Let me begin by saying that I’m not a John Cabot alum (I am, however, an Admissions Counselor here), I never studied abroad, I don’t have Italian citizenship, and I had never visited Italy before moving here. So, what brought me to Rome? My tall-dark-and-handsome Italian husband.
I met Giuseppe in Chicago, September of 2010, through a mutual friend. We immediately connected and kept in touch long-distance for the next year before I decided it was too difficult for us to continue with the Skype dates, Facebook messaging/chat, email, etc. I quit my office job, bought a one-way ticket to Rome, and left my life in Chicago behind.
This July will mark our one year wedding anniversary. Living in Rome and Italy in general has been quite the experience. I will never forget my first experience visiting his family in the south and gaining five kilos after only two days of consuming enormous feasts for every meal. We hosted 231 guests at our wedding, half of whom spoke only Irsinian dialect to congratulate us while I nodded my head pretending to understand (Irsina is Giuseppe’s hometown and the local dialect sounds like Arabic). I am still amazed that I can get on a train to go to Venice for the day or book a last-minute weekend trip to Paris. These are not experiences that I would have had living in the U.S. and marrying an American.
Before marrying Giuseppe, we thought long and hard about the major cultural differences we were going to face when saying “I do” and interchangeably agreeing that our worlds would collide together into one. I will never become accustomed to the public transportation strikes once a month, or that sometimes the bus is an hour or more late, or that when you make plans to meet friends at 8:30, they really meant 9:30, or the fact that the grocery stores close at 8:00. I have realized that moving to Italy is one of the craziest and most spontaneous decisions I have ever made in my life, however, it has become the best decision I have ever made. Sono molto fortunata!
Anna Caggiano is one of our Study Abroad Admissions Counselors. A Minnesota native, Anna works with all of our applicants from universities located in the Midwest and South. To learn more about study abroad at John Cabot University, contact Anna at [email protected].