Rome. I studied in Rome in the fall of 1992 at the Centro Intercollegio dei Studi Classici (referred to lovingly as just the “centro”). It was my first trip to Europe, and I had decided to make an adventure of it: I’d fly into Paris and journey my way south with a Eurail pass. With stops in Lyon, then Nice, and Marseilles (twice), I eventually found an overnight train set to arrive in Rome in early September, just in time for the fall semester. This would have been manageable, EXCEPT that not only had I never been abroad before, but few or none in our circle had either. So there was no one to stop me, or my mother–with all the good intentions in the world–from packing every. Single. Item. Recommended. By the study abroad program. I mean, I brought an iron. Had to weigh 150 lbs, easily. So imagine, if you will, me burdened with a backpack, a carry-on bag, and wheeling the weight of a grown man along the medieval streets of Paris to a tricked out aubèrge reeking of marijauna, where the madâme awoke you each morning with café, croissants, and 120 decibels of Jimi Hendrix. Welcome to Europe.
(to be cont.)