Do what the Romans do?

Pack lightly, they said. Pack lighter, Mother said. 

So I did. Or at least, I tried.

Now that I’m in Rome and finally unpacked, I’ve discovered a few things beyond a new found obsession with grocery shopping (really, I went to the grocery store twice today… in addition to a farmers market). 

Back at home, while constantly weighing and re-weighing my suitcase, we soon discovered that I was right at the weight limit. My mom forced me to take out things that “I could get in Italy.” This included duplicate deodorants, an extra razor, my Converse, a binder etc. I did pack things that Providence College told me to pack, though, like an ethernet cord (which I don’t need). 

It was great to find out that some of these things don’t exist in Italy… 

  1. Deodorant isn’t really a thing. And if it is, it must be “au naturel.” 
  2. School supply shopping has been very difficult. A planner costs somewhere around 12 euro, and binders and folders don’t seem to be existant… yet. Not really sure where to keep my papers till then. Oh, and these Italian folk have more graph paper notebooks than lined paper notebooks. 
  3. A friend of mine had the hardest time finding a razor. Still not quite sure why.
  4. I couldn’t bring a hair straightener because of power conversion problems, but we haven’t found one yet either.
  5. Reusable water bottles/Filtered water. Another thing I left at home hoping to get here… nope. 

Things that just aren’t as Italian as you thought:

  1. Bread crumbs. I eventually found something similar, but I guess people make their own.
  2. Italian Ice. It’s just gelato here. 
  3. Pepperoni. Not a thing. 
  4. Swiss cheese isn’t popular.
  5. Alfredo sauce. 
  6. Peanut butter.
  7. The brand “Band-Aids.” They have them, but don’t understand what a “band-aid” is.
  8. Don’t eat pizza- or anything in a restaurant- with your hands. You’ll look like an idiot. Or an American… Same thing. 
  9. Buffalo chicken. A teacher asked what a buffalo was doing in a chicken…
  10. Penne alla Vodka. 
  11. Frozen meat from the supermarket. Most things are fresh and just in a fridge. 
  12. There’s seeds in most fruits (grapes, etc.) because they’re not genetically altered.

I’m sure I could make this list a little longer, but I definitely didn’t think about any of this before coming here. Whoopsie.


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