In May, I am studying abroad in Italy (alone!! I don't know anyone else who's going.) We're starting in Milan, and traveling south to Rome over a two-week stay. It's a food science course, so we're going to visit different wineries and food production factories. Instead of flying back with my class, I've decided to stay an extra week and my mother and sister are flying into Rome for 6 days of sightseeing :)
I'm so very excited, but I'm INCREDIBLY nervous about not knowing any Italian. My trip leader said that knowing Italian isn't required, but still... I don't want to be rude, and it's scary to be in a different country without speaking their language!
I'm going to try and learn some myself, but I don't know how much I can realistically pick up in a few months. I'm not exactly skilled at learning foreign language. I attempted to learn French my sophomore and junior year in college, and failed third level twice (embarrassing, I know. ) I'm feel like I just don't have the ear for it.
My question is... is it possible to get around Rome without knowing any Italian? And more importantly, do the people there find it rude to speak only English? And finally, what is the best way to learn some Italian in just a few months? I was thinking about getting Rosetta Stone, but I don't know how well it works (plus it's pricey!)
And I'd be happy to hear any other tips about Rome.