Italy, Travel

Italy Update #1

Ciao!

I’m finally in Italy and is it too cliché to say it’s everything I imagined and more? This place is incredibly rich with history, culture, and my personal favorite – food! For those of you that don’t know, I’m studying abroad with Auburn University this semester in Italy! I hope to keep friends and family updated with life via this little so-called blog.

Our home is in Palazzo de Chigi which is located in Ariccia, a small town outside of Rome. The last few days we have been exploring the palace, weaving our way through the cobblestone streets in Ariccia, eating some of the local food (Ariccia is known for the Porchetta), attempting to communicate with the locals, and beginning on the actual “work” part of our program.

The pictures above are a few snaps from the palace. As much as I would like to say that we live in this part of the palace..we don’t. Our abode is in the basement of the palace. Although we aren’t living as kings and queens, Auburn has provided a pretty nice setup. A few of the known visitors of our quarters are Nazi soldiers, French Revolution soldiers, and bandits.

It’s already inevitable that these weeks will fly by. The days may last forever, but collectively this week has completely escaped me. It seems as if I stepped off of the airplane, blinked.. and have already toured part of the palace (that we are living in!), visited 5 adorable Castelli Romani cities, and have eaten more than my pants can handle.

A few of my favorite things so far are:

  • The purr of cars driving on the cobblestone.
  • Fresh flowers on every porch. I especially love the life that it brings to a home. If there are live flowers you know that there is someone that lives in the residence that waters and cares for them.
  • Crisp clothes dangling from every balcony.
  • The fact that the times of opening are unpredictable. This can be a hassle sometimes and one day it may be on my least favorite thing list, but this week I have loved it. It just shows that the people aren’t centered on career and money. Yes, I don’t know their hearts and intent behind sporadic hours of operation, but I hope to think that they are relaxing and enjoying life.

Coming into this experience I was nervous about friends and friendships. The Lord has so greatly blessed existing friendships and He has also blessed me with other girls that are pursuing Him. We truly have had so much fun getting to know each other. Laughter has been ever present and I expect it to be a reoccurring thing. Side note on friendships: My sweet friend, Sarah Longhta, complied a scrapbook of letters from friends and family. I am overwhelmed with the love and encouragement that was given to me. One verse that appeared numerous times was Colossians 3:23-24..

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

Farewell book of letters from  friends and family

Farewell book of letters from friends and family

So friends & family who took time to write those notes, thank you so much. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t reached for that beautiful black book to thumb through all of the pictures, letters, and verses.

We venture into Rome this week! Hope to fill you in on that experience next week! Until then…arrivederci!

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