13 July 2009

Roman Holiday

I know it's been a week and a half, but there are people out there who would like to know about my trip to Rome, so I'm going to talk about it.

Yes. So. I spent the Fourth of July in Rome with three of the other tutors working the Trevi camp. We left Trevi at about 6 am that morning, with my host mom dropping me off and telling me that if I wanted to make it home from the train station that night, I would have to ask one of the other tutors to get their host family to drive me there. So that was nice.

We talked the entire two hours to Rome. When we arrived, we hopped on the Metro and rode that to the stop nearest to the Vatican. A few minutes were spent loitering around the Piazza San Pietro, until we decided to head on into the Vatican. I just want to backtrack here for a moment and mention that, during our planning time for Rome, I told everyone that I thought we would need to cover not only our shoulders, but our knees as well to enter the Vatican. I got laughed at. "Uh, Liz, this isn't a Buddhist country. I'm Catholic, and we don't do that anymore," was what they told me.

Guess who had to buy pashminas to wrap around their waists to get past the security guards at the Vatican? That's right. All of us. Including Liam, our redheaded Aussie friend.

It was pretty cool inside, though. All the hours I've spent trying to stay awake in Art History classes has paid off here in Italy, and I definitely show off a little bit. "Oh hey, it's Michelangelo's Pieta, no big deal," I would say, and then I would digress into a dialogue on the contrast between Michelangelo's more classical-looking sculpture (like David, or the Pieta) and Donatello's late sculptures. . . I'm not going to pretend I wasn't annoying. Art is kind of a big deal to me. . . that might be why I decided to major in it.

After that, we climbed to the top of the cupola of St. Peter's (552 steps!), and then we walked a kilometer or so to the entrance of the Vatican Museum, which took us eventually to the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling there is the big thing to see, in case you didn't know. It's pretty amazing. Somehow I missed Raphael's School of Athens, so I'm probably going to have to go back to see it.

What was after that. . . let's see, there was some wandering, the Spanish steps (represent!), a Pinocchio store, et cetera, et cetera. Oh! And then there was the Pantheon, which I requested. I really went wild there, explaining all the ways that the builders of the Pantheon kept the massive ceiling from falling in (coffered ceiling, giant oculus, and hollow stuff in the lightweight concrete used to build it). We also took quite a few pictures.

Next up was a journey to the Colisseum. That was really, really cool. It was probably the highlight of the entire journey, because Liam and I engaged in a gladiator fight. And it was captured on film. Enjoy.

I had fully intended to spend that last couple of hours before our train in a karaoke bar, singing God Bless the USA, Redneck Woman, and a Whitney Houston-esque version of the national anthem, but alas, it was not to be. Instead, we bought some beer and lambrusco, and imbibed on the train. Despite the lack of explosives and karaoke, it was a pretty great day.

1 comment:

Uncle Dave said...

After more than a week without a post, I was beginning to wonder if you had been arrested in Roma.

If you've got time this week, try getting to the Amalfi coast. The views of Sorrento, the island of Capri, Positano and Amalfi are amazing, and grace many calendars. Very crowded on weekends. Pompei ruins are right down the road from Napoli and worth a visit as well.


Uncle Dave