Through UTC’s study abroad trip I had the opportunity to visit Rome, as a classics minor this was very exciting to be able to attend. There were some minor difficulties involving the getting through the airports but that’s never a smooth experience. The trip itself was packed full of several different tours through museums, ancient ruins, and we were given time to walk around Rome by ourselves.
On one of the first days of the trip our group went to the Borghese, a museum and art gallery showcasing paintings, statues, and frescos. This location was probably one of my personal favorites, the frescos adorned on the ceilings were full of detail and painted in vivid color. Once we finished our tour through the Borghese we walked through the adjoining park, Villa Borghese. After the park we were given an hour to get lunch where we were able to wander freely, I got some of the best and cheapest pizza I’ve ever had in my life.
Another one of my favorite locations we went to was Ostia, where we got to walk through the remains of an ancient city. The archaeological site of Ostia was a 30-minute train ride outside of Rome, what made this location stick out to me was the sheer size of the town and the condition of the ruins themselves. Through walking the streets of the ruins, I was able to see the still standing apartments, homes, and stores utilized by the ancient Romans. Not only were the buildings themselves still mostly intact a lot of the mosaics on the ground were still in good condition as well. The day after Ostia we got to go underground inside the catacombs, where some of the bodies of ancient Christians still lay today. It was a cool experience getting to go deep underground and walk through the same tunnels that people from ancient times utilized.
During the nights we would gather into small groups and do whatever we wanted. One night a group of friends, my partner, and I went into a jazz club. We got wine, had sushi, and the guy on drums did a 10-minute drum solo. Finding food during the nights wasn’t hard, everywhere you look it’s just porchetta and pasta. The one issue with going out to eat however, is that they don’t know how to split checks in Rome. Another perk of Rome was the price of wine, 3 euros for a bottle, I love wine and I enjoyed being able to try several different kinds that are not readily available anywhere in the United States. The hotel we stayed at was nice, but the location was amazing. Most nights we would all go on the roof and bring different snacks and wines; it was amazing being able to see the Vatican from our hotel.
In conclusion, I’m amazed that I was able to see the some of my favorite art that I’ve been studying for the last 3 years, to see the ruins and stand in the same place as ancient Romans and experience a different culture outside of the United States.
Ben Ammon (BA Studio Art) spent Spring Break 2022 in Rome, Italy as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Ben had the following to say about study abroad, “If you can go I highly recommend attending the Rome study abroad trip. Getting the opportunity to visit a different country and experience a different culture is something everyone should do at least once.”
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