Hello Cutting Edge and all those who follow our blog out there! It’s been awhile since I have seen ya’ll, but from what I’ve been told it’s been quite a busy season, and I am sure ya’ll have been rocking out gigs all over Philly.
Rome has been the most incredible experience, and although I do miss entertaining, I’ve be so lucky to have an opportunity like the one I am living through at the moment. I’m staying in an apartment complex that’s about a five minute walk from the walls of The Vatican in the Northwest part of Rome. I walk from my apartment to Temple’s Rome campus surrounded by the inviting smells of hand-made pasta and fresh meats from the open-air market around the corner. As I’m sure some of ya’ll can imagine, it is very hard for me to make it to classes on time without taking a quick detour down a side street for a quick snack. Although the “campus” here is only one building, it has all the amenities of Temple’s home campus in Philly as well as some different and unique things, like a vending machine that makes fresh caffés and cappuccinos! Rome is such a striking city, because it has the metropolitan feel of New York, or any other modern city, but there is not one skyscraper in sight. Rome is all on about the same level, which allows for breathtaking views of the city from any of the legendary hills of Rome, with only the magnificent domes of the multiple basilicas surfacing above the city.
Every day is like a living breathing history lesson, as my classes take me to almost every significant location throughout the city, and it is still hard to wrap my mind around the fact that places such as the Coliseum, the Vatican Museums and the Roman Forum are now my classroom. My professors are from various countries and walks of life, and have written textbooks or – in some cases – are themselves responsible for the discovery of some of these amazing pieces of history.
While this all seems like a lot, there is still time for fun! There are endless options for things to do, day or night, and I have been on the go trying to do it all. Between clubs, bars, soccer matches, eating gelato, the theatre (which Italy is famous for Shoshana!), wine tasting, seeing the stores on Via del Corso, and even watching a dance show in the Roman Forum, I figure I’ll just sleep whenever I get back to Philadelphia.
I was also blessed, no pun intended, to witness a canonization at St. Peter’s in the Vatican. I have been fortunate to touch my feet down in various places outside of Rome as well, including the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Naples, Venice, Paris, Greece, London, Oxford and Windsor. I tried to have tea with the Queen while I was in England, but those guys in the big, furry hats wouldn’t let me in the palace…clearly they need a Cutting Edge party because they didn’t even crack a smile.
I still have time to do more, and I don’t plan on wasting a second. Some of my favorite moments, however, are the little things that happen that make me feel as if I’ve made myself at home amidst this incredible culture. Whether it is carrying on a conversation in Italian, giving someone directions because they have mistaken me for a local, or having the owner of the restaurant near school give me free food and sit at my table with me (yes, I am in there almost every day).
I can only hope that all these experiences here only help to make me a better person, as well as make me better at what I love to do; entertain others. I do believe there is something to be said for seeing different places, cultures, and living in the midst of people who aren’t like yourself and, as some people say, “getting cultured”. While I could possibly live in Italy for the rest of my life without a second thought, I’m also excited to return home. It will be nice to see my family and friends, sink my teeth into a hot cheese steak covered in Whiz, and watch some Eagles football. I’m also looking forward to returning to work as an MC, DJ and dancer at Cutting Edge, and I know that I’m already penciled in for December (thanks Craig).
Y’all better be ready for me. 😉
Arrivederci mi amici!
To find out more about Tony, click here: DJ Tony: Southern Hospitality