July 13th, 2017. One year ago today. It was 3:30 in the morning when I got in an Uber towards Schiphol, my stomach overflowing with butterflies. A few hours later I stepped out into the hot humid air outside of Fiumicino airport. My driver helped me roll the 46 kilos of luggage I had with me over the hot asphalt. Speeding down the highway, he was sharing his whole life story with me, continuously interrupting himself, leaning out the window and yelling at the other drivers. “Che cazzo voi?!”. I kept smiling to myself, soaking it all in. A first glimpse into the crazy, passionate, loud people that are Italians. We took a little detour, he wanted to show me the view from the hill where I would be working and living. I was completely blown away. Underneath us Rome spread out in all her glory, full of history and beauty. After having stopped at the Cavalieri, where I would be working for the next six months, I went to my new apartment. It took me about 259 tries and ten minutes to figure out how to open the front door. Well inside I crashed on the bed, exhausted from the travel and the heat. A thousand thoughts spinning through my head.
Now, a year later, I look back at my Italian adventure and I’m so happy and grateful that I got the chance to go. It took almost my whole time there before I started feeling at home, but eventually Rome grew on me. Stole a piece of my heart that will always be left there. Left with the crazy Italians, the glistening water of the Tevere river, the pasta cooked to perfection, the atmosphere of Trastevere, the rich flavour of the Primitivo, the golden sunsets at Terazza del Pincio, the refreshing feeling of Apperol Spritz in the shade, the greatness of Colosseo, the creamy gelato, the impressiveness of the Vatican, the beauty everywhere around. Rome is like no other place on earth. It has driven me crazy, filled my heart with warmth, made me shed a thousand tears. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.