Beyond BVU: What I Will Miss About Rome



Samantha Hirschman | Blogger

So, for the first time, I was asked “What will you miss about Rome?” 
It really made me think about my time here. What have I enjoyed here? What has made this time here so special? Why’d I come in the first place? What has made this experience different from others?

Things that I’ll miss:
1. Open markets (compared to supermarkets)
— The farmer’s market at home doesn’t even make a dent compared to the markets I’ve found here in Rome. Every day, there are several markets around the city that open. I like being able to buy fresh produce and know where it’s coming from. Typically, the fruit at the frutteria not only tastes better, but lasts longer too. 

2. Small, unique shops
— While my small town has small businesses where I most likely know the owner, Rome doesn’t have any Walmart-like stores. In order to buy medicine, you must go to a farmacia. In order to buy school supplies, you have to go to the cartoleria. There’s no “one-stop-shop” stores in Rome, or Europe for that matter.

3. Eco-friendliness
— We may claim in America that we are going “green,” but there is nothing like the efficiency of being here. While I may despise how cold/hot it is or not having a drier, it has been an eye-opener on how much energy we really use in the states. My apartment in Italy does not have near the amenities that we do at my house in Iowa. I used to think that they were necessities, not amenities, but that outlook has most definitely changed. 

4. Food
— Don’t get me wrong, there are many delicious meals I am missing from home, but the pizza and pasta are better than what they are made out to be. I never would have thought to put raw eggs and cooked bacon together and then mix it around in some pasta (Spaghetti alla carbonara), or to put chunks of tomato (pomodoro) on a cheese pizza (pizza margherita) and call it good. Or going into a bar (a small coffee shop) and ordering a coffee and a croissant for 2 euro.

5. Wine Culture
— The drinking age is 18 in Italy and there is no “open container” laws. I will miss having a glass or two of wine at dinner and being able to buy a bottle of alcohol for 5-6 euro ($6-7) at the store. It’s been nice not having to worry about having a casual drink, but hey, eight more months after my return! 

6. Coffee Vending Machines
— My school has two. One machine gives smaller cups of traditional coffee for .60 cents and the other machine offers more variety of flavored coffees that costs 1 euro, but for a large amount. Sure, we have coffee machines in the cafeteria at BV, but we don’t have coffee vending machines randomly through campus. 

7. “Slow-ed down” Lifestyle
— Everything about Italy is very relaxed. (Especially bus drivers. Never on time.) It took me a really long time to adjust this relaxed lifestyle and I’m still not used to it, but it’s been nice compared to the fast-paced life of an American.