Monday, April 9, 2012

Campo dei Fiori, Italy's cultural melting pot

Upon returning to Rome after our weekend on the Amalfi Coast, my entire group just wanted familiarity.  Returning to Rome was like returning home to Chicago after traveling. Magnificent.

I still remember a bunch of us going to dinner right after getting back to Residence Candia. It was Sunday, after 7, which meant almost nothing was open. Luckily, a little trattoria on Via Candia was, so we were able to eat!  After eating pizza and seafood all weekend, it felt so good to dig into a plate of pasta, along with bread and olive oil. Delicious.

During the week, we were determined to explore Italy during the day and at night. Our professor/tour guide for the initial Roman walking tour told us that Campo dei Fiori was the piazza where the American college students congregated at night - we were all craving a little bit of home at that point, so we decided to check it out.

Campo dei Fiori on the Fourth of July! 

One of my close friends who studied in Rome in fall 2011 told me about Scholars, an Irish pub near Campo dei Fiori - complete with karaoke and a student night.  Sloppy Sam's, an American bar/grill, complete with MTV, baseball, and American style food, is also located right in the center of the piazza. The perfect solution for homesick college students.

Scholars "Student Night" was just what we needed. T-shirts from universities across the U.S., Ireland, and the U.K. adorned the walls and songs such as "Livin on a Prayer" and "Sweet Caroline" blared from the speakers. We felt right at home.

This experience made me realize that the term "melting pot" does not just apply to the U.S.

Melting pots are everywhere, especially in Campo dei Fiori. It is where people, in this case students, from around the world come together to simultaneously enjoy Italy and embrace their native cultures.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

To Rome With Love - Woody Allen's newest film

Rome is magnificent because there is so much going on at once.  From street markets to performances to film shoots.  Yes, film shoots - it was one of the best parts about studying film there. My classmates and I had the opportunity to visit Cinecitta, Rome's version of Universal Studios and visit the set of an on-production film, Il Rosso e Il Blu.  However, those were just the scheduled film-realted field trips we took.  One night, we ran into the set of Woody Allen's film, To Rome With Love!

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, Woody Allen, and Ellen Paige, the film is a story about love and the Eternal City.  Check out the trailer below:

Experiential learning was one of my favorite parts of studying abroad.  It is so cool to think that I saw the cast and crew shoot a part of this film.  We were even able to get close to Woody Allen's tent! 

To Rome With Love on location at Largo Argentina - Roman ruins at which many believe Cesar was killed, now serves as a cat sancturay! 

Erica and Cody trying to get a glimpse of Woody Allen!