My New Vita Italiana (Italian Life)


It has officially been one week since I departed the Denver airport, landed in the Atlanta airport, departed again for the Fuimicino airport, took a bus to Ariccia, Italy, and settled into my new home in the Palazzo Chigi. The past week has been a whirlwind of information, culture shock, friendly locals, tons of good food, and of course, wine, and so many beautiful things to see. Every day a new adventure begins, and I have loved every single second of it.

The first three days were spent settling into the new ‘vita Italiana’ myself and nineteen of my Auburn peers will be living for the next eleven weeks. We toured our new home of Ariccia, Italy, located in the Castelli Romani circle in the Lazio region of Italy, forty-five minutes southeast of Rome. The town is small, the people are kind, the views of the Tyrrhenian Sea are to die for, and man is the food good. On Friday, we took on Rome as a class. The day started early with a 7:00 a.m. train into Rome from the town next door, Albano Laziale. After ten site visits, approximately thirteen miles walked, and one delicious pizza margherita eaten, I returned to Ariccia with my class.

On Saturday, the entire class ignored the recommendation of not traveling this first weekend and ventured back to Rome to complete our class scavenger hunt – we didn’t want to waste a moment not being back in Rome! We visited ten more sites, walked an additional fifteen miles, and successfully navigated Rome by ourselves. This day was more casual, shopping between site visits, caffè latte’s when the exhaustion began to set in, and when the sun set over the city of Rome and night fell, that didn’t stop us from continuing to explore the city that so many love – and now I see why. I didn’t think it possible, but at night the city becomes even more alive. Artists and musicians take to the streets to share their talents and the sites we saw during the day became magical with lights. While standing in awe of the Colosseum at night and listening to street vendors playing music, I fell in love with Rome.

The Colosseum at night

If you need me… I’ll be here. Arrivederci!

-Sammy Kelley