Written by Lauren Roth
You know in the movie The Princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway when it’s the end of the movie and Joe tells Princess Mia to look out the window to see Genovia? That scene is exactly what it looked like when we started to land in Rome. I decided to go study abroad for a whole semester, never being out of the country before, and barley ever being off the east coast, but I did it anyway. And let me tell you, it’s been a rollercoaster.
The first week we were in Perugia, Italy we had orientation. In less than 24 hours I met half the people in the program, and to this day I still can’t remember everyone’s names. They packed our days with activities, and when you weren’t going to school events, we would explore the city, all day and all night. I think I was getting 4 hours of sleep a night and walking 25,000 steps a day, it was like freshman orientation on steroids.
We’ve been in Italy for about a week and a half now but it’s like I’ve known these people for years. This past weekend some of the friends I have made here and I went to Lago Trasimeno (Lake Trasimeno) and Cortona, Italy. When the 5 of us arrived in Passignano to still the lake, the train pulled in to the most run-down station I had ever seen. There was not a person near us, not even someone to sell tickets, and there was a dense fog that covered the countryside we just found ourselves in. It seriously looked like we were in the beginnings of a horror film, but we said screw it and decided to have a great day. We made our way to a small coffee shop and attempted to plan our day. From the coffee shop, we just started walking around the town, and just didn’t stop. Eventually, we were on top of a mountain and could overlook the entire city of Passignano. After our hours of hiking and exploring, we went to a local seafood restaurant, which is a fun place to go when you don’t like seafood. Nonetheless, it was all delicious, because what food in Italy isn’t?
As we were about to leave the restaurant we met two young men who worked there and we asked them where should go next on our day adventure. They recommended Cortona, a small town in Tuscany, Italy. We were all excited to go until they told us we needed a car to get there, and we didn’t have a car. So, they offered to drive us in their cars, and we said yes because when in Rome (sorry mom). We made our way to Cortona, and it was the most beautiful town I had ever seen. I felt like I was walking through a Disney movie.
Eventually, our day came to an end and we said bye to our new friends (one of which just look my friend Livy on a date!) and made our way to the train. All was well and we were ready to get back to Perugia and sleep all night, that is until we got off at the wrong stop. We learned the hard way that the trains stop in two places for Perugia. Not knowing what to do, because there wasn’t another train coming, a taxi to call, or a bus stop in sight, we did what every good American does, we walked. We had to walk for 20 minutes before we found the mini metro to get on and go home, I guess you could say it was a disaster, I like to call it an adventure.
Despite getting lost, eating way too much pasta, and staying up way too late every night, Perugia, Itay is more than anything I could ever dream of. I feel like I’m living in a movie for the next 4 months, but I am not complaining about that.