Thursday, June 26, 2008
How do I start my last blog post from Rome? How did I get here and where did the past seven weeks go? I would love to know. They have been packed full of travel experiences, churches, schoolwork, and learning about Roman culture. Thank you for completing the journey with me.
If you are just stumbling upon my page, enjoy reading about three important aspects of Rome. Learn about how an American feels in Rome and the U.S. products available here. Learn about one piazza, the Campo de'Fiori. Learn about wine and then other Roman traditions. Watch me embrace my time in Rome and watch my appreciation for the new culture grow.
If you are wondering where I am now, I am working on finishing my undergraduate degree in Communication Arts and Sciences. I am spending time with my family and friends. Most importantly, I am taking my dog Marley on adventures and giving him a life any dog or human alike would be jealous of. If only he could have come to Italy. He may not be well trained like the dogs here, but he would have loved coming into stores and restaurants with me.
Here's to you, Rome. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for allowing me to grow as a person. And most importantly, thank you for letting me feel at home in your piazzas, side streets, and gelaterias. I will not soon forget my time here.
This exhibit offers the visitor a lot of information, but be prepared to spend over two hours reading the various facts about what life was like in the 1500s in Rome. Learn about how Rome transitioned from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance. Learn about the Pope relocating to Rome. Learn about various artists like Michelangelo. If you are looking for a history lesson on Rome, put a few Euros to good use and visit this museum which can easily be found a few blocks up from the Piazza Venezia.
As a tourist to
By walking through the morning markets in
The market in Testaccio and the market in the Campo de'Fiori offer perfect chances. You can also find some great deals on jewelry and clothes. Take the time out of site seeing from the normal tourist spots and visit these markets which are off the between path. You will not be sorry.
I have been to the Campo de'Fiori a number of times in my seven weeks in
The store is small but offers most of the flavors you will find in the rest of the small gelato stores in
I cannot believe today was my last experience in the Campo de'Fiori. I went to the market in the morning with a few friends and got one more discounted Italia jacket for a special student discount. But I am sure all visitors can talk there way down from the suggested retail price of fifteen Euros to ten Euros. Make sure you take in the small artsy shops. Go in the food stores with specialty meat, cheese and wine. If you are up for it, try out the nightlife at the Drunken Ship or Sloppy Sam's but maybe not more than once. Try a different place for food to avoid the tourist menu. Take everything in while you can with your time in
As I sit here on my last night and reflect over the past seven weeks, I wonder how I made it through my time in
As much as I critiqued the American products that I found here in
Over the past weekend, a few of my friends and I traveled to the small
Was the joke me yearning for something familiar? How is it going to feel for me to be submersed in American culture and society tomorrow? I have gotten used to pizza cut with scissors, bars that sell coffee, and gelato stores every few meters. As happy as I am to see my family and friends, I am going to miss Rome and the small things that make it function. Will I be more critical of American chains and superstores on my arrival back in the states?
I know one thing is for sure. I will miss walking from our classroom in the Sede under the Doria Pamphilj museum to walk to Remo's pizza shop. I will miss the decision between cheese or tomato. I will miss the owner of the store cutting the pizza he cooked with pride and I will miss his small smile as I tell him thank you. I will miss the pride Italians take in their work that has somehow been lost in American culture.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
In Italy, it is hard to avoid soccer fever. When Italy won big games, the street outside my window went crazy. Horns honked, people sang and hung out their windows, and Italian flags could be seen everywhere. I always thought American had an obsession to football, our version, but it is nothing compared to the investment fans put into their soccer teams in Europe.
If you are having a hard time imagining the chanting and the scenes of fans, consider a Penn State football game or any other big U.S. college and imagine the noise of the fans before entering the game. To successfully compare this scene to soccer, multiply the image in your head by ten. This man on the left was not the only fan with the emblem of his team buzzed into his hair cut.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
-Begin at the Piramide Metro Station
-Walk down Via Marmorata past Viale M. Gelsomini
-The Mercato di Testaccio will be on your left down Via G. B. Bodoni
-Walk back to Via Marmorata and take a left, heading towards the Tiber River
-Cross the bridge and walk through the Piazza Porta Portese
-Walk up Via di Porta Portese which becomes Via Induno
-Turn right onto Viale Trastevere
-Make your first left onto Via Emilio Morosini
-Take the first right on Via di San Cosimato
-You will run into Piazza San Cosimato where the market is held
-Continue up Via di San Cosimato and through Piazza San Calisto
-Turn right on Via Arco San Calisto
-Make the first left on Via San Calisto
-Walk through Piazza San Apollonia and up Via del Moro
-Walk through Piazza Trilussa and make a left on Lungotevere
-Cross the first bridge Ponte Sisto
-Walk straight down Via del Pettinari which will become Via Arco del Monte
-You will run into Via dei Giubbonari where you can turn left
-You will run into the Campo de'Fiori and the final market
Monday, June 16, 2008
When walking around Rome, expect to see nice cars. Even the taxis here are Mercedes-Benz. I can't help but think it must be nice to have access to these cars which are considered foreign in America.
But every now and again, I will come across a Ford or Chevrolet. Even in the land of the Smart Car, I have seen a stretch Escalade Limo. These cars seem out of place to me and I wonder why Italians would want to purchase our American-made cars. Perhaps Americans moved to Italy and brought their cars with them too, but in an environmentally conscious society, these cars seem out of place.
I had a hard time finding statistics about what kind of cars Italians choose to drive or bought the most, but I did find an interesting clip on YouTube. You might be surprised to know that in Venice each year there is an American car club meeting. Check out the cars for yourself at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zf4wTboEIY.
Visitors to the villa will experience frescoes completed by Baldassarre Peruzzi, Sebastiano del Piombo, and Raphael. When visiting the villa, make sure to see the Triumph of Galatea by Raphael which is a painting of the sea nymph Galatea one of the fifty daughters of the god Nereus. Visitors to the villa will also get to see the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche. The model used in this piece on the left was the mistress of Agostino Chigi.
Visitors to the villa will be enticed by the formal gardens still adorning the front of the mansion. During the Renaissance time period, parties and plays were held here.
I have spent my time here living in Trastevere and visitors to the villa will be pleased with the small bars and trattorias lining the streets. A trip to the Villa Farnesina is a must-see for fresco lovers.
This information can be found in the 2007 Eyewitness Guide to Rome published by Dorling Kindersley. Additional information can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Farnesina.
After a pleasant train ride through the mountains surrounding Rome, I reached Tivoli. I wanted to explore the sight because of the waterfall I had seen on the way. I found out that there was much more than Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli.
The most visited sight in the town is the Villa D'Este. If you are looking for a serene escape from the city, look no further than Tivoli. You will be enchanted by the river flowing lazily by and the sweet smell of the air.
Once you get to the Villa D'Este, you will learn that this old Benedictine convent has unforgettable gardens and fountains. The convent was converted to a palace in the 16th century and the luxury of this lifestyle can still be found in the gardens today. Bernini lovers will be pleasantly surprised to find his Fontana del Bicchierone. The picture above shows the Terrace of 100 Fountains, one of the many fountains in the villa.
Between the train ride through the countryside and suburbs of Rome and the picturesque views of the valley below Tivoli, this day trip will be well worth your time away from Rome and the small admission fee.
The picture above was taken from the following website, http://www.villadestetivoli.info/gall_01_e.htm. At this site you will also be able to find out more information about the Villa. You could also check out the Eyewitness Guide to Rome published by Dorling Kindersley in 2007.
Many Italians enjoy a nice apéritifs. These drinks are bitter and herb-flavored. Some of the most popular apéritifs are the Martini, Campari, or Aperol. Italians tend to drink these drinks with ice and a soda.
If you are looking for an after dinner drink, order a digestivi or amari. These drinks will help to settle your stomach after a traditional Italian meal.
For more information about how to get your copy of the Eyewitness Guide to Rome which is published by Dorling Kindersley, visit http://www.amazon.com/Rome-EYEWITNESS-TRAVEL-GUIDE-Publishing/dp/075661550X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213624344&sr=8-1. The information provided above can be found on page 315.
This little sandwich shop lets you choose the kind of meat and cheese you would like along with a number of vegetables. Suggested sandwiches are on the wall, or you can make up your own. It's a nice break from the pre-made sandwiches you will find elsewhere in the city. Prices range from four to six euros.
To demonstrate the total success of the program, we met a teacher in the school. He taught computer skills to younger boys. We soon found out that he had come to Boys Town when he was six. He had left for a few years once he turned eighteen, but he soon returned to teach fellow boys. By returning to the school, the ex-boy proved the success of the town. He is one example to prove the success of the idea created in 1951 by Monsignor Carroll-Abbing.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
To learn about the image the organization is creating for itself, it is important to know its mission statement. This says, "Boys' Town of Italy, Inc. mission is to fund charitable institutions and programs that are concerned with the development of children and youth in United States and Italy." If you would like to learn more about this organization, check out their website at http://www.boystownofitaly.org/.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
This past weekend I had an interesting trip to Barcelona. I saw beautiful sites like the Sagrada Familia Church, Guell Park, and the Picasso Museum. I also stayed in the first hostel where I did not feel safe.
But thankfully the Spanish have a tradition of drinking a sweet red wine called sangria. This wine is survived by the glass, quarter liter, half liter, and whole liter. As I sat around watching other diners, I found most ordered a liter for the table.
Sangria is made by putting some sugar, orange juice, and orange and peach slices into however much wine you choose. This is a recipe you should try at home because if the outcome is anything like what I tasted in Spain, you will not be disappointed.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The theater was built in 55 B.C. and was Rome's first stone-built theater. Before this time, theaters were made of wood and were considered more temporary structures. In order to make this theater permanent, Pompey built a temple to Venus on top.
To the east of this theater was the Porticus of Pompey. On March 15, 44 B.C., it was here that Julius Caesar was murdered. If you want to see this spot, it occurred at the foot of the statue of Pompey where the Palazzo Spada now stands.
If you would like to read more about this, check out the Blue Guide Rome published by Somerset Norton.
In this church, you will be able to see the Paschal candlestick which is an example of Cosmati work. In this church you will be able to walk through the catacombs. Make sure you also see the Apse Mosaic and the 11th century frescoes while you are here.
When you get to the Campo de'Fiori, you will see a statue in the middle dedicated to Giordano Bruno, a martyr of science. If you get to the piazza early enough, you will be able to walk through a market containing fresh fruit, meat, and cheeses. This piazza is a very popular spot for nightlife among American students.
Go to the Termini train station in Rome. Enter the upper part of the station and locate ticket machines. Search for the train to Tivoli. Once you get to Tivoli Station, locate local bus number 4 which you can take to Hadrian’s Villa. These directions can also be found in the Eyewitness Guide of Rome on page 269.
One of the most striking and best preserved parts of the Villa is the pool and an artificial grotto which were named Canopus Serapeum (the Emperor’s dining table). The Maritime Theater is a circular building within Ionic marble peristyle. This was a private retreat for the Emperor. A circular moat encloses an island where the theater is located. Finally, be sure to visit the Small and Great Thermae (baths) which are well preserved areas for public and private bathing. The small ones were used more privately for the emperors while the larger baths were used for visitors to the Villa. Check out this website for a number of virtual walk throughs of the Villa: http://www.italyguides.it/us/roma/hadrian_s_villa/hadrian_s_villa.htm