Summer in Rome, 2019: What we Learned, Remember, and Recommend

STUDY ABROAD | During the 2019 summer session, Ellen Ensher, professor of management, Aine O’Healy, professor of Italian and chair of Classics and Archeology, and Paola Moscarelli, professor of modern languages, led a group of students through Rome. Here are Ensher’s reflections:

I have the distinct pleasure of writing this from Rome on a Sunday afternoon. It is warm, the birds are tweeting and my sheets are gently blowing in the wind outside my window (because while I am fortunate enough to have a washing machine, dryers are NOT a thing here!). I feel like I am in a Disney movie, and I am having a Rome moment!

Meet our Team

I am here teaching a core business class, “Managing People in Organizations,” for five weeks. Aine O’Healy is our amazing program director and professor of Italian and chair of Classics and Archeology. Aine epitomizes the famous quote, “Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in heels.” She is fluent in several languages, an expert in Italian cinema and culture, and yes, does all of this in heels on cobblestones! With us also is the fantastic Professor Paola Moscarelli, who is a professor in modern languages and a Rome native. My very first trip out of the country was my junior year abroad to Florence, so while I wish I had the language skills and Italian experience of my colleagues, I think we all do share a common passion for Italy. We are supported here in Rome by the incredibly classy, well-connected, and supremely patient group of professionals from the Accent Rome center, led by Marco Scorrano.

We have 15 fantastic LMU students from a variety of colleges, many of whom are multi-lingual and all of whom are smart, engaged and resilient. Our first day, it rained heavily during a two-hour walking tour, so you can tell a lot about a group of people with a rough start like that! I think we were all pretty wet and tired, but Aine and I could tell right away this was one terrific group with a strong ethos of non-whining and a determination to enjoy and experience.

I recently asked my students to share their most memorable experience from the trip, or class content that resonated with them. Here are their responses.

Reflections from the Students

JP Tamayo: I was struck by the struggle of the Italian economy and remember most getting lost in the immensity of the Vatican!

Daniel Saldivar: I really can’t put into words the experience of stepping into St. Peter’s Basilica – it didn’t seem real.

Emma Pizali: I will never forget the experience of getting close to the pope. [Here is a video Emma and her classmates shared.]

Chris Page: I loved the cooking class. The chef cooks very simply and with fresh ingredients. I am trying to cook like that in my apartment ever since class.

Armaan Monshizadeh: I remember visiting the hotel at the Spanish Steps the first time I came to Rome, and I was so excited to see it all over again!

Abby McCullough: Both the cooking class and learning about the Italian economy stood out to me.

Alfredo Covarrubras: The current state of the economy was fascinating as it contrasted so much with China, which is all about growth.

Hanna Christerson: Benefits adds 40 percent to your gross! I will keep that in mind when looking for a job.

Benjamin Chen: I loved taking the tram every morning. It is very different; personal space is nonexistent, but I see it as an opportunity to see how Italian people go about their daily lives.

Melanie Chan: Hofstede’s theory that Italy is able to adapt to change – just look at the Italians able to live a modern lifestyle in a city that is thousands of years old!

Rachel Caruso: I liked learning about choosing your benefits package and health care packages when hired for a job.

Will Kaiser: My favorite part was wandering around the city and admiring the architecture and landscape. I have stumbled upon some of the best vintage stores, as well as discovered some of the most delectable gelato.

Maxwell Benton: It is fascinating how cheap it is for students to attend college in Italy (approximately 1,000 Euro a year for public universities and 12,000 Euro for privates).

Kate Harrison: I especially enjoyed the “Cinema in Rome” class as I am not a film major, so I love learning something new and interesting.

Andria Zuniga: My most memorable experience was crawling up the holy steps. The sacred steps are the actual marble steps where Jesus climbed to meet Pilate and which were brought to Rome centuries ago.


My Personal List of the “Best Of” Recommendations for Rome

Best gelato for me is lactose free and near my apartment in Prati and VERY chocolatey! Check it out: Lemongrass Gelato:

My favorite rooftop bar is on the top of the Hotel Minerva overlooking the Pantheon:

My favorite place to shop is where Pope Francis buys his socks:  Gammarelli-

Best pilates to counteract all that gelato:

Most amazing shoe shop (and I did a complete shoe reconnaissance mission, so believe me this is saying a lot and your stylish and comfy feet will thank you!) go to Micheleldiclo:

You might note I don’t have a best restaurant because they have all been good to great!

For More Information

To learn more about our adventures- follow us on social media at and Instagram