Starting at Gate B, Landing in Italy

In Italian Media, Uncategorized on May 11, 2012 at 12:21 am

There is no easy way to overcome a six hour time difference. Right now, we have been in Rome for several hours and at home in Pittsburgh it is only 8:30 am!

We left for our trip yesterday afternoon from Pittsburgh International Airport, stopping only to rush through Philly and land this morning at L’aeroporto Rome. The trip itself was not nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be.  The plane ride from Philadelphia to Rome was smooth and filled with lots of movie watching, book reading and not sleeping.

When we first landed in Rome this morning, the first thing that caught my eye was the sign for the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum and I was struck with that sense of foreignness. The foreignness was a super positive thing, but coupled with constant reminders that my Italian is anything but adequate, I am in need of lots of culture-learning on this trip.

We met our Tour Director, Matteo, and headed towards the Coliseum. Stopping along the way, we saw the ancient training field where the Gladiators trained for battle. It is pretty much the real life, incredibly historically valuable hunger games training field.

We also drove past Palantine Hill. This was one of the coolest things that I have seen so far, if not for its sheer beauty and amazing ability to withstand time but also for its impacting on language. The word Palātium comes from Latin and is the basis for the word Palace and its many variations in other languages.

It is hard to process all of the history in that square of space here in Italy. It has been there for so long and had so many great implications on the world at large from the imperial age and the walls that we saw today through the Gladiators and the Holy Roman Empire.

Another thing that Matteo said as we were cruising back to our apartments where we will be staying in Rome is that there is a church near by that was the first ever church dedicated to Mary the Mother of God. The first one ever, no big deal.

But seeing all of this history makes me take a step back and really look at everything that I come in contact with on a daily basis. I’ve been to Europe only once before, but I experienced this same feeling then. In Pittsburgh, few structures or buildings remain. Look for example at the Mellon Arena, after just 50 years, it was labeled old and taken down. The Landscape of Europe is entirely different. Each of the European cities, most especially Rome, boast ancient culture holding on to their prized structures, restoring them and showing them off to the world. I’m not saying either way is correct or incorrect, but you have to give accolades to the gorgeous scenery here. It is truly like being transported back in time.

I’m sitting now writing on my computer in our gorgeous little apartments complete with kitchen and outdoor deck. It is certainly a strange feeling to be so far from home, but on Facebook and Twitter sharing my life all the same.

I’m excited to see more of what Rome has to offer!


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