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Lauren: Week two

July 1, 2011

It has officially been two weeks since I arrived in the Eternal City!  I know I said I was feeling homesick—that feeling has passed (although I do wish I could be home to help out my mother, who broke her ankle two days ago.

I have had many more adventures since visiting the Colosseum.  We were supposed to have a field trip to Tivoli on Friday, but while we were at the Roman Forum the day before my art history professor, Pia, became sick, so the trip was postponed.  My roommates and I instead used Friday and a large part of Saturday to catch up on rest!  We also visited Villa Borghese (a park shaped in a heart—comparable in atmosphere to New York’s Central Park).

Sunday was a very exhausting, yet funfilled day.  In the morning, we traveled with my art class to the ancient city of Ostia Antica.  In its prime, the city served as Rome’s harbour for imports, and was then located on the banks of the Tiber River.  It is said to have been founded in the 7th century, and grew to be home to almost 50,000 citizens!  The experience was very interesting, although the tour we were on did get a little long…the 90 degree weather and lack of shade was very tiring!


Because Ostia is close to the coast, we then traveled 10 minutes to the Mediterranean Sea, where we swam in the refreshing water and tried to relax at the very crowded beach for several hours.  I didn’t much enjoy the salt water, but it was very nice to cool down from all the heat.

That night we went to one of our favorite restaurants in Rome, Tony’s, where we have become regular customers.  They spoil us at Tony’s, with free bread, free italian ice, and even free limoncello!  Plus they have amazing food!  We have gone there 3 times in two weeks, and I have a feeling we will be there many more times before the trip is over!  After dinner, we went to Scholar’s Pub, an irish bar that attracts many American students due to the fact that they have Karaoke on Tuesday and Sunday nights. Needless to say, it was a good time.

Fireworks for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Monday was a day of rest in which I finally got around to watching Gladiator.  The battle sequences that occurred in the Colosseum gave me chills.  It’s crazy to imagine that people used to watch these warriors kill for entertainment!

Tuesday involved a guest speaker, James Walston, in my Italian Communications class.  An expert in Italian Politics, James told us many interesting facts about current situations in the country and also about their current (controversial) prime minister, Bersculoni.  Turns out he owns/controls most of the media here, so newspapers, magazines, and even television programs are all very bias (in favor of him).  It astonishes me that this is the case – just imagine if Obama had the same control!

Wednesday was a very religious holiday in Rome celebrating the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, so much of the city was closed.  I was supposed to go to a mass led by the Pope at the Vatican that morning, but due to a severely annoying miscommunication that was unable to happen. That night, however, a group of us went out to dinner at a Spaghetteria, where we had some of our best food since arriving!  We made sure to inform our waiters that we will be returning in the near future!  That night in honor of the holiday there were amazing fireworks!

Today I visited an ancient Palace in the middle of the city, in which the original owners still live, having had it passed down through their families for generations upon generations.  Today, the palace serves as both living quarters for the remaining family members and a private gallery. It was absolutely beautiful!

Tomorrow I am going to Naples/Pompeii with my Art History class, which I am really excited for.  We then are planning on staying in Sorrento for the night and going to Capri for a day trip!  I can’t wait to see the Blue Grotto.  Seriously, google “Capri Blue Grotto” – you will be amazed!

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