A time I have not seen since high school. When I realized this was going to be an everyday thing Monday through Thursday, I was not thrilled. Now that you know this was not my cup of tea you might wonder why I had to wake up at such hours. Well in order to have enough time to get ready and make it to school I needed to be up early. However, to my surprise and now yours waking up at seven in the morning grew on me, having a routine on when I woke up made me feel more rested and ready for the day.
So after turning my alarm off I grab my bathrobe which my homestay family had for me (fun fact: I also hated bathrobes but will not be investing in one) and head to the restroom. I shower and brush my teeth then go back to my room, pick an outfit and get ready. Once ready I go to the kitchen and try not to scare my host dad who would usually be in the kitchen sitting and joining us for breakfast but sometimes fall asleep. Breakfast consisted of cereal. The one we ate was similar to special k, biscotti(cookies), and it would not be considered an Italian breakfast without an espresso. Personally I am not a big coffee fan but being in Italy I hardly said no to anything meaning you could catch me drinking an espresso in the morning. Jasmine and I walk about five minutes to our bus stop passing the police station where I definitely admire the handsome polizia. Once at the bus stop we sit and wait a few minutes before it leaves. Something different to note is the way public transport runs in Italy. With so many people using public transportation we would get nowhere if we had to scan our passes in the front like in the U.S. Instead at random times people who work for public transport get on and ask people for the passes they have and if you are caught without one will be given a fine. My homestay was about an hour away from the center meaning I was on the bus for quite some time. What I did to take advantage of the hour was read books in Italian while listening to music. It was also just kind of fun to look at all the different faces and over time become familiar with certain people(a businessman, two nannies and the two adorable little girls they worked with, a store clerk). Finally when we get to the center we walk ten minutes to get to the building which I would say is a pretty epic walk since we study very close to the Vatican and almost every landmark.
Since classes began at 9:45 I was always a little early which I used to go on Snapchat or Instagram and see what others were doing. Since I had no wifi in my homestay and certain apps as such would not work on my phone I would use them in these twenty minutes. (A hidden benefit since it meant I was hardly on my phone). My first lecture of the day was Italian which is by far the smallest class I have ever been in.
My Italian lecture ended around 11 and my next class began until 2 . So I go upstairs to the study areas, heat up my lunch, get all my homework done and watch some netflix. Rather than going out for lunch everyday which I was too lazy to do was when I would go grocery shopping for snacks I would buy ready made meals for lunch(Not like the ones in the U.S since these were actually good) or my friend Jasmine being such a sweetheart would make us egg and veggies. In Italy their style of a 7-eleven is so much better, my favorite being one called Pam I just loved trying their different types of chips, candy, and cookies. Going to Pam which was just a block away from school is an activity my friend Karina and I loved to do.
At this time I would go to my next class which was either Italian politics or Art crime depending on the day.
Done with the day so Jasmine and I headed home. As we walked we would decide whether to get Gelato from across the street or close to home. We basically got gelato everyday. We walked about five minutes to our bus stop and got the occasional ciao bella from store clerks or random men. Not a fan of catcalling like any other person but the ciao bella had a better ring to it than anything I have ever heard back in the States. While on the bus I usually call my family since this was the only time we could really speak due to the time differences.
If we did not get gelato by the house (which I considered to be one of the best gelato places) we walked home. When we get home we greet our homestay parents and drop off our backpacks in our room and relax for a bit.
You might think living an hour away from school by public transportation is a nightmare, something I couldn’t agree more with. Except for the fact that I completely fell in love with the area we lived in. The area we lived in was called Flaminio and allowed us the escape from the touristy areas. Not only was this the case but it also had its own perks. One being living a block away from a church which had its own movie theater attached to it. Knowing this Jasmine and I made it part of our week by going after coming back from school. The best part was that the films were 2-3 euros, snacks were cheap and all films were in Italian. One of the least significant activities we would do while abroad became one of my favorites and something I looked forward to.
At this time we walk back home and do any homework or studying we had left for the day while we waited for dinner.
Something to note is that contrary to Americans who eat dinner at around five or six Italians have dinner pretty late. So at around this time Luigi walks into our rooms letting us know dinner was ready. The four of us would sit at the table to eat dinner together which consisted of wine, bread, salad, some type of pasta or soup, pizza and meat. Dessert would consist of strawberries with gelato, cakes Licia would bake, struffoli, homemade Tiramisu. I can truly say there was never a dish I did not like. During dinner we chat about our days, watch the news and game shows. After dinner we always had the option to drink another espresso.
Jasmine and I go to church three times a week, twice for catechisms and the other time for mass. So after dinner we go to our rooms for our scarfs and walk for about twenty minutes to church. (and no not the one with the movie theater)
At around this time we got back home and depending how tired we were we chatted some more with our homestay parents, study, or play on our phones.
I change into my pajamas, brush my teeth and head to bed.