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Why Rome is the Best Home

 This is a picture of some Vespas outside the CEA building. Using the sidewalk as a parking space is very normal in Rome!

Rome is a very unique city. I have visited many different cities this semester, like Barcelona, Prague, Dublin, London, Zurich, Vienna, and Salzburg, but I am so lucky to have called Rome my home for the past four months. Upon arriving here, there were a few things I noticed about the Italian way of life which were different than back home. First of all, there are Vespas everywhere!
People park anywhere and everywhere, and they drive exactly how they park- -insanely. One piece of advice I received when I arrived was to just cross at the crosswalk and be aware because otherwise the Italians will never stop.
 These are some street artists near the Vatican I pass on my way to class!
 The chandelier in the Teatro Del Opera where we saw the Giselle Ballet!
 The Giselle Ballet ballerinas dancing during the show!

One of my favorite parts of my day was walking to class. Because I live minutes from the Vatican, I would pass this beautiful landmark every single day. Being so close to the Vatican, I was able to people watch all the time. Sometimes I would go out for groceries and stop and listen to the numerous street artists playing violins, pianos, guitars, and other strange instruments (like the one shown below).

Roman artists exist everywhere, whether they are painters, musicians, dancers, or singers. Strolling through the markets, I was able to observe the artists at work. One of my favorite CEA excursions, the Giselle Ballet, also displayed the variety of beauty in art Rome has to offer.

Studying abroad in Italy also gives ample opportunity to travel; Italy has so much to offer, and CEA tries to get its students to see as much of it as possible. Some of the trips sponsored by CEA have been to Capri, Pompeii, Florence, Assisi, and Tuscany.

On my own, I traveled to Cinque Terre National Park and Venice. It is hard to pinpoint a favorite trip because each place in Italy is so unique. Traveling with CEA took pressure out of planning every weekend’s activities. We had lunches, tours, and activities lined up for us.

 My friend Crista Butler enjoying the food and wine excursion in Tuscany!
 Another CEA student, Meghan, enjoying a Venice canal ride!
 Lauren, a CEA student, enjoying all Cinque Terre has to offer!

And Italian food? The pizza, pasta, and gelato are the best in the world! One of the funniest experiences was when my friend and I walked into our weekly (or bi-weekly) gelateria, and the server imitates us before we say anything, "I will have a small cone with mostly Nutella, crema, and biscotti." He actually knew our order because we go there so often!
 CEA students enjoying the Pizza and Gelato crawl in Roma! So many different toppings and flavors to choose from!

Overall, I loved my study abroad experience, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I made friends I know that will keep for my lifetime. A big thank you to CEA for making it so easy and possible to travel. If you are considering studying abroad, choose Rome as your home city. As the Romans say, “la vita e bella,” and I will always remember this trip as the best time of my life in one of the most beautiful cities in the world! Viva Roma!
 Two of my friends who met while studying
abroad in Rome through CEA.
 This is a picture I took in my photography class
at night. The Vatican is in the background!

Emma Barnard is the Fall 2015 MOJO Photographer in Rome, Italy. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Georgia.

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