Jennifer Hall Temple Rome

So… When does Tom Hanks Go to Grom?

What a busy weekend here in Rome! Of course my body decided to wait and hate me and get sick on Monday -__- but at least I got to enjoy my weekend pain free (other than my aching feet from all the walking!). I swear we walked two marathons this weekend… mild exaggeration.

I spent Friday night in the painting studio during a Painting-Pot-Luck-Bonding-Extravaganza with the 5 other painting majors in Advanced painting (as well as a couple other good friends). We ate, talked, laughed, and even painted a little. It was a great night! But I couldn’t stay out too late because I knew there was a big day coming up on Saturday. A few of my room mates read “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown, so as long as we’ve been here (over a month! Can you believe it?!) they’ve been talking about doing an Angels and Demons tour around Rome. Now, I didn’t read the book so don’t quote me on this, essentially in this book the main character (played by Tom Hanks in the movie) had to go to all ends of Rome, forming a cross, to solve some sort of mystery. I’m sorry if I offended any avid Dan Brown fans with my horrendous explanation but that’s really all I knew about it going into this excursion. It was definitely a great way to see Rome though! We started at the Basilica Di Santa Maria degli Angeli Matari:

I would say, of all the Churches I’ve seen on this trip, this was BY FAR my favorite, and I think I’ve seen a million Churches in Italy. My mom always told me that I’m supposed to make three wishes every time I enter a new church, but they have to be for the good of everyone not just me.  After all the churches and wishes I’ve made here, I’m sure world peace will happen very shortly ;P !

The second Church we visited was the Santa Maria del Vittorio, which holds one of my FAVORITE statues ever!

The “Ecstasy of St. Theresa” by Bernini! It’s literally breath-taking for an artsy nerd like me. Actually I think it’s just awe inspiring for everyone. It’s smaller than I imagined, but I think it is so funny how much famous art is tucked away in discrete places all over Rome!

 Santa Maria del Vittorio is pretty gorgeous too 🙂

Next stop on our escapades was Piazza Navona! I was very proud of myself, I’ve been here once before and I navigated us back here successfully, I feel like a Roman!

So beautiful.

So this is where Grom enters the story. Ever since Siena it feels like James has been talking about Grom, which is a gelato place that is NOT even Italian. They make all organic and fresh gelato. In Siena no one wanted to go because the line was out the door and there are a million other gelato places. Well, James was not giving up on this. And OF COURSE there was a Grom in Piazza Navona, I swear the guy is obsessed.  He did not shut up about this place for an hour. Mind you, he’s NEVER been there. So finally to appease him, we sucked it up and got in line.

See what I mean? He REALLY wanted to try it.

So we went, and I will officially eat my words because it was totally worth the wait. Some of the flavors were a little strange but the gelato was so fresh, and the whipped cream was amazing! So thanks James, for whining us into submission.  You were right. There I said it.

After our detour, we took a short walk over to the Pantheon where I got to go inside for the first time!

The ever curious Kenny.

After this we headed back towards school to the Piazza Del Popolo to the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture here because the site was under construction 🙁 . But moving on! Our last stop of the day was, of course, the center of the universe: The Vatican! By this time, night had fallen and we were all beat from walking what felt like a marathon. So we all took a seat on one of the statues and just stared at the grandeur of the Vatican.

Not a bad end to the night.

Except it wasn’t the end to our night in the slightest. Saturday night almost ALL of the museums in Rome were open for FREE until 2 AM. So, of course the sensible thing to do, rather than sleep like normal people, would be to walk an HOUR to the Maxxi museum. So, that’s exactly what James, Kenny, and I did. And it was totally worth it!

We’re essentially the real life version of Ferris Bueller’s day off.

Remember that time Forest Gump ran across the United States and then back? We pretty much did the same thing.

All I wanted to do after this million hour day is sleep for a week. But in reality I got woken up after 3 hours of sleep by James and Winnie to go the flea market at Porta Portese. Literally, I walked out of my room totally confused in my pajamas to see Winnie and James sitting ready to go at my kitchen table… great. It was definitely worth losing a few hours of sleep though! I got so many souvenirs!

This market seemed like it was 10 miles long, have you notice the recurring theme of walking my butt off this weekend!?

Now we’re all heading into crunch mode for all of our mid terms this weekend! Wish us all luck!



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