There’s truth in the old saying “all roads lead to Rome.” The former capital of the vast Roman Empire has had a monumental influence on the modern world, from art to democracy. With a history spanning more than two and a half thousand years, it is sometimes referred to as “The Eternal City”, and visitors today are awe-struck by the ancient architectural marvels around every corner. It is a city where historical heritage happily co-exists with cosmopolitan modernity, featuring landmarks like the iconic Coliseum (home of the famed gladiator games), Pantheon (architecturally influential temple to the gods), and countless charming Piazze (city squares).
It is a fantastic city to walk around, but remember “Rome wasn’t built in a day” so try to take your time. Sometimes it’s better to just plant yourself down at the Spanish Steps, the continent’s longest and widest staircase amidst cathedrals and fountains, for some superb people-watching and perhaps a gelato. Many of the most popular foods in Western culture originated in Italy, so it’s a must to taste as many varieties of pasta and pizza, cappuccino and pastries as you can manage. Italy is also home to the “slow food movement” and it is a treat to savor the flavors in such welcoming surroundings.
To visit Rome in September is to discover the city in its full splendor, graced by the warmth of the Mediterranean sun but less hot and saturated with tourists than in the midsummer months. The Estate Romana music festival runs from June until early September and the opera and White Night in mid-September are well worth experiencing. Roam through the enchanting gardens, delicate sculptures and elegant fountains, along cobblestoned paths and intriguing alleyways. The city abounds with masterpieces and it is impossible to miss the marvelous artwork in galleries and public spaces. Michelangelo’s genius covers the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, and you may even see the Pope!
To study abroad in Italy is to have this urban canvas as your classroom, eager to inspire and educate you at every turn. There are on-site classes, study trips and extra-curricular activities throughout Rome to look forward to. It is a fantastic opportunity to become immersed in intercultural exchange and perhaps learn the lovely Italian language while forging lifelong friendships. The experience of living and studying in another country has often been described as life-changing, expanding your world view and personal growth in lasting ways, providing intercultural communication and adaptation skills that will benefit all aspects of your life. While you can undertake this journey by studying at an English language university in Italy, it is important that you challenge yourself to take full advantage of the opportunity by leaping beyond your comfort zone, exploring the limits of what you previously thought possible. There is much to learn and many adventures to be had, and even study abroad scholarships to help take you there.