Can you believe it has been over a year since I studied in Rome? So much has happened in that year that it now actually feels like my semester in Rome is so far away from me. My time in London has just been so drastically different from my experiences in Rome. All that being said, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit not only a city I used to call home, but also visit my amazing cousins before I left Europe!
I did spend time with my family at their home, but I wanted a day to myself in my old neighborhood. To say it was weird getting off the train from my cousins house in the center of Rome would be an understatement. I was all alone and felt like a tourist all over again. I was holding my bag tightly, I was walking down streets that weren't familiar, and my heart was racing. It was a horrible feeling and in that moment I thought I made a huge mistake asking my cousins for a day alone in the city.
But then I began walking towards my old neighborhood. On the way I stumbled into St. Peter's Square and I remembered what it was like to wander around Rome. Everything is so old yet still, more or less, intact. Italy's unique history gives off such a different feeling than England does and I just needed to get back into the Italian mindset.
Finally, after a bit more walking than I remembered, I arrived in the Trastevere where I used to live. It seemed to be almost exactly how I had left it. After a few deep breaths, I felt better and I walked the familiar route to my old apartment.
I made a few quick stops before heading up to Gianicolo Hill (pictured above) to read in my favourite spot. I bought strawberries from the outdoor market, two bombas from my cafe (where they remembered me!), and apricot juice from Todis (the local grocery store).
After a lot of walking, a coffee with a friend, shopping, a pizza, and a gelato from Frigidarium, I headed over to my favourite monument in Rome!
The monument to Vittorio Emanuele II (pictured above) is just breathtaking, especially on a day with blue skies like the one I had. Not only is it a fabulous building to take pictures of but it is great to take pictures from because the view is incredible!
So, by the end of the day I was very happy with my choice to return to the city alone. I got to reflect on my time abroad both in Rome and in London, I finished the book I was reading A Fault in Our Stars, and I remembered quite a few details of Rome that I had forgotten.