Adventure in Abruzzo’s Misty Mountains

In spring of 2012, I was coping with some serious senioritis – trying to balance school-related stress, anxiety about the future, and a desire to fully enjoy (what I thought were) my last months in Rome. To escape the chaos of city life, I took refuge in Abruzzo, a land of icy winds and rocky mountains, far removed from the buttery sunlight of Rome. Continue reading Adventure in Abruzzo’s Misty Mountains

When carnival comes late: The anti-clerical celebrations of Poggio Mirteto

Every year, the Sunday after carnival, Poggio Mirteto, a small town just over 60 kilometers from Rome, celebrates what is known as Carnevalone Liberato, roughly translated as the Free Carnival. This year, the nasty weather held us off from departing for the festivities in the early afternoon as usual. With the threat of rain, we arrived as dusk was settling over the town and costumed revelers already stumbling and singing with gusto. Continue reading When carnival comes late: The anti-clerical celebrations of Poggio Mirteto

Holiday traditions and more cultural mish-mashing: My first Christmas in Italy

Most years I head back to Michigan during the holidays for a brief snowy winter (very enjoyable when there for only a couple short weeks). This year, though, my husband and I stuck around Rome for the holidays. I love the idea of combining traditions and cultures to create our own unique customs. I think that if we view traditions rooted in our families’ pasts and our cultural customs as flexible and adaptable, they can be powerful and relevant parts of our lives. Continue reading Holiday traditions and more cultural mish-mashing: My first Christmas in Italy

How to deal with the “I-hate-it-heres”

After almost five years in Rome, I rarely get homesick. I miss my family and friends back home, and sometimes I’m nostalgic for places I no longer live in, but these days, I feel that Rome is truly home. What I do get is a bad case of something I like to describe as the “I-hate-it-heres”. It’s an emotion like PMS and road rage all rolled up into one. Here in Rome, I like to describe this feeling as Rome Rage. Continue reading How to deal with the “I-hate-it-heres”

Don’t Be Afraid to Walk: On My Move to Rome

I’ve recently had the good luck to have one of my best friends move here from the US to get her degree at my own alma mater, the American University of Rome. In between being absolutely thrilled to have her here with me, I find myself very nostalgic about my own first few months in Rome, remembering the sheer joy (and occasional fear) that filled me every time I went out of my house, struggling to close my front door with the strange, bulky clump of foreign keys. Continue reading Don’t Be Afraid to Walk: On My Move to Rome