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

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”

A Roman Horror Story: There’s Something Wrong with the Rain

Last week the forecast showed that the “storm of the century” was about to hit Rome. This might have been frightening if it wasn’t the billionth time this has happened in the 4 years I’ve lived here. Schools were closed. So were many offices. Mine wasn’t. On my way to work I actually found myself enjoying splashing through puddles with lightning flashing above the empty streets. Continue reading A Roman Horror Story: There’s Something Wrong with the Rain

Five Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Rome

I love Halloween. I’ve never been one to spend a lot of time on my costume (I’m more of a last minute find-something-weird-in-my-wardrobe sort of girl), but I love Halloween celebrations, horror movies, admiring other people’s outfits and decorating my house with spooky gore. Most of all, I love remembering the joy of transformation it gave me as a child, as I became a pirate, a football player or a Jedi (and, of course, ate way too much candy). Continue reading Five Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Rome

Exploring the Lost City of Antica Monterano

About an hour’s drive from Rome, the abandoned city of Antica Monterano clings to a mountaintop inside a nature reserve. Nearly swallowed up by the lush greenery, its crumbling walls have been preserved by the efforts of the Riserva Naturale Regionale Monterano (Monterano Regional Nature Reserve). While the maintenance means this won’t be the eeriest ruins you creep through, the attention paid to the site is heartening in a country where some of the most important archaeological ruins are being left to crumble slowly. Continue reading Exploring the Lost City of Antica Monterano

Postcards from Purgatory at Rome’s Smallest Museum

The spires of the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio are dwarfed by the nearby bulk of the Palazzaccio – Rome’s Palace of Justice, famous because it’s too heavy for its foundations and is sinking slowly into the ground. Inside the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore, a hallway holds Rome’s smallest museum, and one of it’s strangest – a glass case filled with items imprinted by the hands of souls trapped in purgatory. Continue reading Postcards from Purgatory at Rome’s Smallest Museum

Walking in Rome: Street Harassment in Another Language

In Rome street harassment is a major problem. It can be overwhelming, frustrating, and very frightening, especially if you aren’t used to it. Unfortunately there is no easy solution to the problem, and foreign-looking women tend to be on its receiving end especially frequently. While you can’t make them disappear with lazer eyes, here are some ways to deal mentally with the stress and minimize he amount of time you have to spend dealing with these creeps. Continue reading Walking in Rome: Street Harassment in Another Language

“The Machines and the Gods”: Classical Art and Industry at the Centrale Montemartini

Wander Ostiense and you’ll find a hidden gem of a museum, abandoned by all but the ticket-seller, who only makes you pay a measly 5 bucks or so to enter this fabulous place. In the Centrale Montemartini the dark metal of the massive machinery forms a backdrop to the statues sculpted from airy cream-colored marble. This museum is rarely on tourists’ itinerary during their visit to Rome, and Romans have often never even heard of the place. The absence of other visitors makes the space all the more haunting, though its beauty makes it hard to believe that more people don’t make the trek outside the city center for a visit. Continue reading “The Machines and the Gods”: Classical Art and Industry at the Centrale Montemartini

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Breaking News: No One Knows if KFC is Opening in Rome or Not

Yesterday the web exploded with news of the imminent opening of the first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Italy, conveniently located at Rome’s most out-of-the-way and unreachable mall: Roma Est. Based on a survey of the many sites reporting this news, the conclusion is clear: no one knows whether it’s a ruse or not. Much like the periodic apocalyptic reports of Starbucks planning a first location in Italy, I suspect that this too will prove false. But you can decide for yourself. Continue reading Breaking News: No One Knows if KFC is Opening in Rome or Not

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