“La Dolce Vita” – Student Version

It has officially been 2 weeks since I’ve arrived to Rome- to read more about my adventure in arriving visit Studio Jonah! Being in Rome, as a student (this is part of my program), I’m not going to be modest, is probably the best semester of my degree so far. Each morning I get to walk down the winding paths of Rome’s unstructured city fabric, smell the freshly brewed coffees and pastries, and awe in the everlasting ruins of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. There are some drawbacks… I’m a student, which is basically a synonym for a broke individual destined to live a frugal lifestyle. So how can the famous “La Dolce Vita” (The Sweet Life) apply to me?

I window shop a lot.

A street market in Pisa

This gives me the thrill of possibly owning something in genuine Italian leather, but if I don’t? Hey, at least I had the option to consider it.

I eat Italian meals – Pizza, Pasta, & Gelato

A selection of ‘antipasto’ (a meal before your meal) – meats, cheeses, and olives

Eating & cooking local meals means I’m not spending unnecessary amounts of money to replicate what I would want to eat at home. Plus, it makes me feel less like a tourist.

I walk. A lot.

A view outside my school’s studio – Piazza di Santa Maria

I live a 20 minute walk away from school, 30 minute walk from the closest grocery store, and an hour away from the main attractions. While avoiding public transportation doesn’t save that much money, it does give me a chance to see all my surroundings and give opportunities for impromptu visits into little stores.

Public Spaces here are wonderful.


I like ‘People Watching‘, and the piazzas here are always lively and full of activity. As part of one of my courses, we have to sketch once a day. I take time to just sit in these plazas and sketch- this type of leisure entertainment literally can’t be any cheaper than this.

Me with two of my room mates on our day trip to Florence in front of the Ponte Vecchio

So, even being a student in such a touristic and therefore expensive area of the city, there are so many little things that contribute to such a sweet life, dolce vita, that I can truly understand why Rome is so captivating to everyone.

Basilica Santi Giovanni e Paolo – a line of my classmates sketching along the colonnade

Author: Crystal Yung

Hello! My name is Crystal Yung and I am an undergraduate student studying architecture at the University of Waterloo. Please feel free to check our my online portfolio of my works: https://issuu.com/crystalyung/docs/portfolio_2017

12 thoughts

    1. Hi! Thanks for sharing your post! I liked reading your detailed experiences in Rome, especially yummy sweets- will have to treat myself to an Italian Cannoli! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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