Ten years ago this week I was starting my semester of studying abroad in Rome. To say my experience there was a turning point in my life would do it a disservice. So much of who I am and how I've changed all starts from those four months. What I eat, drink, and wear. Who my best friends are. The art I make. How I feel about myself and the world.
Our time there was such a contrast of light and dark. I spent a lot of my days in Rome feeling melancholy, for many reasons, but mostly because I arrived on September 6, 2011, and you know what happened a few days later. It was scary, but strangely not too scary to us. We didn't have a TV. Internet news wasn't really a big deal to us then. So we didn't witness those weeks and weeks of neverending news coverage. . . and for that I can say I still don't think I fully comprehend the way most Americans feel about the event.
But the darkness was only one small part. We had FUN. Man oh man did we have fun. (Okay, I will admit to maybe sometimes having too much fun, even.) But what we saw everyday, where we travelled, the once in the lifetime things we did, I would never give any of it up. The bond our group of classmates had was phenomenal and to this day many of my best friends are those that lived in the six stories of Vicolo delle Vacche #3. (I even noticed while writing this that I find it hard to use the pronoun 'I' while talking about Rome. It feels more correct to say 'we.' The Rome 2011 graphic design hive mind.)
Anyway. Pictures. I have hundreds more and I think I'll be sharing them bit by bit through the next few months.
Somewhere in Naples, I believe? I can tell this photo was taken near the beginning of the semester because my clothes look really clean & Americana. Near the end of the semester all I remember wearing were black stretchy pants from the flea market and benetton sweaters. And we all needed haircuts REAL bad.
And a bonus: here's the Google streetview of our apartment, only a few blocks away from Piazza Navona. We were so lucky. My 7 roommates and I lived on the 6th floor. MAGICAL.