Roma: Day 1

6 Jun

Ciao! I clearly have not had time to update my blog as often as I would like. But ah, what can I say..I love Roma. I however do not like the time difference. Sunday night (our first night here), I had set my alarm for the following morning for my first day of class. On mistake, I had set the time on my clock an hour earlier than the actual time was (go figure). This presented a lovely problem Monday morning. My art class had a plan to meet at 7:30 a.m. to embark on our exploration of Rome, and I was sound asleep in my little pleasantly uncomfortable twin bed thinking it was 6:30 a.m. Let’s just say after the knock on the door, I had a set a new personal record for getting dressed and looking presentable in under 5 minutes.

We rode the metro for the first time to become acclimated with different forms of transportation as well as learn which stops would take us to certain locations. For our first art class we traveled by bus and by foot around the city. Unfortunately, the buses had gone on strike so finding one was a bit of a challenge. We traveled to Piazza Navona where we all gathered at a local cafe for espresso, spremuta (freshly squeezed orange juice) and pastries. The cafe was across from the most gorgeous church. I took so many pictures, but even pictures could not portray how the sight of it all was in person. It was enough to make even the most cynical person cry. The ceiling was so ornate and painted in the most beautiful dark, rich colors of green, red and gold. The natural light that came in through the windows made the entire interior glow. I have never been an art buff, but just imagining the detail and the true talent that went into beautifying the church, I had gained a new-found appreciation for all art.

After spending time in the church, we traveled to the Villa Farnesina. The Villa  was built along the Tiber river, at the foot of the Gianicolo, by Baldessare Peruzzi (1508-11), to serve as the Roman residence for the Sienese banker Agostino Chigi.  The entrance leads to the loggia, with its rich marbles, attributed to Rafael, Giulio Romano, as well as the collaborators of ‘La Favola di Psiche’ (the tale of Psyche). It was amazing to see how well preserved the frescas (painting on plaster) were preserved. Everything looked like it was just painted yesterday. You could see the brush strokes, the rich colors and the different sections that each piece was painted in.

Lastly, we traveled to my favorite spot so far–Campo dei Fiori. The area was younger and so lively. At night, apparently it’s a prime hangout spot for American college students because of the atmosphere and the bar scene. I had the best panini with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto. Delicioso!

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