Studying in Rome is an incredible experience, but sometimes my studies, work, and busy lifestyle can be stressful. During these times, I try to remind myself of the many, many things that make me happy about living in Rome.
My list could easily go on forever, but here are the top 35 things that make me happy about living in the beautiful city of Rome, Italy:
- The sun! We take it for granted, but waking up to a blue sky day after day definitely makes everything better.
- Having the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.
- Becoming educated about culture, history, and art without actually being an art or history student. The whole city is a museum; you can’t help but learn something!
- Amatriciana – there’s nothing like a delicious bowl of this Roman pasta dish to put me in a great mood. 🙂
- Cheap flights all over Europe! Traveling to different countries is so easy and cheap as a student in Rome.
- The stone pines, or the long tall trees (pines) with just a bush on top. They are all over Rome and I love them.
- Free, cold water everywhere. The tap water here is drinkable and has a lot of calcium, so it’s very good for the bones and teeth, and water fountains are all over the city.
- Fresh fruit stands in the summer.
- The fresh watermelon ice drinks that are sold in this stands. You should try them!
- Flower stands everywhere!
- Good coffee – it doesn’t matter if you order a cappuccino, macchiato, or a simple café: it will always be good!
- Cheap kebabs everywhere. If you don’t eat meat, they usually have falafels that are delicious!
- Trastevere! It’s just a cozy, happy neighborhood! With time you can’t help but get to know your neighbors and befriend your servers at restaurants and bars. It’s just like a big happy family!
- SALDI! These semiannual sales usually take place when there is a change in season, and they allow you to find super cheap prices for great Italian clothes.
- Villa Borghese – I don’t know what that place has, but it just brings me peace. I love going there and be with myself, friends, or just random people. It’s very nice – you should try it!
- Street markets, such as the market in Campo de’ Fiori, for fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Retro Fiats in Trastevere. I’m sure you have seen them- they are colorful and small, and when I say small, I mean tiny! But they are super cute, they just bring a smile to my face every time.
- AMAZING architecture all over the city! Just walking around Rome, I’m always find myself feeling inspired.
- Romans: they are friendly, dramatic, loud, silly, and have a great sense of humor. It doesn’t matter if I personally know them or if I’ve just met them in the street: it is always nice to talk to them.
- Pincio terrace – I just love the view!
- Speaking of views, the view over the city from Gianicolo Hill is amazing as well.
- Cobblestones – many people (such as Roman drivers) don’t like them, but I do. They create a special atmosphere while exploring the city.
- Friendly south-east asian immigrants. We all have to thank these hard-working men and women. They work in mini markets and street markets, working for long shifts, and almost always with a huge smile across their faces!
- La Boccaccia, can never get enough of this pizza.
- Walking “friendly” city- even though people drive crazy here, it’s still fantastic to explore by foot.
- The Pantheon – the architecture of it is just amazing, and the Piazza della Rotonda. It’s always full of people, smiles, gelato, and music.
- The group of four men that plays Italian tango in Piazza Navona. They are simply amazing.
- Walks along the Tiber.
- Gelato, every single flavor!
- The “Guarda” guy, aka the infamous street magician in Trastevere. He might be the world’s worst magician of all time, but he makes me laugh whenever I see him put on his show.
- The African vendors. Many of them have come to Italy to escape war and to create better lives for themselves and their families. And even though they have suffered and struggle to get here, their smiling faces and colorful outfits always make me happy.
- Fontana di Trevi by night. Simply beautiful.
- Long talks with old and new friends in Pimms Good, a bar and restaurant around the corner from JCU.
- My friends <3 so grateful for the amazing people I’ve met here.
- Music everywhere – each evening it seems like all the musicians come out. Whether you are at the Roman Forum, walking down Via del Corso, or sitting in Piazza Navona, you will always encounter music and folklore around you!
Victoria Barreda de Alba
International Business Major
Class of 2017
Hometown: Reynosa, Mexico