from me is the Vatican, and across the Tiber River is the Castel Sant’Angelo, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Colosseum, Forum, and much more! I love how centrally my apartment is located in Rome. Within thirty minutes, I can be at so many beautiful churches, museums, restaurants, stores, gelaterias, and historical landmarks. I have taken advantage of this location by seeings lots of things, but I hope to continue to explore even more of the city during future weekends! All in all, living in my Roman apartment is making this a very enriching and fun study abroad trip.