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The last time I went to Rome was my senior year and it was just for fun. This time around I am with my best friend and observing the cultural aspects of this amazing culture. Even though I have been here before, the culture still surprises me. The Italian culture that I have observed during my time in Rome is quite different from the culture back at home. For instance, you have to ask for the check at a restaurant or you will never get it. Crazy right?

This one night Mara and I went to a restaurant and waited for a good 30 minutes before we decided to ask for the check. We didn’t know if it would be rude to ask. Italians find it rude to bring the check out after the food as been served. Also, they are not turning and tables and making money on tips….soooooo the more you wait for the check equals less work for them.

Since we are on the topic of restaurants, I have noticed that they have pasta as the first meal, meat and salad as a second, and then desert. They do not have take out but they do have take away, and they do not box your leftovers. Also, the portions are much smaller than American meals, expect for the pizza; however, the portions are very filling. The waiters do not refill drinks and you have to pay for water.

It’s a bummer that you have to pay to drink water, but the good thing is that there are fountains on the street. Okay now these are not like American water fountains. These fountains have beautiful architecture and some look like the fountains that you would see at a museum or on OU’s campus. The awesome thing about these fountains is that the water is nice and cool and it comes from a spring. It is totally safe to drink! P.S. you can drink from the Trevi. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

These fountains are very convenient especially if you are walking across Rome and are not carrying a water bottle. Romans walk A LOT more than Americans do. I mean a lot! Cars are prevalent in Rome, but the majority walks. Mara and I walked over 35 miles while we were in Rome. On the last full day of Rome, Mara and I went on a little adventure after our professors let us lose. We decided to go on a journey to find the opera house and to see the Nazzi, which is the hold Roman bath.

After going to see the baths, Mara and I had to Google map our way back to the hotel we were staying at. Our predicted time of arrival was 6:30 p.m. with about a 3-mile walk ahead of us. We were dreading it. Once we crossed over one of the bridges, we started recognizing our surroundings. As we passed by this park outside what we believe to be the Rome Court House we noticed they had a fountain to drink out of. We were really excited. Once we got water, we took another look around and noticed how many people were at the park. We sat down and started observing people. We noticed that this park is a local place for people to hang out and catch up, for families, for children to play, and for people with their dogs. This park was lively. Across from us was a bench that had a group of teens that were catching up and hanging out. To the other side were a bunch of dog owners that let their dogs off the leash. The dogs would play with each other and were very well behaved. The parents and or grandparents would play with their children. There were children playing with children and children playing by themselves. Also, there were children playing in a fountain that was not working, and teenagers sitting on a statue. If they were in America the park ranger or police/security would tell them to (A) get out of the fountain or (B) get off the statue. While I was in the park I was able to really understand what my professor has been telling us about family in regards to Italian culture. They really are centered on family and friends.

All in all Italian culture is very different from the culture that is in the United States