7 things I’ve Learned From Rome… So far.

From the gelato shop below my apartment!
From the gelato shop below my apartment!

Here are a couple things I’ve already noticed from the 13 days I’ve been living in Rome:

1. I don’t speak Italian.

At all.

And if you don’t speak Italian in Italy you might as well be the little kid at a party full of adults who just stands around unassumingly, pretending not to be completely clueless, while hoping for someone, anyone, to say at least one recognizable word so you can chime in. OH YEAH. “Ciao.”

Enrolling in Italian Language classes ASAP.

2. Everything is really close. And walkable!

When I first looked at my little travelers map, it seemed like there would be mountains to climb, rivers to cross, and overnight trains from where I live to the Colosseum.

As it turns out, it’s a 10 minute walk. (And just a 5 minute walk from my work!…Really, I can practically see it from my window.) I really need to grasp this whole “directions thing”– without google maps on my iphone, it’s ALL ON ME. And i’d prefer to not get lost every time I try and find something. (PS: Trevi fountain, still can’t find you. Stop running away!)

3. Walking in the streets makes me feel guilty.

Like everyone else, I’m constantly bombarded by the men who sell all kind of things like scarves and even worse, squishy balls they throw on the ground. I walk past them literally every day, why don’t they remember me? Or do they, and they think that just because yesterday I wasn’t interested..today I really do want to buy a squishy ball?? I don’t understand. And it exhausts me to turn down the same people every single day.

Also, beggars. PLEASE people. I’m a sucker for dogs. And leaving your dog alone (when you maybe wait in an alley watching? I don’t know, really, where are the owners?) while I’m walking down the street makes me just want to do a dognapping instead of leaving money. 😦

4. Pizza.

There’s just so much of it. I think I could have pizza every meal for the next couple months and never have the same kind, and DEFINITELY not from the same place. It’s everywhere. Did I really see potato pizza yesterday? Hmm.. I’ll have to look into that. And did I mention that’s it’s all so good?

5. Friends…. No, lack of friends.

Sure, I’ve been here for a little over a week and it may seem that I’m being over eager but… HOW? WHERE? How am I supposed to make friends in a new country when everyone I meet is either a tourist or an italian man staring at me in the street. I just… I don’t know. This one is to be continued*


They are so great, and apparently the coolest of places to hang out on any night of the week. I recently went to Piazza Madonna in Monti, which is right around where I live, and there were SO many italians, all sitting on the steps of a fountain in their black leather jackets, drinking out of bottles of wine & beer. It’s like an outdoor party and I love it. Will be attending more of these in the future.

7. Apertivos

This is a fantastic concept! I went to this sweet little bar, Black Market in Monti: cool mood lighting, books everywhere, and photography decorating the walls. I bought a beer for 8 euros and with it came a plate that you use all night for a buffet type of set up. This specific one consisted of… pasta, bruschetta, and all other kind of snacks, but I assume they are always different. Why is this not a thing in the US?

So, there’s just a few. I’ll be adding more soon, but for right now I am working 6 days a week, mostly all day, and trying to settle into this crazy wonderful BEAUTIFUL city!


xxx hannah jane.

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sitting on the steps of the fountain at Piazza Madonna!
sitting on the steps of the fountain at Piazza Madonna with a fellow traveler, Joanna, on the left!

xxx hannah jane.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Rome is a really beautiful place, but when I went it was so unbelievably crowded. Everyone. Everywhere. But, there’s a positive in that since you said you haven’t met people. Go online and check out bars/pubs/wherever for places run by or frequented by expats, English or American and then you’ll find a place where you could meet people and probably be able to speak with them more than the casual, Ciao. Usually these are sports related, but still, worth a shot. Good luck in Roma! X

    1. hannahjane21 says:

      I agree with the people everywhere comment. That’s what I miss about living on the island in Greece…. Peace and quiet and also the calm! Haven’t find that anywhere yet but I’ll keep looking 🙂 thanks for the tip I’m going to try that. Xo

  2. Virginia Duran says:

    Jane! I felt the same way when I was there but believe me after your first month it’ll be completely different. You have to try Freni e Frizioni for the Aperitivi, it’s just amazing on Sundays 😀
    Best, Virginia

    1. hannahjane21 says:

      Thank you so much for the advice. Very encouraging to hear. I will search for that place and hopefully find it. But as you may have read, not the best at directions. 🙂 love the comments! Thank you again.

  3. mindroamer says:

    4. In Naples I have once found a place they sold Pizza Nutella. I do not know whether they have that one too in Roma… 😉

    1. hannahjane21 says:

      whaaaat! If they do I definitely am going to find it!!!

  4. ohbenjy says:

    Italy sounds so amazing! What an adventure!

    1. hannahjane21 says:

      A BIG adventure 😀

  5. frankieandgiuseppe says:

    Try the irish pubs in the city centre. Also, those English-Italian language exchange nights (just beware of the slimy men who got to them just to hit on foreigners- in both places!)

  6. Love finding your blog. We grew up summering in Montefiascone, Italy and I felt that I was back there while reading about your travels. I moved to the other side of the world ten years ago and assure you that everything you’re describing feeling is completely normal in a new country and you’re going to be just fine!

  7. Dear Hanna Jane:

    I identify with your comment about the dogs tied up outside–who owns them? I found such a dog while touristing in a small town near here. I walked into the bar and found the owner halfway through a beer and told him his dog was freezing outside, holding up one paw alternately, everyone walking by was bleeding for this dog. Could he please do something about it? (He did shortly–there were some good looking women at the bar who were looking like they were going to cry and at him like he was public enemy number one. 😉 )

    I don’t know that I would do this in a strange country, though. I might end up in more trouble than the dogs! LOL With your personality, I think you are going to make friends pretty quickly. A week isn’t very long. Take Care, Begonia

  8. We have potato pizza out here in Idaho! (stereotypical…right?? haha) But it’s delicious! Definitely try that one! And I’m all for dognapping…they look at you with those eyes! What else are you supposed to do?! Just make sure you don’t get caught 😉

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