What I miss about home

Now that I’ve been living in Rome for a month, I’ve been able to reflect on what I really miss about home. Here’s a short list that I came up with:
-Meat. I’ve been eating so much pasta and pizza, and meat is often not the focal point of dishes here
-Having dryers available
-Everything being open all the time. You really never know what will be open when, its honestly luck of the draw.
-Living on campus. I have to leave for class so much earlier and I actually have a commute now and can easily sympathize with UMass students who live off campus and have to take the jam-packed busses each day.
-Being close the dining commons
-Seeing my friends and familiar professors at UMass
-Watching TV and movies: Netflix has not come to Italy yet and many American cable networks do not have contracts with Italian cable networks yet, making it impossible to watch American TV.
-Wings over Amherst, I cannot underscore this one enough!
-Being so close to the Rec. Center. The gym at John Cabot is far away from my apartment and is small and not anything like the top-notch UMass rec center. But there is a small running track a few streets away from me which helps
-Being able to easily communicate with people, without having wifi all the time or knowing peoples numbers (because not everyone has a cell phone here) sometimes it can be hard to get in touch with people)

These are of course things that I miss, but that I can easily live without for this opportunity of a lifetime. They are just things that I will look forward to when I return to the U.S. and I’ll be able to more fully appreciate them and realize how lucky I am to have them.
Onto another subject…Venice! Sadly, there is not much to report on Venice. I was only there for a day, and it torrentially rained for the entire day complete with high wind gusts. But we still made the most of the day. We visited the over-rated Peggy Guggenheim Museum, walked over the many, many bridges and took a water taxi, the only efficient way to get around Venice because there are more canals and roads. You cannot drive to Venice. There are no roads in Venice. You can barely ride a bike or motorcycle in Venice either. It is a walking city, or a “floating city.”
The best way to see the city is by boat, or gondola, which unfortunately I wasn’t able to do either because they don’t go out in the rain. My pictures that I have up on Flickr show what little I was able to see of the world-famous Venetian Carnivale and the iconic canals. The rain didn’t stop us completely, but definitely put a damper on what we had planned to do. That’s why I’m glad I get to go back with my Mom in April when it will hopefully be warmer and rain-free, and I’ll get a second go at my much-needed gondola ride. This means that my “real” post on Venice will come in April, not today 
This weekend I am going to Florence with my program! Florence is located about 4 hours north of Rome by car and is one of the main cities in the region of Tuscany, a favorite region among visitors to Italy. I’ll be seeing some of the most famous works of art in the world while getting my first chance to explore life under the Tuscan Sun. I’ve also booked a trip to Prague (Czech Republic), and my spring break in March will be spent in IRELAND! I’m working on booking other trips now….Next week I will be experiencing the Roman Carnivale before it comes to an end on Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent and the beginning of one of the most important times of year in this city given the fact that the Vatican is deeply entrenched within Rome. I’ll be posting about my weekend to Florence & carnivale next week, until then, arriverderci 



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