It was with great hesitation that Tali returned to Rome in early September. Still heavily affected by her defeat in June, she was nervous and unsure what to expect. Arriving with a job offer and being offered a second within days of her arrival helped to dispel her fears of this city.
However, buoyed by its success in Round 1, Rome was ready and waiting for Tali. Surprised but excited that she was back for more, ready to take her down when her weaknesses came to the surface.
Tali arrived weighed down by all her earthly possessions in her backpack, so heavy that they bruised her shoulders. Rome could almost smell victory before the game even got underway. Ready and waiting Rome threw the early punches, leaving Tali in an overcrowded, hot, unclean hostel, fearing bedbugs while she searched for a flat. Then Rome got her hopes up, only to punch her in her unsuspecting stomach – ‘Hey Tali, here’s a flat you can move into, in the trendy Trastevere area,’ only for it to fall through the day before she was set to move in, forcing her to recommence the painful experience that flat hunting is.
But finally Tali started to get some luck on her side, a much bigger flat with super-cool flatmates from 3 different countries (imagine ‘The Spanish Apartment,’ Roman style), right down the road from undoubtably one of the best gelato shops in Rome. Upon the recommendation of the locals, Tali discovered Villa Pamphilj (park) with its stunning views of the city, before visiting the Villa Borghese (park) with its beautiful views over Piazza del Popolo (which was about to become her favourite square in Rome). It was obvious that Tali was getting the upper-hand on Rome by now.
Finally earning Euros after six months of having to double the price of everything she’d been buying, she set out to explore the city. And not just the top 10 tourist spots as she’d done last time, Tali was out there discovering some of the secrets of Rome. As well as enjoying all the Piazzas and fountains that Rome is so famous for. There was nothing Rome could do to stop her.
As summer came to an end, the number of tourists in Rome began to diminish and Tali could enjoy Rome even more. Rome could only stand back and watch in astonishment as Tali took complete control of the battle. Then, 6 months after first applying for it, Tali got her Permesso di Soggiorno and it was clear she had finally beaten Rome. Yes, she would indeed spend the rest of her time in Italy based in Rome.
Final result: Rome 1 – Tali 1