Today was my first day as a study abroad student. I had breakfast at the Beehive before taking a cab to the residence. The Residence Medaglie d'Oro is a four-building complex. Most of the Temple students are in building D. My room is on the fifth floor. It is an apartment with two double rooms, a living area and a kitchenette. It actually a lot bigger than I had expected. When I arrived, two of my apartment-mates were already settled in. Their names are Brittany and Lori. They both seem really nice. And just a few minutes after I started unpacking, Ali, my roommate, arrived. Both Alexandras -- weird! She seems super cool. After settling in, we met Ali's friend Anastasia and her roommate Laura. Turns out Laura and I have lived on the same floor for the past two years and never new it. Small world....The six of us decided to find something to eat. We ended up at this little cafe for a snack. I got focacce with cheese and arugula. It was so good! I think this place will become a popular spot for us.
Two of my friends from Philadelphia, Jimmy and Beth, were coming to Rome. I couldn't wait to find them, but I had no way of getting in touch. I didn't know what room they were in and American phones are useless here, so I just had to wait until I bumped into them. Fortunately, Jimmy had another idea. He went to the porter, found out what room I was in and came up. It was so good to see him again! And I was so excited to see a familiar face. We also met his roommate Gustavo. Later that day, Temple Rome had organized a pizza party for all the new students, so we met up with Anastasia and Laura to walk over. We also met their other roommate Jess and learned that their fourth was none other than my friend Beth. Che perfetto!
The walk from the residence to school is about forty minutes. It a nice walk -- just straight through a fairly residential area and over the bridge. When we got there, we met the dean and had some pizza. Afterward, Jimmy and I walked to the Spanish Steps for some gelato. From there we walked to the Vatican and back to the residence. I love the Vatican a night. During the day, not so much, but at night the statues look more profound somehow, and the lack of tourists make it quite a serene place.
Awesome first day, Temple Rome...