Since our lackluster first meeting, months passed and Domenick and I continued to grow our friendship. He was in my philosophy class so I made a habit of keeping him near when a paper was due (he was a philosophy major and this philosophy class was HARD!). We went on a small group trip to Assisi together, would occasionally pray together, but most often- he would find me sitting on a blanket in the courtyard and come sit down next to me to chat. In all of these ways, he became someone I really looked forward to talking with because he could go deep. Most of our conversations were “philosophical” and had little to do with casual, shooting-the-breeze topics. I loved that about him.
We were quickly approaching Easter, and it was the beginning of April- the start of our last month abroad. I made mention to him that Easter made me think of my family and miss all of our typical Easter traditions. He suggested that we grab food together Easter night to quell any homesickness we might be feeling and I agreed. We were supposed to just go to the Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood, but at the last minute he persuaded me to stay on the bus as it traveled downtown. We instead went to a restaurant close to the Vatican called I Tre Pupazzi (The Three Puppets) that Domenick swore by. We had lived in Italy for three months at this point, so I had become a bit of a food snob- but Dom promised this place was worth it. And it was. We dined on lasagna, fetticini porcini fungi, Roman style veal, and the most amazing tiramisu I’d ever had.
Here I am with my roommate, Molly, before we left, and this is Domenick with our tiramisu at dinner
Because Domenick and I were friends and *only* friends, we had a very unique opportunity to truly get to know each other without any other emotions getting in the way. We had many in depth talks about life and the future and philosophy and family and faith, and all of this little by little created a very solid foundation for a friendship to grow. And it continued to grow long after we traveled from the Eternal City back to the Windy City. More about this growing friendship in Part III.
Here is THE ONLY picture that exists of Domenick and me in the same picture together from Rome. Also, please don’t start thinking that he was all romantic and getting me a rose- it’s not from him! Anyone who’s ever been to Rome knows how the street vendors are always handing out roses to people and then trying to get them to pay for it. This rose was from a vendor that was giving them away at the end of the night😂This was our last night in Rome before we flew home the next day, and I had spent the day at the beach in Ostia, hence my horrible sunburn.