When in Rome

Maddison McMaken Florence, Italy


April 13, 2023

Recently I traveled to Rome with Accademia Italiana, the fashion and fine arts school I am attending in  Florence, Italy. This is one of several trips offered each semester and I have to say it was one of my favorites.  

I’ve been in Italy since September of 2022, and this was my first time in the eternal city!  We took a train and dropped our belongings off at a hotel near the station. When we arrived, the sky was clouded over and gloomy, but I was thankful that by the time we went on a tour of the  Coliseum, the sun was shining again. The tour also included the Roman Forum, which was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It felt surreal. After the tour, I hurried to the Pantheon before mass, but the tickets were sold out for the day. I didn’t realize you needed to sign a  waiver before entering at a specific time. Make sure to book your time slot before going! I spent the rest of the evening having a nice dinner and seeing the Trevi Fountain all lit up. The next day we were given free time to roam.  

In the morning, I was surprised to find out that our hotel had a terrace on the top floor  where they have breakfast. If only I had known about it sooner, I would’ve spent more time  overlooking the city. They even have the terrace open at night. After breakfast, it was optional to go on the tour with the school. I decided to do my own thing. I visited the Trevi Fountain (just as beautiful in the daytime), and the Pantheon, and I had an aperitif on the rooftop overlooking the monuments. I also wandered around and entered the shops sprinkled all over the city. The weather was perfect. The sun was shining with a slight breeze, and it wasn’t too hot. I  recommend finding a rooftop restaurant where you can enjoy good company with a good view.  There is so much to see, you almost need more than a weekend. I am fortunate enough to have a second chance to see Rome next month, this time with Arcadia! 

Everywhere you turn, there’s a sight to see. The city is full of excitement, and you’ll never get bored. I’m excited to revisit. The school trip really jam-packs a lot into a two-day trip, but it was worth it. The Pantheon was truly mesmerizing. I could stare at the ceiling forever. It was so interesting how the sunbeams streaming through the top, change as the day goes on; it’s like a  sundial. Rome holds some of my best memories and it was extraordinary seeing some of the world’s wonders in person. I’ve researched the Pantheon throughout my life and seeing it in person made it real. It’s staggering to see everything you’ve only read about, right in front of you. I wish I could sit next to the fountain and listen to the water run one last time. It’s said that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand into the water, you’ll have good luck. The fountain was featured in the movie La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini. It’s such an iconic  scene, you should watch it if you haven’t already. Life has certainly felt like la dolce vita. “When in Rome,” they say… I hope you get to visit and enjoy it as much as I did.