A Hoosier compares Rome to B-town

Spoiler alert: It’s way better

In my brief time of being abroad in Rome so far, I have already fallen in love with The Capital of the World.

I have been soaking in everything about the culture — I’m even taking bullet point notes on my phone everyday because I know time here is fleeting, and I want to remember everything. Although there are times I wish I could be in Assembly Hall for Hoosier basketball games, I could not be happier that I’m here.

Naturally, though, it’s a bit different from life at IU. There are major aspects of life in Rome that are totally incomparable to life in Bloomington.

The eating experience

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I was going to name this section “Food,” but that hardly does Rome justice.

No matter where you go, the food is impeccable. But my favorite places to dine at are the small, off-the-beaten-path, family-owned restaurants. These places give you the true Italian eating experience. The atmosphere is incomparable, the pasta is homemade and the olive oil, meat, fish, and vegetables are fresher than anything you’ve ever had.

You can truly taste the freshness of the tomatoes when eating the marinara sauce. Regularly having a glass or two of wine with dinner is something I have gladly gotten used to. And although Mother Bears has the best pizza in B-town, I must admit, the pizza in Italy blows Mother Bears out of the water.

The pace of the people

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As a Sport Marketing major, I had the chance to study and take classes relevant to my major in Australia. Instead, I chose Rome because here, for a few months, I can pursue interests I haven’t had the time or opportunity to focus on back home. My classes consist of Photography, Documentary Filmmaking, Classical Mythology, Contemporary Italian Politics and Italian 101.

For Photography, we spend one hour a week in the classroom and two hours a week in the field taking photos — what’s better than that? Additionally, I am an easy flight or train ride away from most European countries. I plan on visiting Barcelona, Seville, Prague, Amsterdam, and Munich, as well other places throughout Italy.

The nightlife is terrific and I’m actually old enough to partake in it

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Since my birthday is in May and I have yet to turn 21, I haven’t been to Roy’s, Sports, DK, or any other bars in B-town, but I would hazard a guess that the bars and clubs here are probably at least as fun — if not more so.

They’re definitely better than fraternity basements. I haven’t had any peach Taaka, grape Karkov, or Natty Light since I’ve been in Rome. A €1 bottle of wine — much better than Francia — at the apartment and then going to the usual bar such as G Bar, Drunken Ship or Scholars followed by the clubs Art Café, Gilda or Shari Vari is the typical night out.

And since open containers are allowed in public, a road beer in an attempt to save a few extra Euro goes a long way — something that certainly cannot be done at old IU.

Like I said, it’s only been a few weeks. I can’t wait to continue drinking up this city and all of its sights, sounds, smells, tastes and other experiences.

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