From: Emily  Date: January 8, 2006 12:13:15 PM EST  To: All

Subject: il segundo giorno in Roma

Ciao ragazzi!

We’ve made it through 2 days in Rome! I think I dislocated my shoulder from carrying my bags all over two continents and spending 8 hours in the Toronto airport. Our apartment is fabulous and we have the nicest landlord, Luigi. As we have heard from another LArchie we have the best apartment; it’s two levels with a living room, bathroom and kitchen on ground level and the bedrooms below with one tiny window in the door. I have to share a bed with my friend Kelly, which so far, being one night, is not so bad, just a rock-hard bed. I think we have one of the best areas of town, called Trastevere. The people here are very proud of their neighborhood, it is very old with tiny winding streets, across the river from Roma centrale.

Let me try to describe Trastevere… the streets are a combination of parking, driving, walking, socializing. Sidewalks are only a suggestion here and you always have to be on the lookout for the scooters and tiny SmartCars that zoom through the streets. Most of the piazzas are not what you would imagine, they are not big like Piazza Navona where all the major festivals are held. Instead they are the intersections of streets or just where the street widens so people can gather, cars can park, or markets can be held. There are bars and cafes and stores tucked into every corner, you can hardly believe that people can find them, but there is hardly a street or corner where you don’t find people.

Last night we went to a restaurant down the street from us and became friendly with the waitress there. She was very nice and helped us with ordering and our Italian. She is an architecture student in Rome; I believe architecture in Europe encompasses landscape architecture as well because it sounded a lot like what we are doing. She gave us her number and another waiter’s and told us to call them to go out sometime. They don’t go out until LATE (they weren’t until 3am when they got off) and as we hadn’t slept in two days we decided to pass and just walked around the town instead. There is always something going on here. One of the best times to explore is early in the morning because there are less people out and it is easier to see things. L and I found a dry cleaner, shoe repair, theatre.

Even the seagulls sound different here! Their calls to each other must be in Italian as well… Today we walked all over the city to get a feel for it. We started out in Campo di Fiori where there is an amazing market. I bought oranges and ate them all day. I can’t wait to go back on Monday to buy fruit and vegetables and anything else my bag can hold. We mostly wandered and almost literally stumbled upon the Pantheon. It quite took my breath away. Some of the other monuments we saw included the Forum, the Trevi fountain (I really had to resist playing Sylvia), Spanish Steps, the Monumento nacionale (affectionately- not really- called the wedding cake, commissioned by Mussolini). It was wandering for about 5 hours and definitely a respectable number of miles.

We have wireless internet in our apartment so we are all relaxing and sending emails. I’m planning on staying in tonight to catch up on sleep and so I can get up early and go to the flea market in Porta Portese. There are currently 9 of us in our apartment of 6; we have become the place to go for internet since it is cheaper than going to the cafes. We’re considering charging 1 euro anytime our friends want to come over to help us pay for it, but definitely a better deal than 2 Euro a half hour at the cafes.

Escribeme! Ok, so that was Spanish, but whatever…I’m learning 🙂


-Ema (as I shall be known in Italia… hehe; Em to the rest of you)


Me enjoying my orange on the steps of the Campadolgio


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