I came. I saw. I conquered.
Veni. Vidi. Vici.
As I'm reflecting on my time in Italy, I can't help but feel as though it went by WAY too fast. I am so, so grateful that I got the opportunity to experience the world in the way that I did! I came to Rome looking for answers and adventure...but I discovered so much more. About myself. About Business. Hell, even about my love for gelatto.
There is no doubt in my mind that I have grown in so many ways; academically, socially, and mentally. I came home with so much more knowledge, confidence, and appreciation for different parts of the world than when I first arrived. Rome gave me a fresh perspective that I most certainly needed!
Let me tell you, there is nothing more humbling than being a stranger in a new environment. Aside from making new friends, you have to learn the rules and the norms. You have to figure out how to communicate and navigate. It can be especially tough if you are doing so in a professional environment, where expectations tend to be a little higher.
It can be challenging and even frustrating at times, but it is all part of the experience. Every wrong turn or misspoken word is a chance to explore or a chance to learn and to grow. I learned to embrace the uncertainty that comes with being in a foreign country and just accept that it was part of my journey.
One thing I know to be true no matter where you are, is that you never know what you're capable of until you get out there and go for it.
Thanks to an awesome professor and a few one-on-one interviews with local business owners, I now have a MUCH better insight into the challenges of conducting Business in a foreign country, and even working with team members from another country. I have learned strategies to help overcome some of the barriers that could impede a successful collaboration. I now feel confident in my ability to flourish in a host country and in a foreign market! Of course, there is much more to be learned, but I've built a solid foundation for myself.
Outside of my studies, I am so pleased to say that I made some great friends! I am so grateful to have been able to get to know everyone over the past seven weeks. It definitely made my trip all the more fun! There is something so motivating about being around like-minded people. Friends who share my interest in and love for traveling the world. Who are passionate about Business. It was a breath of fresh air! In fact, a few of the girls and I have a couple trips planned (in the U.S.) in the upcoming months!
So, I just want to say this: Roma, thank you for stealing my heart. Thank you for allowing me to grow. Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone and teaching me new things. Thank you for introducing me to people from all over the world. The lessons I have learned, the places I've seen, and the people I've met, are INVALUABLE to me. I will carry these memories with me forever.
This certainly isn't goodbye. It's see you soon!
#TheCorporetteGoddess #ArrivederciRoma #Italy #StudyAbroad
Thanks for joining me for my recap of week four in Rome!!
This week, I spent a lot of time preparing for midterms. A lot. The work itself is not too difficult, it's just a lot of information to process at once. Argh.
On the bright side, I reallyyy enjoy getting into a "global mindset," as my teacher likes to say. It's more than just thinking on a bigger scale. You have to take into account cross-cultural differences, and really be able to understand your new market and your new audience. There's just something about figuring out how to apply business strategies to foreign countries that really interests me. Like I'm solving a puzzle! I'll take that challenge any day.
I'm slightly bummed that midterms are over now, because that means that I have less than a month left in Italy! Where has the time gone?! Where?!
As for my adventures, I have some awesome pictures for you guys this week!
On Friday (schools are closed on Fridays--just one more thing Americans can learn from Europeans), we took a day trip to Bracciano. We caught an early morning train, and it was only about an hour and a half from Rome.
The first thing we did was take a tour of a castle. A real life castle! It was complete with a moat (although dried out), a drawbridge and all!
It's so interesting to see how people lived centuries ago. The furniture in each bedroom only consisted of a bed, and a trunk for storing clothes. Here's a picture from one of the bedrooms:
While the furnishings were pretty simple, everything was relatively ornate. The use of gold can be found throughout every room in the castle.
The ceiling was definitely the most extravagant. It featured a mural made of 24k gold.
One of my favorite parts of the castle was the armory room. We got to see all of the old weapons that were used centuries ago, and even some armor! The armor itself weighed about 20 pounds. I can't even imagine. To give you a better idea of what 20 pounds of armor looks like, here's a pretty cool picture from the armory:
And of course I cannot leave out the INCREDIBLE view from the castle. I wouldn't mind waking up to this every day!!
The lake you see in the picture was so beautiful. After the tour, we headed down there for a couple hours. I'm usually not a fan of lakes because they can be really dirty, but this water was so clear and beautiful, I decided to go in and enjoy it!
So that concludes my summary of my day in Bracciano.
Now, let's talk about Sicily.
On Saturday, I caught an early flight and went to Sicily. Apparently, I came just one day after some huge festival, and i missed out big time. Oh well! I still enjoyed my time.
The first thing we saw was the Cathedral. They were holding mass, so I couldn't take all of the pictures that I wanted to, but I hope you can imagine, based on my previous pictures, how ornate the ceiling was. Here's a picture from one of the smaller rooms off to the side of the Cathedral:
I saw the opportunity to go up to the roof, and I just couldn't miss that. Honestly though, if I had known how many stairs I would have to climb, i might have skipped it. But the view was definitely a sight to see nonetheless! Here's a look at the view from the top of the Cathedral:
So by the time I was done at the Cathedral, it was superrrrr hot. So the next stop was Mandello beach!! I just love a nice beach!! Nothing like sunshine and tan lines.
Here's a look at Mandello beach in Sicily:
I got the feeling that this is a popular tourist destination because it was super crowded.
All in all, I enjoyed seeing yet another part of Italy! Each place I visit is distinctly different from the last.
That's all for this week! Be sure to check back in next week, because I have an AWESOME weekend planned and can't wait to share it with you guys!!!!
Ciao for now!!
Thanks for joining me again this week! I can't believe I've already been in Rome for three weeks. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess!
This week, I've spent more time in the classroom than out and about, but I still have a few adventures to share with you guys! First though, I'll talk about my class.
I feel like I really lucked out on this one. My teacher seems to be pretty cool, although he is very detail oriented. He is not afraid to call you out if your answer is a little vague, and make you go into detail. Which will come in handy when it comes to our test (the first one is next Monday), I guess.
Also, three of my good friends are also in that class. You know what they say...friends who struggle together, stay together.
Nah, I'm just kidding. As long as you keep up with the readings and take good notes, it's really not that hard. I'm loving the international aspect of it!! Something about having to adjust and adapt to make something work in this country or that country really intrigues me. So that definitely makes it a lot more enjoyable!!
Now that you've gotten a good summary of the Academics, we can move on to my adventures and travels!!
So, as you know, this past Tuesday was the Fourth of July. While it is not celebrated outside of the U.S., we had Tuesday off because John Cabot University is, after all, an American University!
My roommates and I decided to go to the beach, about a 45 minute train ride away, in Ostia. It was superrrrrr crowded, but still lovely!!
The first thing we did was rent a paddle boat. You know, the ones you manually power with your feet on the peddles? Yeah, it was pretty cool, but tiring nonetheless. I took the picture you see below from the boat!
While we were there, I also got to ride/drive a jet ski, which is always a fun time!! So overall, it was a pretty good 4th, even in Italy!
Now, fast forward to Saturday...
This past Saturday, my roomies and I took a day trip to a lovely part of Tuscany called Assisi. Picture a green country side...a breath of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of Rome!
Once there, we toured a local winery. It was AHHHMAZING! I really had such a great time. Here are some pictures from the tour!
Those bad boys are holding gallons and gallons of wine.
This next part is my favorite!! After the tour, we got to do a wine tasting. We sampled five different wines. One white, four red. With each different wine, came a new small plate of food that complemented it. My favorite wine was a sweet red dessert wine, with an assortment of cheeses and two different kinds of jams, also made by the Winery. Yummy!
The trip to the Winery was definitely a lovely experience! i highly recommend taking the time to do that, even if you can't get to Italy!!
Well guys, thanks for reading about my third week in this magical city! I will check back in next week with adventures from Sicily!
Ciao for now!
Claudia here. I have some amazing adventures to share with guys this week!!
So, this past weekend I hopped on a train with some of my roomies and we went to Florence for one day, and then to Venice the next. Let me just say, the public transportation in Rome is pretty great and easy to navigate! I definitely recommend the trains if you're not trying to go too far.
We left Rome at about 8:15 am, and I would say that we arrived in Florence around 11:30. Not too bad, right?
Once we got there, we went to check in at the hostel. For those of you who don't know (I had never heard of these) hostels are like small, simple, cheap places you can stay while traveling! They definitely make taking a trip more affordable, rather than shelling out money for a hotel. I was a little nervous, I'm not gonna lie. It ended up being pretty decent! I see many more hostels in my future.
After check-in, it was time to explore. First stop, was the Duomo. Here's a couple close ups!
Isn't it magnificent? The details in everything are so ornate and beautiful!
Next stop was the Ponteveccio, which is the bridge you'll see if you keep scrolling!
And, of course, you know I had to do some shopping! They have such cute stores and the prices are reasonable!
Finally, we had a nice sunset dinner by the river. Here's a photo of me, on the Ponteveccio (the bridge) as the sun is setting.
Isn't it just breath-taking?
The sunset I mean, not me. Just kidding!
Here's a photo on the bridge with two of my roomies!
The following day, we left Florence at about 8:30, and made it to Venice by 12. No hostel this time!
No matter how beautiful Florence was, it had nothing..NOTHING on Venice. I am in love with that city, ya'll! In. Love.
As soon as you exit the train station, you're looking at the canal. Venice is pretty much nothing but canals. Like, they use boats and gondolas (those skinny river boats steered by men) to get around instead of taxis. It was pretty cool.
Here's a look at the view from the first bridge we came to after we left the train station:
See what I mean? The canal runs through the whole city.
Just wait, it gets better.
So, the first place we went was to the Basilica of San Marco (St. Marco). OH MY GOSH. I have NEVER seen anything more beautiful!! I just hope my pictures do it justice! The details were incredible! It's so beautiful, it almost looks fake.
How beautiful is this?!
Naturally, I had to take a picture in front of it!
Entry into the Basilica is free, but it's seven euros to go up the stairs, outside, and to the gallery. The view is so amazing, it's definitely worth it! If you're ever in Venice, I highly recommend making this a priority. Side Note: You should dress conservatively. Your legs and shoulders have to be covered. If not, you will have to buy a "shawl" and cover yourself before they let you in.
Here's me on the balcony of the Basilica, which over looks the water.
After leaving the Basilica, we pretty much just walked around and explored the city. Which I actually enjoy, as opposed to having specific locations you're trying to get to. It's more laid back. There are all these cute, small side streets to wander down, bridges to cross, and stores to look at.
For lunch, I had a great seafood meal by the water. It was lovely! Afterwards, I sat on the edge and let my feet hang in the water for a bit, watching the gondolas and boats pass.
Here's a photo of me, in front of the water:
You can see that it got a little cloudy, but it's still beautiful.
Okay, now for my favorite part!!!!!! READY?!?!
THE GONDOLA RIDE. This was literally on my bucket list! Right on up there with the Segway ride.
It was amazing!!! It's a small boat that takes you down the canal, allowing you to get a look at some beautiful buildings. So. Freaking. Cool.
This is me in my cute little gondola, which just happened to be black and gold. Perfect for me. In the back, you'll see my gondola driver. He was super nice, and let me take a picture with his hat!
Stylin' , right?
Unfortunately, the gondola ride was the last thing we had time for before we left. But it was a great end to a great weekend!!
Thanks for reading about my adventures this week! I'll keep you guys updated about any other adventures I take!
Ciao for now!!