A city with something to discover around every corner

By Rachael Kroot
Published December 8, 2011

"The amazing thing about Rome is that you can spend an eternity there and never discover all of what the city has to offer. Tons of museums, restaurants, galleries, and plazas mean that down every road and alley is something else to awe at." -Brad, United States

Brad, a U.S. student who spent a semester in Rome, knows what he's talking about. Rome is like a never ending maze of Italian history and culture. You've probably heard of the big attractions, like the Colosseum and the Pantheon, but there are some things hidden throughout the city that will take more than just one week and a guidebook to find.

  • For starters, there's the food. Anyone who travels to Italy is kidding themselves if they don't admit they're going for the pizza, pasta and gelato. But only the locals have time to pick out their own personal favorites. For a delicious night out on the town, many recommend authentic pizza at Remo followed by dessert at II Gelato di San Crispino. Are these recommendations really the best? If you are abroad in Rome you will be able to judge for yourself. you can spend almost as much time studying the food as studying for class!
  • Then there's the music. Have you ever heard an Italian Opera... in Italy? Walking down the street you might easily pass grey facade of the Teatro dell-Opera di Roma without a second glance. But if you step inside, you will be greeted by the warmth and majesty of golden arches and theater boxes. Buy a ticket and you will get lost in the harmonious sounds and voices of Opera the way the Italians intend. 
  • Of course, when anyone thinks of Italy they think immediately of art. The whole city is like a monument to artists through the ages. Michelangelo, Bernini and Caravaggio, just to name a few. Their works line the museums and the streets! Lauren, an art student from the U.S., says, "It was especially valuable to be able to visit both large, private estates and small, unassuming churches to view works I'd studied. Seeing the artwork in person provided greater insights into the artists and time periods I'd studied." As you walk down the Via del Corso, you might even be able to see some of the famous works in progress - by chalk artists who replicate pieces in great detail, just to be washed away in the next rainfall.
  • Although Rome is not traditionally known for its literature scene, that too is joining the forefront of Roman culture. In recent years, Terza Universita students started a unique trend of book barks - places for readers to enjoy a glass of wine with artists and authors alike. The largest is Bibli in Trastevere, on the West side of the Tiber River, but there are plenty of others in the city for you to explore and find your niche as a student. 
  • Lastly, let's not forget the science and history that went into making Rome the city that it is today. Arches, domes and waterways still remain from the great Roman engineers that designed them so many years ago. Lauren says, "Seeing works of architecture and mathematics that shaped history was almost surreal, and was an invaluable learning experience." There are few places on earth today where you can see history come alive the way you can in Rome. It is like being transported into another era!

So whether you find beauty in a good meal, a musical masterpiece, an historical work of art, the written word or simply in science and history itself; Rome has something unique and exciting in store for you. The most amazing thing is how well the city ties all of these elements together. Brad says it's unbelievable the way "an entire city of craziness can come together and flow so seamlessly and chaotically at the same time." Maybe by the end of your time abroad, you will be able to find your way seamlessly through the chaotic maze of Rome. If nothing else, your time there will be a lesson in navigation. Nonetheless, hopefully both Brad and Lauren's insights about their time in Rome have helped you decide if Rome is the study abroad destination for you.

So bring a map and have fun! If  you get lost, just walk a few blocks and you're sure to hit another landmark because in Rome, there is literally something to find around every corner!

Learn more about studying abroad in Rome.

Rachael has a B.S. in Geography from the University of Maryland and studied abroad in London during the Spring of 2009.