My favorite movie growing up was the Lizzie McGuire movie.
Naturally, when I think of Rome, I think of the Lizzie McGuire Movie. Acting as the quintessential 2000s teen idol, Hillary Duff portrays a fresh middle school graduate, waiting to conquer Rome through pure spunk and adventure. Too young to truly know Rome, five-year old Olivia simply understood the great Roma through the eyes of a bright-eyed, blonde-haired protagonist—and that was enough to spark a childhood of underlying curiosity and a craving to fulfill a dream.
One of the most iconic scenes of the movie takes place at the Fontana di Trevi, more commonly known as the Trevi Fountain. The Trevi Fountain is one of the most beautiful Baroque fountains in Rome, encapsulating the era of extravagance and ornate detailing. Lizzie and her sidekick Gordo stand at the barrier of this iconic landmark and throw a coin behind their back to make a wish, commencing their adventure in a city rooted in history, importance, and looooove. Handing over the one coin they had, Gordo relinquishes his opportunity at a wish exclaiming, “I’m in Rome with my best friend, I’m good.”
Rome is the last city of our experience and consequently, the last city to experience with the Familia. Although we have yet to embark, I can say with almost complete confidence that each and every person in our familia will be my best friends by the experience’s close. Sitting down with a CR9 student, I began by asking what stood out most from the city of Rome. She talked about the Trevi Fountain and The Coliseum and The Pantheon and the Sistine Chapel. She talked about how the team learned how to make pasta from scratch, and how they bonded over using their scarves as costumes to mimic the iconic Madonna and Child pose. But within each landmark and memory there was one commonality she kept leading back to—companionship.
Being a grade-A art nerd, of course I’m excited to experience the iconic architecture and landmarks of Rome; I’m excited to see the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel firsthand and walk the grounds of the Spanish Steps, but more importantly, I’m excited to complete an experience of growth, maturation, and community with some amazing people by my side.
Now, no longer five-years-old, I am preparing to conquer Rome with a union of the adventure I saw in the eyes of Lizzie and her companions and the maturity of pursuing knowledge in a city of deep history. Unlike my childhood idol, I’m not hoping to get love or a mega popstar experience or find my doppelganger in Rome (sorry Lizzie!). Instead, I’m hoping to be all in, more than best friends, but family, uncovering the true routes of a city flowing with religious history, architectural beauty, and loads of pasta with some pretty rad people by my side.