It’s been a couple days since my last post, but I had a good reason! I’m leaving Rome for the next five days so I wanted to be able to leave you all with something while I’m gone! Our class is having a field trip to Bomarzo, San Gimignano, and Siena! Then we’re going to Florence for the weekend!
So starting from where I left off of my last post, I am no longer as stressed as I was last week, and I had some retail therapy which helped a lot! H&M has the cutest clothes here and I bought six blouses for a fairly decent price! I also tried my very first Cannoli! After watching Cake Boss, I always wanted to try one, and what better place than in Rome? I was slightly disappointed when I could taste alcohol in it; tasted kind of like Bailey’s, but it was still good. Once we were done with our shopping extravaganza, I had my first taste at the Italian night life.
Yes, I Karly went out on a Friday night. To a club. And, I didn’t hate it. I’m actually really happy that this was my first experience going to a club; it looked like the clubs you see in movies, which was really exciting. It felt like a cave almost, because part of it was underground and then there were all these different levels to it with lots of pretty lights. It did seem to be more of an older crowd there; pretty sure the people our age were the people in our group. So that was a little creepy. Just so my Gramma has some peace of mind, I was with a bunch of people from my program. AND I didn’t drink at all. So I was being safe Gramma, I promise!
Saturday, we had a very chill day, I think we only left our apartment to go get groceries. I need days like that though. I’m not used to being around people all the time so I need to recuperate every so often. I think being in this situation is definitely helping my people skills and with being more social, but it honestly is just mentally exhausting for me and I need to recharge every so often. Thankfully, most of my friends understand this. I mean, we are English majors for a reason; we prefer books over awkward social engagements.
Sunday, was Rome’s birthday celebration! Today is technically Rome’s birthday, but the festivities were on Sunday. I’m not sure if I really enjoyed everything, but at lease I now know how Rome celebrates. One thing I did learn, there is a thing worse than the Seafair Pirates. Roman Parades. My biggest fear are the Seafair Pirates, but this took the cake. Seriously, this parade brought back so many traumatic memories and I was trying not to have a mental breakdown in front of my friends. Yes, it is an irrational fear, but…well let’s just say I was thankful to be wearing sunglasses.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m scared senseless of the Seafair Pirates. But at least with them, they pass by once and then the nightmare is over. However, with the parade I witnessed Sunday, there are worse things. The parade is basically a long line of gladiators from different legions intermixed with female dancers. They walk from the Circus Maximus to the Colosseum. So here I am, walking along and mindlessly watching, when out of nowhere, two gladiators come charging with their spears at these two ladies just ahead of me. NOPE. Cue the tears, cue the nervous shaking, cue the rapid heartbeats; cue panic attack. I literally couldn’t walk for a minute, I was shaking so badly. What’s worse, is that every legion has multiple gladiators who do this. So the chances of this happening to me were a lot higher than the Seafair Pirates grabbing me and traumatizing me with their swords and cannons. Thankfully, they did not come near me, or I might have just stopped breathing then and there.
After the parade, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. I know I know, we celebrate Rome’s birthday by eating American food. But it was pretty good and I had to make my cousin Parker jealous. So it was worth it. 🙂 Once we were done with lunch, we went back to the Circus Maximus where the terrifying gladiators from before reenacted Rome’s history. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really into the reenactments, but I did like the Vestal Virgin’s dancing in the beginning. That was nice.
Yesterday, we did a medieval church walk! We went to the Santa Maria church, the San Chrysogonus Church, and San Cecilia church.
The first church, Santa Maria, was probably my favorite! From the outside, it doesn’t look that amazing aesthetically, but once you go inside, you basically enter a whole other world. All behind the main alter, is a HUGE mosaic. It is vibrantly gold, and you could just stare at it for hours. I love how intricate and detailed everything is. No one takes the time for things like this anymore and it’s a shame. One of the other things I found really interesting in this church was one of the side alters. It gave the illusion of being another mini church, complete with two rows of columns down each side. I liked it because it made me think of a church within a church.
At the second church, San Chrysogonus, it wasn’t as extravagant as Santa Maria in the sense that it didn’t have a lot of gold in the painting behind the alter. It was still gorgeous, but felt more somber, and had darker tones to it. The coolest part about this church is that it still had part of the original underground structure below, and we got to go into it! Medieval churches have a lot of layers to them, as they make additions to the church over time. So this was neat to be able to see what the original part of the church looked like. It was a lot bigger than I expected, with remnants of paintings and engravings on the stone, so I could kind of picture what it might have looked like long ago.
The final church we went into was San Cecilia. One thing that stood out to me here was that the columns of the nave in this one were square in form and looked like fabric almost. The other ones were circular and made of marble, so the contrast in the church caught my eye. I love staring at the ceilings of all these churches because it just amazes me how much thought people put into their churches. Everything they did, whether it was the structure of the building or the paintings on the ceiling, everything was well planned. My favorite part of this church was one of the side alters. It was a picture of an alter and the columns around the alter kept getting smaller and smaller, making the alter seem as if it was really far away.
The best part of all of these churches is that they are all distinctly different. They all have common themes and similar structures, but each one has multiple things that are unique to that specific church and that is what I like the most.
After our church walk, my roommates and I went to my favorite place, the Villa Pamphili park! I can’t get enough of it, especially these trees!! While the roomies did homework I basically laid out in the sun and took a nap. I am happily gaining a little color (not getting burnt!) but I’m slowly getting a tan.
Which brings me to today. We went to the museum at the Palazzo Massimo, which was the National Museum of Rome. This was actually one of the more interesting museums we’ve been to. The sculptures were a lot more interesting, partially due to the fact that they weren’t the same like the other ones I’ve seen. There was one sculpture of Dionysus but it was two heads. One head was him as a young boy and the other was him once he became a grown man. I had never seen a sculpture like that, so it stuck out at me. I also really like all of the Sarcophagi. They are much more elaborate and detailed than anything we would have nowadays. Each sarcophagi has a story on the side that is specific to the person in the coffin, and has so much detail, it is hard to see everything. Being able to look at the carvings and see the story being told helps to learn about the person that was once inside of the coffin.
Now, that I have summed up the last five days, I have exciting news about the future! I’m going to Greece in two weeks! My roommate Maddy and I are going to the island of Santorini and I am so excited to explore and go to the beach and just relax. Finally crossing the number one thing off my bucket list!!! Greece!!!
Now, I must go try to pack everything I want to take for five days in a small bag. Yikes.