What happens on a 21st in Italy?

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Hello there again 🙂

This update is coming to you a little later than I had intended – but more about that in the *next* post! – but here I’m going to tell you all about my birthday weekend!

My birthday was something that I had been worrying about before I came to Rome. This year I celebrate my 21st birthday, a universally accepted Big One. The thought of being away from my friends, away from my family, and in a new city really bothered me. What do they do in Italy for birthdays? Will there be anywhere fun to go and celebrate? Well, when 17th November rolled around, I got a chance to find out.

Actually, my ‘birthday’ started a little bit beforehand. My mum skyped me about a week before to tell me that SURPRISE! she had booked a ticket to come and see me in Rome for my birthday. In my family it’s only me and my mum, so being able to have ‘the family’ together on my birthday meant a lot to me. She stayed from the Saturday – Wednesday, with my birthday being on the Tuesday. Our family friend also came over, so I had the perfect opportunity to show off my local knowledge and play tour guide – I think I was quite good, if I do say so myself (if you’re ever in Rome and want a fantastic tour guide…). Whilst they were here, we saw all the big tourist sights, we went for ice cream, and we went to lovely restaurants. It was a celebration weekend and it definitely got me in the mood for my birthday.

On my actual birthday I had a Latin lesson (no surprises there), but afterwards my friends surprised me with cake! There’s a statue of Minerva/Athene/Wisdom/Sapienza (all the same thing really) in front of a large pool of water, in the centre of my university’s campus. Usually, when you graduate, you bring all your friends and family here to eat cake, drink champagne, and celebrate. Because I will never get the opportunity to do that, my friends threw my birthday celebration by the statue instead!  We got lots of curious looks and someone even clapped, thinking it was a a graduation. In the evening, I went out for pizza (obviously) with my mum, and then went out for the night with my friends.


I actually took this photo, it’s not off a website. Look at the statue and the Italian flag and the Roman trees! Beautiful

I can honestly say it was the best birthday I’ve had so far, and definitely lived up to the expectations of the Big 21st Birthday. All my worries about celebrating abroad were completely unfounded. But ultimately I think every experience is what you make of it, and I was determined to be happy and enjoy myself with friends and family. And that is exactly what happened 🙂



Until next time! xo



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