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Buongiorno! It has been a week full of Roman amazingness. Ho avuto un’esame d’italiano il giovedi scorso. Spero che è andato bene!

I’ve really been reaching a point of immersing myself more into the culture here. As I’ve said before, I feel like we are more accustomed to life here now, and along with that comes the ability to flourish. Thus, I’ve really been trying to experience as much as I possibly can.

As you may or may not know, soccer is the main sport here in Italy. Fans go wild for it, and the players are in the ranks of celebrities. The Sunday before last, we had the opportunity to go to a soccer game at the stadium in Rome. It was AS Roma versus Palermo, and while Palermo put up a good fight, Roma ended up winning 1-0.

When Rome scored that point, I don’t think I have ever seen reactions like I saw at that moment. The entire Roma fan section stood up and started literally roaring with excitement, and the Roma chant song was being shouted by everyone who knew it. Even I was humming along by the end of it.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a big sports person, but I truly loved going to the game and experiencing something that is such a big part of the culture here. I saw fathers with their young sons and groups of friends, all of who were so into it and having a great Sunday afternoon at the game. It was a wonderful experi-ence.

I also made a wonderful investment this week. I bought Italian boots! This is an awesome thing for two reasons. First, fashion is one of my things, so to have a pair of amazing suede boots made in Italy is something I will cherish for years. I’ve worn them so much already.

Second, though, is another very important benefit to having bought them. The roads here in Rome are ancient. It’s amazing to have such history and antiquity all around you and the cobblestones are truly beautiful. However, having the small, 2x2 square cobblestones everywhere you walk has proven to be a challenge for me, being that I’m used to America’s mostly paved roads.

The cobblestones here aren’t flat and even. Rather, they are different heights, dipping down or rising up above the others around them, and the cement filling that goes around each individual stone has worn down and out with age. This makes walking extremely difficult. I would imagine that if you grew up in Rome it would be nothing because you would be used to it; however, for me, my heels get stuck in the cracks between the cobblestones, and when I wear flat shoes, they get all scuffed up because of them sinking down on the differing heights of stones.

Thus, the boots I bought have a solid, sturdy wooden sole and heel and it helps so much. Now I don’t even hesitate when walking on the uneven cobblestone. Sturdy shoes are definitely the key because I wear those boots everywhere and walking is a breeze. Give me another week and I bet I will already have my money’s worth out of them!

This week, I also experienced the religious aspect of this wonderful city. This past Sunday, I went to mass at an Italian church. The mass was all in Italian and we got programs with the readings, prayer intentions, etc. It was really interesting to know the English counterpart to what was being said and then to get to hear and read it in Italian.

The church I went to was Santa Maria in Trastevere. It’s considered the sight of a miracle and is known for its beautiful mosaics. The atmosphere was absolutely superb, andwhile the mass was conducted very differently – for example, there were no hymnbooks and not much music at all – it was a true cultural experience.

Speaking of music, I’ll leave you with a song I’ve just discovered. I keep hearing it on the radio and seeing the music video on TV in places we go and I really like it; maybe you will to! Ciao!

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