I have now been in Italy for close to four weeks. In those four weeks there have been innumerable first times, countless new friends, and a plethora of stories; all of which I would not trade for anything.

My time in Rome has not been quite like I anticipated. My vision of what it would be like in the months leading up to the trip was flawed in almost every way, and I’m surprisingly happy that was the case. I had anticipated and hoped for something that I quickly realized wasn’t realistic. Rome isn’t all glitz and glam with gorgeous historic buildings. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of beautiful of old buildings and astonishingly glamorous areas. However, after a week you have seen all of that. It was the experience of truly feeling like Roman that I wasn’t expecting; yet I am most thankful for. Being on a first name basis with the family running the shop below our apartment and the workers at the pizzeria a block down I never thought would happen. The immersion into the Italian culture has been, to me, more meaningful than the Coliseum or Vatican City.

Next week I wrap up classes and then head to Barcelona for a week. If it is half as nice to me as Rome and Italy have been it is bound to be a good time!

Will Peeler

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