Let the Grand Tour Begin!

Ariccia, Italy is electric; everyone can feel it. As of 2 September 2014, Ariccia found herself home to 18 American students. We have spent our first week cautiously, though eagerly, exploring our new surroundings. It has been a week of firsts, laughs, questions, exploration, and thrills. More than anything, it’s been a whirlwind of a week. A breakdown is necessary:


We arrive in beautiful Ariccia. As we test the waters of our new home, so also we test the waters of learning the 17 new faces we will be studying, living, and adventuring with.

Wednesday and Thursday

We begin to grow more familiar with Ariccia, the Chigi Palace, and each other. After tours, orientations, and meetings, we begin to think maybe we can successfully navigate the culture. Of course the first time we try ordering anything on our own we realize the necessity of survival Italian.


And just like that, we discover the world outside Ariccia! Friday is spent traveling to the other towns in Castelli Romani. Adventure exists in every direction, right outside our front door. We sample local fare, bask in breathtaking sights, and walk until we’re sure we must stop for [more] gelato 🙂

The Weekend

The need for adventure is palpable. The weekend ushers in our first opportunity to explore on our own for an extended period of time. So explore we do. Most of us find ourselves in the eternal city [ciao Roma], shopping and dining as history surprises us from every corner.

What a way to end the week! Fireworks from the festival right outside our front door.

What a way to end the week! Fireworks from the festival right outside our front door.

Back home in Ariccia, the town is alive as the Porchetta Festival commences. Music, lights, and merriment abound the entire weekend. And we could not agree more! We’re in Italy. Life is beautiful. So celebrate we must!