So I am studying at John Cabot University for six weeks this summer, and I am here to update you on the lessons I’ve learned in the little time I’ve been here.
- Social Norms are Different
We all knew this would be the case, but I’ll just key you in on some things to be aware of. You don’t tip (It’s just not customary and I’m guessing they factor a “tip” in your bill?), people do not smile at you if you pass them, NO ONE wears shorts, and t-shirts are simply not an item in their closet.
2. Technology Isn’t the Same
Above everything, make sure you bring an outlet adapter. They have different outlets, so your regular phone charger will not work without an adapter. Also, basically everything technology wise is different here. Everything is smaller (oven, microwave, washer, etc.). Electricity is very expensive here, so you have to be aware of how many things you have plugged in. Dishawashers and driers are not a thing (uses too much electricity; you put dishes on a drying rack and dry clothes on a rack or clothes line). Air conditioning is also nonexistent in most places, so fans are your best friend.
3. You Have 1000 Different Trash Cans
Italy has banned trash incinerators, and because of this, need to dispose of their trash very efficiently because they have limited space and lots of people. Due to this, you have around eight different trash cans for plastic/metal, paper, compost, glass, etc. All of these need to be put out on different days to be picked up, and if you put out the wrong item, you will be fined.
4. Be Ready to Walk
Despite how this sounds, this is one of my favorite parts of studying here. Everyone walks because everything is so close together. There’s no, “Let’s drive down the street to get something to eat”. You simply walk ten minutes in either direction and you are bombarded with 100 restaurants, a grocery, and anything else you need. If something is too far, take the tram or best (also going to be your best friend).
5. Pasta & Pizza are Their Own Food Group
I kid you not, 90% of the restaurants in Rome are pizzerias. You have to really search if you wants something other than carbs on carbs. I have discovered a small mexican joint called Pico’s, a sandwich shop called Donkey Punch, and a delicious sushi restaurant called Coffee Pot. If all you want to eat is pasta, pizza, and bruschetta, you will never have a limited supply. You will also never be deprived of gelato, as there are 1000 places to get that as well. Also, get wine with every meal you can, trust me.
There are definitely more lessons I could share, but I’ll leave them up to you to figure them out. Overall, I can honestly say Trastevere, Rome is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to, and I’m in love with all it’s cobblestone streets and twists and turns. You will definitely not regret coming here.