Ciao tutti! This is the second time I have been slacking in my postings, and I apologize. I believe I left off when I was in Rome... well, Jill and I ended up riding a vespa around Rome the next day after that post. It was really cheap, so we figured why not! It was probably one of the most terrifying days of my life. Italian drivers are crazy, and I was so happy once we returned the scooter intact to the store. I'm pretty sure the woman who worked there was surprised to see us alive and the scooter in one piece. We're just glad she didn't notice the scrape on the side from when we fell! La Morte Macchina (our nickname for the scooter) will live on to escort more foreigners around Roma. At the end of the day, Jillian told me that every time we stopped at a fountain to make a wish, she wished that we would live through the scooter rental. Haha. It was easy when it was just me on the scooter, but it was exceedingly difficult once a second person came aboard! We drove to Vatican City and the Spanish Steps the day we had the vespa, and we also saw the Sistine Chapel which was just as incredible as the former two. I liked that all of the Christmas decorations were still up all over Rome, so we were able to enjoy them a little longer. I really enjoyed Rome. It is definitely a beautiful city with a plethora of history. I loved the Coliseum. I could not stop looking at it!
I returned to Torino the night of the 11th after a long day of traveling to get back. I had to take a bus from Rome to the airport, a plane to Bergamo outside of Milan, a bus from Bergamo to Milan central train station, a train to Torino and then finally the metro to my apartment. It was exhausting! I was so happy to be back in Torino after all of that time away. I really am going to miss it when I have to leave for good. The new USAC students got here on the 14th, and we went to the group dinner to meet everyone, but really just because USAC was paying for the food. They know that's the only way to get us to come to those events... free food. Christina and I met our new roommate, Stephanie. She's really cool and very sweet. I got lucky with my roommates this year. They're not those kind of girls that drive me to insanity. The new guys that live across the street from us are pretty cool and nice to talk to. It's not the same without the old crew, but at least Brody is still here.
Classes this semester are a lot more arduous than last semester. They definitely take more of my free time, so since classes have started I didn't really travel anywhere. I just stayed in Torino which is fine. Some of the new USAC girls, Erin and Emily, and I found this amazing Mexican food restaurant because all of us miss Mexican food! The people that work there know us now, and always give us free drinks, so that's a plus. We're going back tonight to celebrate Valentine's day with some margaritas and nachos. I'm looking forward to it as it will probably be one of my better Valentine's Days. Haha. I finally went somewhere this past weekend with some kids in USAC. There were 12 of us who went to Aosta and Cogne to go hiking in the mountains, and it was so beautiful! I had never seen anything like it. When we were hiking, we saw some ice climbers on a frozen waterfall, so we went over to get a closer look and decided to trek up the side of this very steep mountain to see them in action. It was exhausting getting up there, but the view made it worth it, and getting down was the best part. We just sat on out butts or out shoes and slid down! It was so much fun! I was freezing, but I was having too good of a time to care.
This past Tuesday, USAC let us skip school, and they took us to the Carnival of Ivrea (http://www.carnevalediivrea.com/inglese/tuesday.htm) for the day. It was an amazingly painful yet exciting experience! I have never been to anything like it before. I am covered in bruises and my entire body aches, but I wouldn't take it back for anything! I actually would love to go back one year and actually be on a legitimate team even though you have to pay 100 euro, but it would be great. Our group was fighting with Team Death. All the teams have their own costumes and there are nine teams. I don't remember all of the names, but there's also the Panthers, the Mercenaries, the Spades, the Chessman, etc. It was the most chaotic event in which I have ever taken part! I got hit in the head at least 6 maybe 7 times, the arms and legs numerous times, and a couple of times in the stomach. There were people walking around with bloody noses, broken noses, black eyes, it was crazy! Words cannot describe what it really was like. You don't have to get hit if you don't want to, and you don't have to play. In that case you wear a red that looks like a stocking, but you still kinda get hit anyway. Once I had scoped the situation out, I took my hat off to throw some oranges.
Well, I have some work to do, so I have to go, but I hope you're satisfied with this extensive post!
And don't forget to look at the new pictures I posted under "Aosta and Cogne" and "Carnival of Ivrea (Orange Festival)". Also I'm going to try to upload some videos on the "Videos" page if I can get it to work, and they will most likely be sideways, so I'm sorry!