Sunday, February 5, 2012

Winter Wonderland… Roman style.

Well, what an eventful weekend!
Thursday, we ended up not going to the Baptistery because professor Jodie was sick. So, instead we all went to this bar/restaurant called The Club House that was really cool. We had some drinks and hung out with the new kids until some of us had to go to drawing class as Cecil. Luckily, I did make a lot of process on my drawing, however my drawing skills aren’t much better:
After class I booked back home for dinner and packing for ROMA! We had to get up at 6AM to get to our train at 7 for the speedy train. The ride was really quick and when we got to Rome it was pretty cold and pretty rainy, which was unfortunate since Rome typically has better weather than Florence. Our first stop was the hotel, and then we met at the caffĂ© across the street for cappuccinos and brioche. Once everyone had a bite to eat we went to the Vatican (!) to see St. Peter’s Basilica, the necropolis below it, and the Vatican Musems. The necropolis was really cool, it was an ancient pagan necropolis that was there before St. Peter’s and the church was just built on top of it. It was also the sight where the St. Paul was supposedly buried by Roman Christians during the persecution of the Christians by Nero. It was probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

Then we went up to the Basilica which is one of the most beautiful amazing places I have ever seen in my entire life. I can’t even describe how beautiful everything was. I have never seen so many different colors of marble, so much guiding, and such a huge bronze structure in my life. The baldacchino was amazing I can’t even imagine how they made it. Also Michelangelo’s Pieta was absolutely stunning, it was one of the few pieces of art that I’ve had a physical reaction to.
After the basilica we had to book it over to the Vatican museums for lunch and a tour lead by Jodie and professor Soldberg. When we left the church it was snowing, and not just light romantic snow it was a full on blizzard. By the time we made it to the museum entrance (it took half an hour to get there because of the snow) we were all drenched, completely covered in snow, and chilled to the bone. Jodie wasn’t feeling well and so after everyone had arrived and things were squared away she went back to the hotel and Soldberg lead us threw the museum. We saw so many amazing things, lots of Rafael, and then we saw the Sistine Chapel. There are not words to describe how awesome it is. I mean as far as I’m concerned I was a little underwhelmed by the impact of the painting on sight. But technically it is absolutely amazing, the scale and the way he manipulated the space that he had to work with was really out of this world.
After museum we went back to hotel because everyone was cold and miserable and wet. We had dinner at a near by restaurant and then hung out in the hotel.
The next day we walked around the city, we went to the Forum and the Coliseum, and then we went to the St. Clementine church that had amazing mosaics and really cool excavations underneath. Afterwards I hung out at the hotel with some people because all of our boots and socks were drenched. A lot of our activities got cancelled due to the snow and the fact the entire city shut down. Of course the weekend we go is the first time Rome gets snow since the 1980’s and the worse snow storm since the 1950’s.
That night we went to dinner and then went out to a bar and then to a club called La Maison. It was pretty fun but we were all so exhausted from trudging around in the slush and being cold.
Today we were free so I went shopping and explored the city. We left Rome early because things were still closed, so now I’m in my room trying to dry my things and uploading crappy phone pics that will do no justice ot the incredible things that I saw.
Upside, the Romans had a great time. Of course if it never snows and you have a snow storm its like a giant snow day for the whole city. It was really funny to see people of all ages making snow men and having snow ball fights and just loving the novelty of snow. One thing that Romans certainly have a handle on is snowmen. They have a lot of character ot say the least. On our way home we saw a snowman on top of a car with a broken umbrella that someone probably abandoned during the storm and a glass of wine. Actual wine.
But tonight is the Super Bowl, and this is a rare occasion where I will celebrate my Americaness, so we are going to a bar for some festivities. It’ll be fun to see what kind of people will be there.
A dopo!

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