ROMA! Over the winter break, I heard more “Andiamo’s” than anything else, and that’s exactly what I did, I went. I went to Italy with for the Freshman Passport trip with a class of people that I hadn’t talked to all semester and we all went crazy over the food, culture, and beauty of the place for two weeks. Needless to say, we’ve all been like one big family since. Admittedly (and not to toot my own horn), it does take a leap of faith to apply for the Freshmen Passport program when the time rolls around during the summer before the school year actually starts, but it’s definitely worth the risk. It automatically puts you into either the best (in my humble opinion) Discover New York class or the best (again, IMHO) English Composition class at St. John’s. Not only because they are both packaged with the trip to Rome, but also because the Professors are incredible! Actually, I would even put money on the fact that in twenty years, everyone who went from my DNY class will still attest to the awesomeness that is Prof. Adam Smith!
But alright, maybe the love and happiness is a little expected (after two weeks living around 70 people sorted onto just two floors, it’s hard to not know everyone). But there really wasn’t a closed jaw for most of the time we spent around town and out in the country of Italy. The architecture alone is, ala Russell Peters, mind-blasting. It was definitely helpful that I took Art History during the semester, but I know for a fact that even those who didn’t necessarily understand the art and architecture still appreciated it like nothing else.
Hmm… and food. Do I really even have to go there? You can pretty much expect the quality to be that top-notch. Oh wait, I forgot, then Rome’s food comes back with a roundhouse and knocks your expectations to the floor. Yeah, that’s how good the food is. Some people didn’t want to touch pasta back here in the States once we got back, but more out of repulsion at the lack of quality here than having felt over-exposed to it in Italy. I still have the taste of Pasta Amatriciana in my mouth. It’s like a loneliness that will never again be properly filled (until I buy my million-dollar condo in near the Vatican). Sigh.
So, great food (essentially free, by the way, considering the University gives out meal tickets for area restaurants), not-so-close-that-there’s-Real-World-level-drama-yet-still-a-nice-community living arrangement, fun Professors, inspiring beauty, and deep personal fulfillment. Anything my extremely subtle advertising is missing? Oh right, all of your friends back home will be sippin’ on haterade. I was sold. You know you want to be too.
BTDubs, Pope Benedetto XVI rocks!