Ciao! For the next month I will be spending my time in Italy studying Organic Chemistry with the University of Oklahoma. The campus is located in Arezzo, Italy, which is situated between Florence and Rome in the middle of Tuscany. Before arriving in Arezzo, I spent three days in Rome. From the moment I stepped off the plane it was obvious the culture here is extremely different. Last summer I spent a few weeks in London and Paris, two other large cities in Europe, but even these cities are extremely different from Rome. To me, the people in Italy live a much slower-paced life. Even though Rome is a bustling city and full of tourists, no one seems to be in a hurry. Although the drivers seem like they may hit you at any moment, I do not think that they do this because they are in a rush (maybe they are just bad drivers). The best place to notice the slowed pace of life is at the restaurants. My favorite thing about the restaurants is that primarily all the tables are outside. My friend (Jaclyn) and I have sat outside for every meal. The waiters are in no rush to serve you, nor are they in any rush to get you your check and make you leave. If I wanted to sit at a table all day long, I don’t think the restaurant would have any problem with it. Another great way to notice the slowed pace of life is simply by the people walking the streets. No one is speed-walking, cutting around people, or rushing to get places. In my opinion, the mindset of the city of Rome is to enjoy the people and environment around you and to live in the moment. It may seem difficult to adjust from the fast-paced American mindset to the slow-paced Italian mindset, but it is actually quite easy. After roaming the streets and eating at restaurants, I have realized it is better here to enjoy the moments, people, and slow-paced lifestyle rather than trying to force my own American habits on the situation. As I spend time in other places around Italy as well, I am noticing this slow-paced lifestyle slows even more as I get farther away from Rome (I didn’t know that would be possible!).
La Pizza Del Teatro is a quaint restaurant I found down a small street in Rome. It is such a great example of the outdoor seating that all of Rome uses!
One of the restaurants we sat for the longest time was directly outside the Vatican. We probably spent too much money on breakfast (it was amazing though), but the waiter had no issues with serving us different foods for over an hour. This was only the first thing we got!
After a long day of touring the Colosseum, we were starving. These huge pizzas were our food of choice! Following pizza we had cappuccinos, then we sat and enjoyed people watching. Not once did the waiter ask us to leave or bring the check to us. We had to flag him down to get our check when we finally decided to leave. Such a great example of the slow-paced lifestyle and mindset of enjoying each moment.