How ‘Bout That Ride In?

Buongiorno from the Chigi Palace of Ariccia!

After landing in Italy a week and a half ago, it still hasn’t quite set in that this will be our new home for the next THREE months! As we approach the end of our second week here in Ariccia, it’s hard to believe all that we have accomplished in such a short amount of time. From seeing the beautiful architecture in places like St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, to simply learning how to converse with the locals in Italian, I am blown away with all that Italy has to offer. Furthermore, reflecting back on this past week only excites me more for what lies ahead.

In just a few short days, all 20 of us explored Rome with the help of Cinzia, and soon after, we had the chance to maneuver the city by ourselves. It is surprising how fast I have felt comfortable and at home here in Ariccia. I’ve quickly become accustomed to my surroundings, and I’ve found that I’m more confident in my ability to navigate my new city. With that, we have all established our “go-to” places around town, and it’s refreshing to see the owners begin to remember us after only a few days. I’m happy that I can already say I have begun to learn how to adapt to new places with ease, and I am sure my peers would agree.

Several of us exploring Rome at the Borghese gardens last Saturday

Another aspect I want to highlight regarding my experience so far is the relationships I have built. It is amazing how incredibly close all of us have already gotten since we have arrived. I feel like I have known some of these friends for years, while I may have only known them for a few days. Building new friendships with people I did not know before, while also strengthening the one’s I already had, is one of my favorite things about this experience. I am excited to branch out and make connections with not only my peers from Auburn, but also the local people of Ariccia, as well.

I have always had a strong passion for travel and new experiences, and I believe it is one of the most important things a young person can do. In two short weeks, I’ve begun to immerse myself in this extraordinary culture, and it has already begun to broaden my global perspective. I strive to continue to learn and adapt to the world around me throughout my journey abroad!

Cheers to 10 more weeks!

– Sarah Hamilton