3 Things I Quickly Learned about Living in Rome

Cesar Aguilera is a student at Arizona State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. He is currently studying abroad with ISA in Rome, Italy.

After a year of extensive planning, I am excited to say that I am finally in Rome! It has been a little less than one week since I began adjusting to this amazing and new environment. In only a couple of days, I immediately noticed a few differences between living in California and Italy.

1. Public Transportation is your best friend.

In the suburbs of California, driving a car is the most common way to get around. In Rome however, the most common way to get to places is by either walking or taking the tram, bus or metro. In Rome, anything less than a thirty minute walk is considered “close”.  Public transportation has been easy to use and is abundant throughout the city. 35 Euros per month allows people unlimited access to all public transportation, which is a good deal given how often I use it.

The Colosseum, an amphitheater used for dramas and gladiatorial contests.

2. Cash is King

In the U.S. you can pay for almost everything with a debit or credit card. Card is my preferred method of payment, as I find it more convenient than having to carry a lot of cash and then having to withdraw more later.  I’ve noticed in Rome, however, that Italian businesses are reluctant to accept cards, so I have gotten accustomed to keeping 30-40 euros in my wallet at all times, just in case a restaurant or local establishment doesn’t accept my card.

Built in AD 82, this honorific arch helped inspire many other famous arches, like the Arc de Triomphe.

3. The Lively Nightlife

My hometown is almost like a ghost town during the weekends. People are nowhere to be seen as everyone is indoors or out of town. Rome boasts a lively atmosphere during the weekend. The piazzas are hubs for people to sit and talk with one another. You can see couples taking a romantic stroll on the cobblestone street, children running around, and a family having a nice dinner on the patio, socializing and having a good time. Piazzas are the go-to spot on the weekends, filled with excitement and many opportunities to socialize with locals.

I’m sure after living and experiencing Rome, I will notice more and more differences (and maybe some similarities) between my home and Italy. Stay tuned!

The world awaits…discover it.

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