Archive for the 'Italy' Category

A Week in Rome

Almost seven years ago I threw a coin over my shoulder into the Trevi Fountain which is supposed to mean that someday you will come back to Rome.  It worked for me and I found myself spending another wonderful week here.

Back in 2001, with my university’s art department, I came to Rome for the first time.  Less than a couple of hours after our long flight to Italy our professors took us on a walking tour that we later nicknamed the “Death March” because we were jetlagged and wanted to nothing more than take a shower and sleep.  This year a group of us from the hostel did what I called “Death March – Part II – At Night”  We walked all over Rome after sunset to see the monuments lit up.  Then when I thought it couldn’t get any worse – the Spanish Steps appeared.  We needed to climb to the top to reach a street that would take us back to the hostel.  It’s the equivalent of 12 flights of stairs!  I will have perfectly toned calves by the end of this trip.

Another reason I wanted to come back to Rome is because I missed an important piece of art in the Vatican Museum.  Being an art major you would think I would love art museums – not so much.  In 2001, I blazed through the museum to get to the Sistine Chapel and realized after I left that I missed Raphael’s °School of Athens.”  This time I realized where I had went wrong.  There is one route throught the Vatican Museum until it splits – one sign has just the Sistine Chapel while the other listed a whole slew of rooms with the Sistine Chapel last.  So of course, in 2001, I chose to go directly to the Chapel and to skip the other rooms.  This last Wednesday I chose the longer route and it did not disappoint.  What I love about frescos is that they can never move, they are part of that room, and you are standing where the artist worked.

The next day I went to the Colosseo (in English it’s the Colosseum).  I had never been inside and decided to take a guided tour.  The guide was boring for the most part but I did learn a couple of things.  The Colosseum was not called the Colosseum originally.  There was a huge statue about the same height as the stadium that was called Colosseum and when it fell down the name was transferred to the stadium.  Also, more surprising to me, was that there was a removable canopy that covers the stadium during rain or intense sun.  Imagine the world’s first retractable roof stadium!  Pretty impressive them ancient Romans!

Yesterday, I went out to Ostia Antica.  I’ve read that if you can’t make it to Pompeii you should go here.  It was an easy 1 hour trip outside of the city.  The site is massive and a lot of the buildings, well at least their bases, where still standing.  I would try to imagine what it would be like to live during its’ peak as I walked down the main street.  What would I hear?  What would I smell?  Who would I see?

Today, I went to Villa Borghese which is a large park.  I packed a baguette sandwich and brought along a book and my Ipod.  It was pretty but I still have the inability to just do nothing.  I always feel like I have to do something because if I don’t I feel guilty for wasting away the day.  I only spent a couple of hours before heading back to the hostel via the very crowded Spanish Steps – apparently it’s a three day weekend here in Italy.

Oh, I’m still trying to figure out what gelati flavor I like the most… oh poor me!!

On Monday, I leave on my long journey to Athens.  I will take a train, followed by a 16-hour ferry (I splurged on the dorm bed so that I can get decent sleep), and then either the train or bus (I haven’t decided yet).  I will hopefully arrive in Athens in the early evening on Tuesday.


Where’s Stacy?

Stacy is in West Virginia and totally amazed by the power of Math. (Nerd, I know!)

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