Monday, August 8, 2011


Sorry about being late...way late.
I spent my last weekend at a farmhouse in Tuscany. It was everything I could have ever wanted. There were several small farmhouses spread around the area with one central farmhouse. This little area was in the middle of no where. You could turn all around and not see a building for miles. It was a very relaxing weekend that consisted of swimming, sitting by the pool and reading, napping on the hill in the grass and enjoying God's world. One afternoon we did yoga on the top of the hill as the sun was was the most beautiful and amazing thing I have ever done. If I had the opportunity to go back to this place tomorrow, I would, no questions asked.
The trip home was very long and tiring. I left Perugia at 1 am on Tuesday then left Italy at noon. I was in Dublin for a few hours then left at 5ish and (with the time change) landed 7 hours later in NYC at 7:30 pm....then had the 4 hour ride home and arrived at 2 am on Thursday.
I miss Italy so much and think about it often. I hope that everyone is lucky enough to get a chance to experience a different culture at some point in their lives. It is an eye opener and it creates memories that last a lifetime.
Italy will always be in my heart.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 13, 2011 Beware old ladies in need of groceries.

This morning we went grocery shopping. Again, we waited and were outrun byt little old ladies who wanted their cheese. We got more this morning than we usually do so we have food for a while. Ashley found Frosted Flakes and got very excited. We also got apricots and oranges. We came back to the apartment and I had a quick breakfast.
I got to the school around 10 and worked on typing up my blog until 11:15. Class was interesting. We talked about the pros and cons of the Economic Miracle, Vespas, read the story “The Vigil” and watched a bit of a movie.
I went back to the apartment and did some work for a while. My mom called to catch up. I miss chatting with her. She is my best friend and we usually talk every day.
By the time I got off the phone Ashley was back and cooking dinner for herself. I just had some bread and then I went with her to the art studio to use the internet. I got kicked out after a short time because apparently only fresco students can be there past hours.
I didn’t want to sit in the room so I went to walk around. I went to Bubble and the bookstore looking for something to get but didn’t find anything I wanted. But I found a cheap little knickknack for Ashley and Jill.
I had salad for dinner then we went out for gelato to balance the nutrition. I got Cremi de Gram which had pieces of cookies. I added whipped cream this time….it was crazy rich and creamy. Definitely only something to get once in a while. We sat outside and ate for a while and enjoyed the wonderful weather.
Bed early tonight. Tomorrow: Museum, shopping, paper writing, class, pizza workshop, out on the town for the night.

June 12, 2011 "The world is all gates, all opportunites, strings of tension waiting to be struck." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today was insane. After crazy dreams about being held hostage, saving the day, McDonalds and teaching, I got up at 9:30. Jill and I decided to go to church at the local Duomo. I got all dressed up and church was at 11:30.
I have seen a lot of churches in my time here but this one was my favorite. It had the “wow” factor of an ancient church but it still felt like a holy place of worship. Jill and I found a seat toward the back and watched as many different types of people came in. The organ player was my favorite. He was a little squirrely man with glasses that magnified his eyes, a hunch back and an interesting way of moving and talking.
A bell tolled and everyone stood. A cardinal was giving mass today. Instead of coming up the aisle like in America, they came in from the front. Mass was confusing, of course, because it was in Italian but I could follow what part we were at. I wish I could have understood the cardinal because he seemed like a very good speaker. My favorite part of was the choir. They sounded heavenly when their voices echoed off the big walls. I just closed my eyes as they filled my ears and I inhaled the incents.
The most confusing part was communion. In America, there is an order and people file out of their pews. In Italy, it is a free-for-all…yet somehow it works. Giving the sign of peace, I just mumbled as I shook hands….hey, it’s the thought that counts.

After we left we went to the café for a cappuccino and pastry….delicious as always. We then went to the apartment. I got changed, we waited for Ashley to get ready and then we went to Ciao Ciao’s for lunch. I got a pancetta panino with zucchini, eggplant and pesto on it. We ate outside until the school opened at 2.
From 2-5 we used the internet and put up pictures. We had giggling fits all day, probably because we actually slept last night. We got bored sitting in the library so we went to the market.
We got cannoli’s (we were fatties today) and sat at the overlook of Perugia to eat them. I can’t believe this is my life right now.
As I was walking I dropped my money and it went everywhere in the road. I was basically lying on the ground trying to get it and all three of us where laughing hysterically. The Italians must have some great stories from us visiting Americans.
When we got back the room we hung and talked for a while and then decided that we wanted kebabs. I told we ate a lot today. Jill tried a new drink. It was disgusting. It smelled like medicine and had a 10% alcohol content. We dumped it out but kept the cool looking glass container.
Things are winding down but we are still giggly. Bed soon.

June 11, 2011 "Much have I traveld in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen..." - John Keats

We are running out of food (and toilet paper) in the apartment again. We have pasta, 3 eggs, nutella and cookies.
We left for Siena at 9.

When we got to Siena we walked for a while until we got to the Bascillica of Saint Catherine.

It was a pretty chapel except that it had her finger and actual head it in. That was gross and disturbing.

While we were waiting outside for the group, a bunch of High Schoolers got into a big water fight. There were water balloons and water bottles everywhere. Oh to be young.
We then walked past the Baptistery to the Duomo which is one of the biggest in the world.

It was so beautiful. There were scenes carved into the marble floor an some of Michelangelo’s original work.

There were also ancient pieces of sheet music.

We then opted to climb to the top of one of the tallest buildings to see the view of Siena. This is one of the coolest things I have done so far. First we had to wait in line for a while and then only 8 could go up at a time. We had to climb a ton of tight marble staircases to get to the top. We were getting dizzy. Passing people who were coming down was very interesting and I got a little too comfortable with some Italians. But once we got to the top, the view was to die for.

You could see more miles. There was a perfect view of the Duomo and the main square.
We then made our way to the main square or Piazza del Campo as it is called.

It is one of the top 10 tourist destination spots but you would never know it because it wasn’t horribly packed like Rome and Florence were. The piazza is in the shape of a scallop with 7 sections that used to represent the 7 heads of state.

We were given free time so we went to eat. We found a pizza place that sells pizza by the slice. I got a piece with mushroom and sausage and Bacardi to drink. We sat out on the scallop and ate.
Then we went shopping until it was time to meet up. Our professor bought us gelato again. I went for something completely different and I got pink grapefruit and lemon. It was so tart and sour. The pink grapefruit actually tasted like I was biting into the fruit.
This was our last trip with the school. As we pulled into Perugia we heard our professor say “Great trip, regazzi” for the last time. It was so sad. This is going by so fast.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 10, 2011 "O lands! O all so dear to me- what you are, I become part of that, whatever it is." - Walt Whitman

Today we went to the real La Verna (not the café on our campus) and then to Cortona. We left a little after 9. La Verna was so beautiful. We drove up twisty roads in to the woods. Everything was so green.

Rocks rose over the sides of the path and were hugged by bright moss. It was so peaceful.

We then came to a stone tunnel which we had to be quiet beyond because this is a very religious place and many come here for prayer. We came to a hallway with frescos depicting the life of Saint Francis.

There were ones of him embracing a leper, shedding his worldly possessions, his first time at La Verna, receiving the stigmata and his death.
We then waited in front of a door to see where Francis slept. I don’t know what I was expecting when I opened the door but it wasn’t a beautiful forest. We entered into a mossy crevice and could look up over the rocks and see the blue sky.

We then bent ourselves in half and into a cave where he slept. It was tiny but cozy. It had a small dirt indent where he would rest.

We then made our way to where Saint Francis received the stigmata. They built a chapel around where he received the stigmata and marked the actual spot with a beautiful candle arrangement.

I sat and prayed for a while and thanked God for this wonderful trip.
We then went to a tiny chapel of Saint Anthony. After that we went out to see a beautiful view of Italy and walked up a very steep staircase. There was also the spot where the devil dared Francis to jump from the cliff and see if God would save him. Francis backed against the stone wall and it gave way to save him.

We then went to see the real church of Santa Maria (there are replicas in both Assisi and Olean). They were very small and comfortable.

Before leaving we stopped at the gift shop and I got myself a rosary.
We then took a short bus ride to where we had lunch. Our one professor sat with us and it was a lot of fun. For lunch we had pasta with meat for the first course. Second course was French fries, salad and pork….strange but yummy.

We then got back on the bus for an hour and a half trip to Cortona where the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed.

There we shopped for a bit and then our professor bought us all gelato. I got peanut butter because I have been craving it. They don’t have peanut butter in Italy!!

When we got back to Perugia there was a world market going on. Countries from all over had stand and booths selling different things. It was so cool. I got myself a handmade wire copper ring from the Slovakia booth. It is my favorite thing I have gotten so far and it was only 5 euro. Ashley got meat from Germany. Then we headed back to the room to chill for the night.

June , 2011 "Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey." - Babs Hoffman

Just a day of midterms. The roommates and I went for cappuccinos again and I ordered correctly this time. I studied for my midterm from 10-1 and then got CiaoCiao’s for lunch and brought it back to the room. I got an apple to, in order to get a little fruit in me. The apple was super good and juicy.
I met up with my Renaissance Art class at 3 and we went to the Collegio to look at frescos. None of us could concentrate because we were all reviewing and worrying in our heads about the test. We then went back to the school to take the test. The first part was identification of art. She would put a piece of art on a slide and then we had to identify the name of it, who did it and when it was made. That was the hardest part. We then had four essays.
Ashley and Jill had class. I cleaned the apartment and danced around singing to my ipod. I also made dinner for myself (and everyone for the rest of the week). I sautéed pancetta with garlic and olive oil and then mixed that into pasta. It was super tasty.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


So last night I made my way through the storm and to the apartment. When I got there I flicked the light the entire apartment building. So I look at the instructions on the back of the door and went to the fuse box in the room.....all the switches looked in the upright position. So I went to the basement for the main power box for the building. Everything was dark and I had my roommates tiny flashlight (they were both at class). I got to the bottom and looked through the wire screen door down the creepiest hallway I have ever seen. I lost my nerve and went back upstairs.
After going back and forth to the school (My phone died so I had no way of contacting anyone) I was given the instructions of putting every switch in both the fuse box and the meter box in the down position. Then I switched the meter ones up and then the fuse box one up and we had power!!
I felt so hard core. The whole time I was thinking about the Jurassic Park scene where the girl is switching on the power for the fence.....and I felt very kick-butt Tomb Raider like.
I know....I'm weird.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wine tasting and the sky is falling

I just took my midterm, which went well. Afterwards we went wine tasting. We went to Cafe di Perugia. The Italian man who worked there taught us the history of wine, where what kinds come from and how to taste them. We tried a white, a red and a sweet "frizzante" wine. I will give you a little knowledge about wine tasting.

First: Look at the color. Put it against a white napkin and under a light. The color will help you determine the age.
Second: Swirl to the left and then to the right. This releases the scent.
Third: Smell the wine. Close your eyes and see how long the scent stays with you and what different scents there are.
Fourth: Take a small sip and swish it around in your mouth. This gets any other taste out of your mouth.
Finally: Drink and enjoy.

It is currently pouring outside. I have never seen it like this before. The thunder struck so hard it made a car alarm go off outside the window. I plan on making my way back to the apartment soon and staying and studying for the night. I have my Renaissance Art midterm tomorrow and there is a lot of stuff to know. I have to be able to identify a work of art by name, when it was made, where it is, and who made it and then be able to analyze and compare with other works of art.


June 8, 2011 Look everyone! I am all caught up!

Hello everyone! I am actually posting on the current day. It is almost 10 am here and almost 4 am back at home. I got a rough nights sleep last night but am having a good day anyway. The girls and I went to the bar next to our apartment and had cappuccinos this morning. I orderd for all of us and thought I knew what I was saying when I said "Tre cappuccino" and the cute old man behind the counter said "Cappuccini! Tre cappuccini, un cappuccino." hahaha my first Italian lesson. In Italy, you stand at the bar to drink your cappuccino, you rarely sit. So we stood and drank and then headed to school.
Right now I am in the library and about to study for my midterm. The first half of class is my midterm and the second half is wine tasting....only in Italy.
I will update you later!
Ciao ciao!

June 7, 2011 Living for the moment

I loved my breakfast this morning. I made eggs with spinach and put it over bread with fresh parasian on top. Today I went out early to get groceries while the girls were still getting ready. We were out of a few neccesities. I mostly wanted milk…I grew up a farm girl and need my milk in the morning. So I arrived to fight off the old Italian ladies at 9 am when it opened. On my way back to the apartment it started pouring. We stayed in until it calmed down outside and then headed to the school. I worked on my blog the headed back to the apartment for lunch around 12. While I made my leftover spaghetti for lunch I made up my study guides for my midterms.
Class was from 3-6:45. We talked about Raffaelo and then went to museum to look at some of the work. I really enjoy discussing and comparing works of art.
We went out for cappuccinos when I got back to the apartment and then hung out and had salad for dinner. I worked on writing things up for my blog until bed. It takes a long time to rewrite everything from my journal.
Italy is going by so fast and I am very torn about how I feel about this. Part of me misses home and cant wait to run off the plane to see my parents. But the other half of me is seizing this once in a lifetime opportunity and doesnt want it to ever end. I am trying not to let it slip away too fast.

June 5, 6 2011 Book worm days

These days were filled with sitting at the school and studying for midterms. Midterms are on Wednesday and Thursday and I have a lot to study for.

June 4, 2011 "One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things." - Henry Miller

Today was probably my favorite day so far. We went to Bognoregio and Orvieto. The drive was our most beautiful yet. We drove through country sides and made our way to a river, which we drove along for a while. The water was bright blue and glittered in the morning sun and the tall green hills speckled with bright orange and green poppies jumped from the shores.
We arrived at Bagnoregio, the birthplace of Saint Bonaventure.

We walked to the edge of the hill to my favorite part of the day. Across a long valley stood the other half of the town, latterly on top of a plateau. We had to walk across the valley on a bridge to get there. Apparently right people use this as a summer home and only about 14 people live there during the winter.

We began our journey down the valley. The hill was very very steep and we knew we would have to climb this later in the day when coming back. We got to the foot of the bridge and looked up at the very long and steep way we had to take. But it was so beautiful. A town placed on the very top of a cliff surrounded by valleys. Rumor had it that an earthquake occurred and split that part of the town away from everything else.

The only way to get to it is by foot (or small moped) across the bridge. Once we got to the other side of the bridge, everyone was breathing heavy. The end was the steepest hill I had ever seen in my life. Even the buff guys in the group were panting by the time we got to the top.
The town was so beautiful and cute. There were probably 3 or 4 stores, a town square (which is literally a square with nothing in it) and Italian style houses with flowers everywhere. We walked around, which doesn’t take that long. We saw where Bonaventure’s house was until the earthquake dropped it off the cliff. I bought a nice poster from there. We then made our way down the steep bridge to the other side. Once on the other side some people decided to wait for a shuttle to take them up the mountain, Jill and I chose to walk it with the guys and a few girls. It was brutally steep and hot (come to find it was about 100 degrees out) and I was very thirsty. But I made it to the top and was proud of myself for doing it.
We then took the bus to Orvieto (which is about 30 minutes by bus. Orvieto is also on a large hill and our professors told us we were going to climb it. Everyone cried on the inside. However, they were just kidding. We took a cable car/rollercoaster box thing to the top and then a bus the rest of the way.
We got off the bus and saw the main attraction of Orvieto, the Duomo/church. This is probably the most amazing church I have seen so far. The front stood taller than I thought possible. It is horizontally stripped cream and grayish green. Frescos cover the towers on the front and upon closer inspection, the front walls have hundreds of tiny scenes carves into them.

The inside is just as spectacular. Your head has to contort all the way back just to see the ceiling. The inside is also stripped and had columns that reach like fingers to the top. Around the front alter are dozens of frescos and tall stained glass windows that reach nearly to the ceiling. On either side of the church are little chapels. On the right side is a chapel with tons of frescos. On the left side is the chapel that has the story of why the church was built. Legend has it that a priest was doubting that the host was the body of Christ. One day while he was saying mass, he half-heartedly held up the host and it started to bleed onto the alter cloth. The priest took the alter cloth to the Pope who had a church built for the occasion.
After the church we lunch, on our professors. Lunch was incredible and so were the waiters. Our little Italian man waiter was hilarious. He was dancing around and running around getting orders like a crazy man. When he came to get our drink order, Jill ordered a water and he pulled it out of his pocket and started laughing hysterically. Our first course was a giant piece of lasagna with bread. Second was 3 meats and potatoes. They placed a piece of chicken, sausage and beef on your plate and then piled up potatoes next to it. Then the final course was a bowl of fresh fruit. As usual in Italy, it was delicious and filled us up.
After a bit of free time we met up and made our way to the bus. When we got back, Jill, Ashley and I went grocery shopping. We then unpacked the groceries, got a cappuccino and gelato and went back to the apartment. We sat in the kitchen for hours chatting until it was time for bed. We plan on sleeping in tomorrow, it our first day off in 2 weeks.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 3, 2011 "It is not down on any map; true places never are." - Herman Melville

Today we got up at 5 am to head to Florence. We made eggs in the morning and met the group at 5:45 and got on the bus.

Our first stop was the science museum that has many of Galileos original artifacts.

However, we had to walk across Florence to get there. We walked down one of the streets and I could see a church at the end of it. I love churches but there are only so many you can take before they become repetitive. We got all the way to the end of the street and I saw just how big it was. I didn’t think churches could be so big. This is the Duomo which Italians take as “church” but Americans take as “dome” due to the large Dome on top.

This church took 200 years to build and then another 100 years for them to figure out how to get the dome on top.
I also saw the brass doors by Brunecceli that my Renaissance art class was just talking about.
We turned the corner on the main piazza. In the middle is a replica of the famous David.

We passed the Ufiziz museum which is the most famous museum in the western world.
We entered the science museum and explored. The first floor was all about Galelio. They had his old instrument, globes and telescopes. Then upstairs was all about the evolution of science. They had models of child birth and complications….everyone was grossed out by this….I don’t see why. Then they had the evolution of clocks, baramters and amps.
We were given free time so Ashley, Jill and I went to a statue filled area and hung out in the shade and looked at statues. Most of the statues in Florence are violent to show others not to mess with them.

After everyone met up, we went to the Ufiziz. It was incredible. The original work from artists like Giotto stood in front of me. These are the works I have been studying from a slide for the past two weeks. The Madonna and Child by Giotto was stunning in person. The gold leaf in the painting almost sparkled.

We were given the afternoon to explore, eat and shop. Ashley, Jill and I had been craving pizza all day so we went on a hunt for it. While there are almost 3 pizzeria per street, many are expensive. So we wandered around and by this time we were starving. We walked down this very crowded street and saw cameras ahead. As we got closer I saw 2 faces that I recognized but I wasn’t sure from where. Then it hit me. We had somehow run into the pizza shop where the cast from the reality show, Jersey Shore was working. This was ridiculous. We stood there confused and a TV guy came over and said that if we wanted to go inside we had to sign a release form and stand in line. So crazy. We found the idea of standing in line, singing a form and waiting for pizza that would probably be done wrong, absurd. So we continue searching.

In a back ally we found an adorable little pizza place. The atmosphere was comfortably fancy and very Italian, plus the prices were reasonable.
I ordered a pizza with olives, ham, artichokes and mushrooms on it. As usual, they serve you an entire pizza and every bite was delicious. We sat in this quite atmosphere full and tired for a while before venturing back out.
Florence is famous for its gold, silver and leather. Everywhere you turned you could find a store selling an abundance of one or another of these products. We went to an outdoor market and looked around. I wanted to but a leather purse but they were very expensive.

Jill got a hat and Ashley got a scarf. We then made our way to the covered bridge to look around. This is where all the very high priced gold and silver is sold.

We headed back to the bus and when we got back to the apartment we had leftovers for dinner.

June 2, 2011 Relaxing

Today was a slow day of sketching, homework and class. But today was the 150 anniversary of Italy so I got to see a band.

3 more weeks in Italy

June 1, 2011 "I'm more interested in what I discover than what I invent." - Paul Simon

So last night I finished my journal as the night was winding down. I went to get my clothes off the line in the bathroom. I am in there for a good 10 minutes and then something catches my eye under the sink. I couldn’t tell what it was until I moved a step closer to see that it was a pigeon….in our apartment. Confused, I stood there for a second then walked up into the bedroom and said to Jill and Ashley, “Ummm guys….there’s a pigeon in our bathroom.” We all walked down to the bathroom and just stared at it wondering how it had gotten through the bars of the window. The poor thing was terrified, not moving and pressed against the wall. We knew it wasn’t getting out on its own so we decided that we would herd it to the window and hope it would fly out. Jill closed the door and stood in the hall while Ashley and I tried to move it with towel. It flew right at us and we both screamed….and then started laughing hysterically because we felt silly for getting scared of a bird. After about 15 minutes of chasing the bird around and feeling bad about its sad bird sounds I was able to smooth down its feathers and pick it up. I placed it on the bars of the window and closed the window behind it. What a turn of events for the night.
Now for my day.
I got to the school around 9. I watched the movie for my presentation, wrote up my paper and hung out until class at 11:15. My partner was there so we were able to do our presentation for the movie “Two Women” and it went well. Our class then walked to the Etruscin (Sp?) Well nearby that is more then 3,00 years old. It was so cool. Only 7 of us could go at a time. I was in the first group. We walked down the damp, dark, small stone staircase and took a right into the well. A bridge is suspended through the well high above the water. I have a slight fear of heights so my body tensed and shook at the same time but I walked out to the middle so everyone could get on the bridge. Of course I through a coin in and made a wish. 2 wished in 2 fountains…..let’s see how it goes.
We then went to see one of Raffales frescos that he did in Perugia. He was working on this one wen he was called to the Vatican. It was a fresco around the statue of the Madonna and Child which is an interesting combination of styles. After the rest of class finished their presentations I headed back to the room to work. Ashley was napping so I decided to nap too.
We woke up around 5 and I headed to the school to check the internet. My roommates had class so I did homework, made dinner, did the dishes and took a shower. They brought cheese back from their class (they are taking a food class) so I had wine and cheese before bed.
Tomorrow I plan on going to Piazza Italia to sketch. Someone complimented my fountain sketch today :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hello from Sarah's MOM!

Sarah sent a message and asked if I could let you all know that she is having internet problems and as soon as they are fixed she will upload her journal entries. She has them all written in her journal and transcribed to her computer she just can;t get them uploaded. It is also midterm testing already so she will have less 'free' computer time. She will post as soon as possible. Keep an eye out for photos soon to come as well!
thank you all for following Sarah's journey!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

May 31, 2011 lalalalala Homework

We got up at 7:30 today and I had a yogurt for breakfast before heading to the library. On the way in CiaoCiao, very excitedly, greeted me with, “Bongerno, Ciao Ciao!” Haha he makes my day.
It takes a long time to type up blogs. While I was working I got a cappuccino….I have lost track of how many I get in one day. I worked until I met with my partner at 11:30. We worked on our presentation for a while. She didn’t feel well so I hope she will be in class tomorrow so I don’t present alone.
When Jill and Ashley went on lunch break from their class, I went with them. They got CiaoCiao’s and I got a kebob from across the street. I then tried calling my mom. She has surgery today and I wanted to talk to her. Unfortunately, we were disconnected after only a few minutes.
Since I had an hour to kill before class, I decided to sketch. I chose to sketch the main fountain in town. By the end it looked pretty good.
Class was from 3:00-6:45 and it was rough. The material is interesting but we had the lights off and the windows shut. My professor also has a relaxing voice which, today, made me sleepy. Halfway though we opened the windows and walked around a bit. After class, the girls and I went shopping and stocked up on food. No cute guys or old ladies though.
The plan for tonight is dinner and homework. I am very tired and will probably crash early. The Italian way of life is exhausting. Ciao.

May 30, 2011- "I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday." ~Author Unknown

Today was about as plain as you can get in Italy. I had a lot of homework so I got up at 7:30, long before my roommates. I crept around and got ready. I arrived at the school at 8 but didn’t realize that they dont open until 9. So I sat outside the door working until they opened.
From 9-11:15 I did research on Marinetti, futurism and fascism in the library. Class went from 11:15 to 2:45 with a half hour break. It was fun. I am really enjoying this class and am learning a lot about the things that we glossed over in previous classes. We watched the end of the Mussolini movie and moved into Neo-realism. This is the type of movie , literature and art that occurred after WWII. Instead of having big stars playing well-off middle class people, normal people played in movies that portrayed the reality of poverty and hardship. For Wednesday, I have to get in a group and make up a presentation.
After class I came back to the room to do laundry and homework. Ashley’s allergies are bothering her so she was sleeping. I had leftover salad while writing my Renaissance Art paper.
Later when Jill got home, the three of us made pasta with tomato sauce and ricotta for dinner. This will be our meals for the next week. The two of them went to class. I was restless so I cleaned the apartment, did another load of laundry, made my bed and did some homework.
I also did some sketching which I have gotten into again after years of leaving it behind. In Rome I sketched 2 windows that I thought looked interesting and today I sketched 2 mugs and a tea pot. When I have time, I hope to sit outside and do some fountains and buildings.
I just showered and plan on typing up my journals for my blog and heading to bed. Long day of presentation planning and class tomorrow.
Loving life.

May 29, 2011- Rome- "I would never want to miss this, cause in my heart I know what this is....this is what dreams are made of." - Hilary Duff - Lizzie McGuire Movie

Oh you know, I only went to Rome today. No big deal.

It was SO AMAZING. It was a whole day of “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moments. After getting up at 4:45 am and arriving in Rome at 9 we went to the coliseum first.

Yup, it didn’t feel like real life. I never thought I would actually see it in person….I still don’t think it has sunk in. It was so beautiful and even more impressive in person. The time and effort it took to create something so large without machines or electricity is inconceivable. The Romans did everything there from gladiators to filling it with water and staging navel battles. We wanted to get out picture taken with one of the many gladiators walking around but they are known to scam you for money.
Outside the coliseum is the arch of Constantine.

Arches were made for important people in Rome. Later we saw the arch of Titus. After meeting up we walked the path the soldiers took when coming back from war making our way into the Palentine.

We saw the area that had the statues of the 7 virgins of Rome. The women were in charge of keeping the fire of Rome lit. They had to vow to remain virgins and in return they were treated like royalty. However, if they broke their vow, they were chained up for life and given only bread and water.

We then went to see the staircase Michelangelo built, along with the beautiful buildings around it. Two giant figures stood on with side of the fountain in the center of the building. Statues lined the roofs of the surrounding buildings. One of the girls in our group tried to climb onto the statue to get a picture. The second she attempted it, a whistle blew from a police officer nearby. They see everything.
Walking down the staircase was a disaster waiting to happen. It wasn’t really a stair case but it wasn’t really a ramp either. They were like slanted steps. We crossed a lot of crazy Italian traffic. Drivers here are much crazier then back home but they are also more patient. There is rarely a honking of a horn or shouting from the window. They just patiently wait for things to clear or move. After getting across all the traffic I turned around.
There stood the largest and most beautiful building I have ever seen. Up on a small grassy incline stood the capital building, practically glowing white in the hot Italian sun. Long and tall with pillars and statues surrounding it, my jaw literally dropped and a hushed “oh wow,” escaped my lips. I can’t even describe how awe struck I was.
From there we continued down the hectic and confusing streets making our way to the Trevi Fountain.

This is what I have been waiting for. The figures in the fountain stood tall and strong; men built for battle and horses burst from the base of the fountain while lady figures stood up the sides watching. I am very into wishing and this is the place to so it. If you have ever seen The Lizzie McGuire Movie (I grew up with this show and Hilary Duff) she goes to Rome and makes a wish in the Trevi Fountain. From there she meets a pop icon and becomes famous. So all day I was singing “What dreams are made of” from that movie and saying I would meet a pop star and live happily ever after. Jill and Ashley rolled their eyes every time. Ashley and Jill wished first then it was my turn. Just as I was thinking about my wish (I take wishes very seriously), Ashley yells, “It’s 11:11!!!” That’s right ladies and gentlemen; I made a wish at the Trevi Fountain at 11:11….now THAT is the ultimate wish. One coin means you will return to Rome, two means you will find true love and three means you will marry your true love. I will leave you in suspense for how many I threw.
We then had free time for lunch. We got pizza and sat on the step and watched the fountain as we ate. We walked around the shops and I bought a post card and keychain to remember Rome by.
Next we went to a nearby Piazza that was very popular. It had three large fountains, painters and street performers. One of the street performers was painted like a statue and only moved to freak people out. We were told to use the restrooms before we left because it would be a long time before we would be able to do it again. The problem was there aren’t any public restrooms and you cant use a café restroom unless you are buying something. But our professor insisted that we go. So we casually strolled into a business until we realized it was just a weird wine bar thing with no bathroom….everyone just stared at us. We tried a different one and saw a sign for bathrooms upstairs. We ran up, used the men and women’s room to save time and ran out while avoiding eye contact.
By this point in the day, we were so thirsty. Luckily, the water in fountain in Italy is good to drink. So Ashley and I filled up in one of the big fountains. It tasted so cold and good.
We then made the long and hot trek to the Vatican and Sistine chapel. Unfortunately, the chapel was closed because it was Sunday (as are most things on Sunday in Italy) so we got into line for the Vatican.

I have never seen a line so long out in the hot sun before. The line was for security to get in. Once inside, all my awe-struck moments of the day were blown away.

Statues bigger than houses covered the walls, famous painting were scattered and everything was marble. Michelangelo’s last piece of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus after his death was there.

And I saw it. Wow. The amount of marble and gold in the place was incredible.
After killing two hours shopping around Rome (I got more presents for my family) we got on the bus and made the 2.5 hours journey home.
My feet were torn apart, sore and dirty from the longest and hottest day of walking I had ever had. We had leftover salad for dinner but added a mix of beans for protein. I took a hot shower to sooth my muscles and feet. I happily got into bed and now I am going to get some sleep.
This can’t be real life.