After hours of traveling from Los Angeles to Genova, and Genova to Rome, I finally arrived to “La Città Eterna” or “The Eternal City” as the Italians call it. Truly all roads lead to my arrival in Rome. My day in Rome began with my arrival to the Roma Termini (Roma Train Station) where I was received by a welcoming taxi driver reserved by the RSAE staff. The Roman native was fervent in telling me about the landmarks of her city and recommending sites I should visit. After a brief taxi ride, I arrived to the RSAE office site located in Monteverde, a calm but beautiful neighborhood in Rome. At the office I was greeted by RSAE director Romina Marchionne and the rest of the RSAE staff. I was given a tour of the office, introduced to the friendly staff members, and shown to my desk. I immediately fell in love with the vibe and appearance of the office. The faculty members were welcoming and ready to assist me with any concerns I had and show me around the beautiful city of Rome. I was given a tour of my apartment (with which I also fell in love with) and then given a few hours to rest and get ready for a broadway show in downtown Rome.
My first night in Rome consisted of a charming broadway performance given exclusively by Tony Lo Bianco at the Teatro Sala Umberto, a walk around la Piazza Venezia and Piazza San Silvestro, and dinner at a local pizzeria. Staff member Justin Cornett showed two other interns and I how to use the public transportation system to get from the office to multiple parts of the city and guided us on this evening event. We visited sites such as the Altare della Patria and the Trevi Fountain where Justin gave us brief histories of the landmarks. It was definitely helpful to have Justin guide us around downtown and accompany us to the theatre. Rome SAE offers many of these tours and events throughout the students’ stay in Rome and allow for an enhanced experience and immersion in Roman culture. Justin took us to a pizzeria where he ordered typical Italian appetizers such as arancini di riso and crocchè di patate. The first appetizer is a fried rice ball stuffed with peas, marinara, and mozzarella and the second was a fried mashed potato ball covered in bread crumbs. We all enjoyed pizza near the Piazza San Silvestro while waiting fort he broadway show to start. After an entertaining one-man show put on by Tony Lo Bianco, who has been featured in films such as Bloodbrothers and Rocky Marciano, we enjoyed a night walk around la Piazza Venezia.
After a long and enjoyable evening in Rome, I excitedly came back to my cozy apartment and rested up for my first full day in Rome. The next day, another intern and I were guided by Justin on a walking tour of Trastevere. We first toured the American University of Rome (AUR) and were introduced to the staff there. Although I would not be working or studying at AUR, I was given a warm welcome by the staff members and shown around their admirable student courtyard. We then continued our tour by making our way to the Piazza Santa Maria. Piazza Santa Maria was very lively and hosted many restaurants, cafes, gelaterias, and pubs. We enjoyed a delicious serving of gelato and walked around the Piazza. The Piazza Santa Maria holds the Basilica Santa Maria, which is the most important church in Trastevere. To conclude our day Justin informed us more on the bus system, took us to the supermarket to make any purchases we needed, and showed us local banks where we could withdraw euros. My first two days in Rome were definitely memorable to say the least, all thanks to the RSAE staff. With the guidance of the RSAE staff I know my internship experience in Rome will definitely be an invaluable one.