FLIPSIDE Rome in the Fall, Lacie Goff

A lookout, high in Orvieto, gives visitors a beautiful autumn view of the surrouding countryside.

LACIE GOFF / FOR THE SOUTHERN

Ciao e Buon Ottobre tutti! I am so happy that the fall season is upon us!

When you live abroad, you learn a lot about yourself – what’s important to you, what you love most about home, etc. You start to get nostalgic about the most odd and random things.

The other day on my way to school, I walked by a store that sells what looked like stationary, notebooks and other similar supplies. Right inside the door, there is an area where they sell tissue paper. However, it is so different from the States because they sell it by individual sheet, and each is organized by color on individual racks.

That’s something about Italy I’ve noticed too. Everything is custom and unique. There are no chain stores; everything is boutique style and non-commercial.

Seeing that tissue paper made me think of how we always get the packs of tissue paper from Walgreens for around 99 cents. I found myself getting nostalgic about something so simple as tissue paper.

One of the things I’m learning that I feel nostalgic about more than anything, however, is a Midwestern fall. There’s just something about the leaves falling to the ground and the wind giving the air a slight chill, forcing you to put on a jacket and boots. Being here, where the climate is similar to the Midwest, I’m realizing more and more how much of a Southern Illinois autumn is part of me.

Not everything about fall here is the same, though. I find myself longing for apple cider and Halloween decorations. I’ve definitely not seen apple cider; my roommate and I saw one store with Halloween decorations, which is odd because Halloween isn’t as big in Rome as it is in the U.S. I haven’t seen any decorations out in stores or on houses yet, but we’ll have to see, as it gets closer.

One experience in particular sparked my fall frenzy. Last Friday, we took a trip for my art history class to a medieval town called Orvieto, about two hours from Rome by bus. It was such a magnificent experience. The town itself is on a mountain, and we had to take a cable-car tram to get there. It was picturesque, and it was a perfect fall day. The winding, hilly, cobblestone street were covered with leaves, and it was windy.

We visited the cathedral for our class, and then explored the area on our free time, finding a lookout, from where we could see a castle below in the countryside. It was so breathtaking. And something about the beautiful sights together with the early autumn weather made that day absolutely magical.

I cannot wait for more fall days to come. Even though it isn’t quite the same as being home, it’s a nice reminder of something familiar and it truly makes you realize what you love about home the most.

Gustare una tazza di sidro di mele per me! A presto!

LACIE GOFF is the daughter of Janice Gualdoni and the granddaughter of Louie and Beauella Gualdoni, all of Herrin. Lacie is a junior at California Lutheran University in Los Angeles, majoring in communication and journalism. She is spending this semester in Rome, studying Italian, history and art history.

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