Sunday, May 6, 2012

Becoming Italian: Gelato, Cappuccino, and Shopping

While living in another country, you develop a daily routine.  After reaching our "bottom of the W," experiencing Campi dei Fiori (to which we paid many visits during our time in Rome!), we were able to embrace the Italian way of life as much as American college students are able to.  

Incorporating gelato into one's diet is an essential part of living "la dolce vita," and truly living like an Italian.  If you have never tasted gelato, try an American version of it.  And if you've had true Italian gelato, you understand when I say that there is no gelato like gelato in Italy.  Magnificence.  

Gelato 101:
  • Blue Ice is a popular Roman gelato chain store - overpriced and low quality; only frequent in desperate times. 
  • OLD BRIDGE, right next to the Vatican wall, is THE BEST GELATO IN ROME. The line winds around the street, but it is completely worth it.  You get so much gelato for a euro fifity. Che bello!
  • I reccomend cioccolato, nocciola, ricotta, and stracciatella.  Pistachio is also apparently delicious. 
  • Eat gelato every day while in Italy. You will not regret it.  
I also became a coffee drinker while in Italy.  Really, I never drank the beverage regularly before that - just a few sips as a child and that is it! However, I was introduced to cappuccino and espresso, which completely changed everything.  Sitting through screenings and discussions was long and tiring, so cappuccino breaks were common among myself and my friends. 

Grocery shopping is another way we acclimated ourselves to Italian life. Restaurants in Rome are pricey due to the influx of tourists, however, the true way to eat well and eat cheap in la citta eterna is to grocery shop. Food is insanely cheaper there than it is eating out every night.  Although we definitely ate in a ton of trattorias, pizzerias, and vinerias, eating at home also became common - especially in the morning! 

Food was one of my favorite parts of my Italian experience.  However, another fantastic part of Rome was definitely the shopping.  I could definitely go into detail about every shop we visited in Rome, but that is for another post.  From the galleria to small shops on random side streets to the Via Condotti and chain stores we fell in love with, regular shopping and window shopping were both a part of the daily routine - after all, when else are you a student in Rome!? 

Breakfast, lunch, class, shopping, dinner, and going out became routine.  Some of the best memories from Rome were class excursions, shopping trips, and dinners. I miss it every day. 

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