My Roman Holiday

Greetings from Roma! My name is Olivia and I am a Landscape Architecture student at the U. Throughout the past four weeks I have loved experiencing the historical and cultural vibrance of this beautiful city. Every day is an adventure in Rome – here is a glimpse into one of the strangest and definitely one of my favorite days thus far.

It all started at the Colosseum…

 I woke up early to sketch the in a nearby park. There, some strangers started pacing past me, looking at my sketches, laughing to each other – I eventually left. On my way to a nearby cafe, I started walking next to this man who commented on a horse drawn carriage riding next to us. He was Canadian, had a black eye and was walking with a limp. He spoke english and was trying to spark up conversation as I tried to awkwardly walk past him. He tried to get me to slow down for a while and soon I was a ways away from him and he screamed: “Italians are dirtbags!” and points to his eye. He was harmless, but I disagree – I think they’re quite nice.

I enjoyed a cappuccino e cornetto and attempted to complete my sketch of the Colosseum.

NEXT, I found a sunny spot across from this pretty yellow building and decided to sketch it. A woman comes up to me and starts talking in Italian. I said that I don’t understand Italian: “io non capisco italiano” and that I speak English. She opened a page of a book and tells me to read it. It was something along the lines of: “do you believe in the end of war, hatred and salvation for all mankind…” I said : “Oh that is nice.” She goes: “Jehova’s Witness” and walks away. Shortly after a man came out of the building I was sitting on and blew a whistle at me pointing that I need to get off of the stoop I was sketching on…oops!

LATER, I had a doctors appointment to check out a cold I had at the time. The doctor told me he was sending a car for me and to “look for a black Mercedes.” Sure enough the NICEST black Mercedes pulls up in front of our apartment with this man that pops out and says “Olivia?” YUP. He was super nice and was listening to some great music  – his driving on the other hand… Italian drivers are crazy – this Italian driver was insane. Whipping between lanes, not even driving in lanes, almost hitting moped drivers. He cuts maybe the 12 person off and GETS HIT. He jumps out of his car and starts screaming at the driver behind us. Meanwhile, I’m in the backseat not having a clue what they’re saying/what’s going on at all. He eventually came back into the car laughing and apologizing. I wish I took a picture.

SO, no I don’t think Italians are dirtbags. But yes, I do think they are pretty wild drivers.

Ended this eventful day with a solid sketch of the Colosseum, the Lizzy McGuire movie and a gelato run.

Below are a few snapshots to sum up my wonderful time so far. I can’t believe our program is almost over in Rome – looking forward to adventures to come!

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Cappuccino e cornetto

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Sketch of David

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Campo di Fiori

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“Police Verso”- Jean Leon Gerome

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Ciao for now!


  1. Mark & Nedret Butler

    Dear “Roman” students,

    We have been enjoying your writings, photos and above all your drawings…we have to have an exhibit and invite turkish university students, alumni, etc.… We are looking forward to welcoming you in Istanbul soon, Safe and Happy travels, Mark&Nedret Butler


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