A New Home in Rome

In all of my four years in Italy I’ve lived in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome. I loved the narrow cobblestoned streets and the lively atmosphere day and night, not to mention being walking distance from school. Over the years I’ve found my favorite restaurants, made friends with bartenders and know where the best espresso is made. This semester, though, my final semester at JCU, we decided to move to Prati, the neighborhood bordering the northern Vatican walls.

I arrived in the middle of the day in mid-August, a.k.a the most deserted time in Rome. Most Italians take their holiday during the weeks around ferragosto, so virtually every shop and restaurant is closed save for the more touristy spots. I love August in Rome because, despite how hot and humid it is, it is the one time when I feel like the city is quiet. I’ve lived in a city my entire life and its completely surreal to experience a city with less than half of its regular inhabitants. Hot days don’t seem as hot when you’re the only one walking down the street or standing in front of one of Rome’s many wondrous monuments.

Prati is very different than Trastevere. It is a much newer district of Rome, only built after Italy’s unification in 1871. It covers the area from Castel Sant’Angelo, along the Tiber up to Piazza Mazzini and over to the Vatican walls. Walking through the streets you are surrounded by the bustle of smartly dressed businesspeople on their way to or from work, or maybe getting some retail therapy on the neighborhood’s main street – via Cola di Rienzo. Prati is also home to some of Rome’s best restaurants, both Italian and international.

These are a few photos I took during the first few weeks of the semester. I’m in love with Prati’s variety of beautiful architecture and wide, tree-lined boulevards. Stay tuned for more photos to come – if this late September rain ever lets up I’ll manage to snap the falling leaves!