I have always wanted to travel to Rome (always meaning as long as I have liked pizza). Now that I’m here, the more I explore, the more I realize that my name is written all over this city.
But, I came to Rome for
pizza a study abroad program and as Paolo would say, “You are students not tourists!” So, I am exploring a little less, and studying a bit more now that classes are fully underway. Classes in Rome are not so different from those back in the states, at least in terms of format and workload. The major difference…Rome is the classroom—metaphorically for Urban Health, a class that looks at the health of people living in various cities, but literally for Art History. Once a week we meet in the classroom for a typical lecture, but later in the week we meet Paolo for class on-site, somewhere in Rome.
Friday, our class had a day-long excursion to Tivoli. First, we visited Hadrian’s Villa. Hadrian was a Roman Emperor who had the Villa constructed as a retreat from the city—I don’t blame him. The ruins were fascinating (especially in the restricted area) and the open space was a breath of fresh air. After lunch we visited Villa d’Este, a palace overlooking gardens and statues and fountains (oh my!).
This weekend I was free as a bird. Saturday, April and I decided to explore Castel Sant’Angelo, the all-in-one mausoleum-prison-fortress-castle-museum. From the top-of-the-castle view to the overwhelming feeling of OLD that I have come to know and love, it was worth every euro! Old Bridge gelato hit the spot on our walk home.
Sunday, a group of us decided to walk to Trastevere. On the way there, we took a spontaneous detour and ran into a really important building. We just didn’t know what it was—unfortunately that happens a lot. Later findings indicate that it was Rome’s Palace of Justice. Told you it was important. We continued on our way, and found a restaurant upon our arrival in Trastevere, where I happily consumed ONE WHOLE PIZZA. It was 4 ½ cheese pizza (½ because I added parmesan and I don’t know if that was part of the original 4) and it was delicious. After lunch we continued the cycle of getting sidetracked and stumbling over really cool but indistinguishable buildings. But we knew the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere when we saw it, and it was very impressive.
Monday morning I woke up and hopped on my laptop, crossing my fingers for wifi. Shortly after, the Google home page popped up, featuring Festa della Repubblica. My thought process was as follows: It’s Republic Day in Italy. Hey, I’m in Italy! I have to go. End thought process. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew there was a parade at 11am and I set off, map in hand, (at 10am) to find it.
Now. If you told me a week ago that I would find an unspecific location about 3 miles away from the Residence in under an hour, I would have laughed in your face—probably harder than I laugh at some of the jokes I write. But that’s exactly what I did. And I watched that parade. Because I’m in Italy.
As for the weekly awards…