It seriously amazes me that we have only been here for a week because of the amount we have seen and the things we have learned. There are some of the differences we have experienced so far:
1. I don’t think there are parking tickets here and the drivers are so aware of there surroundings as well as the dimensions of their car to the inch. They are not scared to speed or squeeze into spaces or make spaces where they do not exist. I would never drive here.
2. There are so so many restaurants. I think I spend most of my morning walks/train rides wondering how all of these places stay in business. I think every other door here leads to a restaurant. It’s great but sometimes hard to choose, though they all have relatively the same menu for lunch. It’s all carbs.
3. People here have great eye contact.
4. The grocery store selection is great here! It’s all fresh and relatively inexpensive. The tomatoes are cheap and the fancy cheese you would find at home is the same price as American singles. Though there is a problem with the language barrier. I have bought items more than once expecting them to be something other than what they are. (Same with Jess). But there are some things I would like to see though: Pickles, pepper jack cheese, peanut butter, Culver’s, salad dressing (they don’t have a lot of sauces here) and tortilla chips.
But I think the main difference I have noticed between Rome and the states is the sizes of things. All different types of things. Cars are smaller here than in America (and the garbage trucks are Mercedes) as well as well as the sizes of stores and restaurants. Though I was expecting it, it really does not set in until you see it. I think that the most surprising thing when visiting places like the Colosseum, the Forum and St. Peter’s is how large they are compared to their surroundings. Even though Americans may be used to excess, large things, and lots of space, these places we have experienced so far are on another level in regards size and grandeur. It’s hard to put it into words. The amount of time, materials used, and costs necessary to build these monuments are crazy. Next to the monuments are neighborhoods with every inch of space used or reused. The buildings may be hundreds of years old but the the interior and it’s purpose may be completely different than what it was initially built for. I think that’s what it love most about the city. You can see exactly what the people of the city need and how they adapted throughout history based on their buildings. Rather than completely start over, they just adapt (which I think is a lesson we could learn, especially as architecture students). It truly is unlike any other place I’ve been.