Cultural Experience | Rome

Unexpected Adventures: Things to Do While on Study Abroad in Rome!

I had the opportunity to live la dolce vita.

By Kaitlin Reilly, Temple Univerisity

This past semester, I had the opportunity to live la dolce vita in one of the oldest and greatest cities in the world – Rome, Italy. It was truly an amazing experience – when else will I get to say that I lived within walking distance to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps? Here is a list of some of my favorite things to do in the Eternal City.

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 People watch in Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful piazza’s in Rome, complete with gorgeous fountains and breathtaking architecture. Grab a fruity gelato from nearby gelateria Grom and watch the street performers and artists who are always out and about in the piazza.

Go dancing in Testacchio

One of the coolest nightlife areas in Rome, Testacchio has tons of open-air clubs and bars to dance at into the wee hours of the night.

Visit the Capuchini Bone Chapel

Not for the faint of heart, this chapel is decorated with the bones of Capuchin monks. Creepy, but definitely something to see while you’re in Rome.

Take a bus tour to a hill town.

If you’re looking to get out of the big city for a bit, take a short bus trip to a hill town like Todi, which is a quick 45-minutes by bus from the center of Rome. You’ll get a feel for what a small Italian town is like and explore Italian culture away from the big-city bustle of Rome. While there, eat some authentic local cuisine, and take loads of cool photos. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of a time warp (in a very good way!).

Eat fried artichokes in the Jewish Quarter.

Definitely one of the best meals you’ll have in Rome! It’s also not pasta or pizza… something you may tire of every once and a while. When you’re done, take a walk around this historic part of the city.

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Splurge on a fancy meal at a rooftop restaurant

Okay, so my last tip was also about food, but, hey, it is Italy, after all! Rome has a ton of amazing restaurants with rooftop access where you can see many of the famous monuments, all while enjoying a delicious gourmet meal.

Take a stroll (or a bike ride!) through Villa Borghese

Work off your gelato and get some fresh air by hitting one of Rome’s largest parks.

 Hit a parade!

Check your local paper (or, you know, the internet) to see if there are any cool events coming up in Rome. The last week of my study abroad, my friend and I saw a parade which celebrated the birth of Rome – and featured local Romans in traditional Roman Empire attire. A great way to spend the afternoon.

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Spend your night in Campo Di Fiori and Trastevere

One of the hottest spots for study abroad students, Campo Di Fiori and Trastevere are packed with bars, restaurants, and clubs. The spots are right across the Tiber from one another. Grab dinner at Tony’s in Trastevere and then head across the river for a drink or two at one of the bars in Campo.

Be like Lizzie McGuire…

… and have an adventure. Rome is all about finding new experiences and throwing yourself into the Italian culture. My favorite part of my study abroad trip was simply strolling through the city, looking for something new to see. In true Lizzie McGuire fashion, start at the Trevi Fountain, throw a coin in, and talk a long walk – you’ll never know who you may meet or what you may see. But please, no running off with any Italian pop singers.

Kaitlin Reilly

Temple University | 3 stories

Kaitlin Reilly is a senior Media Studies and Production student at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Though she can't wait to get back to the "City of Brotherly Love" in the fall, Kaitlin has spent the past year away from campus, spending the fall semester interning in Los Angeles and the spring semester eating pasta by the Trevi Fountain in Rome. As a student with a passion for writing and college life, she is super excited to join The College Tourist Summer Team.

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