This week is technically “midterm” week for us. So we’ve been really busy with site visits all week and tomorrow we have a midterm reading.
Before I get into the super exciting adventures of today, I’ll catch everyone up on the past week!
So Monday we went to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel was gorgeous and since my roommate Maddy was presenting on it, I learned a lot of cool facts from her! For instance, in one of the paintings on the ceiling, in the Creation of Adam, there is a human brain hidden. Michelangelo was apparently fascinated with the human body and how it worked so he liked to incorporate that into his paintings. Neat huh? The picture on the left is of the Last Judgement and the one on the right is of the ceiling. Also, you are not aloud to take pictures inside the chapel but…..can you keep a secret? Don’t tell anyone but I took a couple sneaky shots! Shhhhh….
The Vatican Museums were huge! There was so much to see I couldn’t even appreciate it fully because there was so much. I definitely know we saw it all though because Maddy and I got so lost and turned around we went through the Sistine Chapel twice and saw different things on both trips. So we did lots of walking. My favorite part of the entire tour was the ceilings. They are so intricately carved or painted or sculpted but they have so much detail, I can’t comprehend the amount of effort and creativity it took to do them.
I also really like some of the paintings I saw. In one room, there were multiple paintings of the moon in different phases. The astronomy nerd in me loved this. Then there were two paintings pretty close together that I loved. You might think they are a little gruesome, and they are but I think they’re interesting. In one picture it depicts a zebra being bitten by a cheetah. Now at a previous museum, I had seen a marble sculpture of a horse being bitten by a lion. In both cases, the horse and zebra aren’t wearing the right facial expressions. The bites they are receiving are so vivid and grotesque that the expressions they carry don’t match. They just seem more dazed and shocked than in intense pain.
The other picture is a tiger being attacked by the lion. Now in this picture, the tiger is definitely wearing the right expression. He looks scared, shocked, pained, etc. I think it’s interesting because it makes me think of the dynamic in power struggles. The horse and zebra didn’t have the right expression because the lion and tiger were so much stronger than either of them. So they weren’t really struggling and they weren’t fighting back. But since the tiger and lion fighting are a bit more equal in strength, the tiger fights back. It’s just interesting to see the different types of power struggles and their responses.
Wow. Where did all the come from?
Okay, moving on. After, the museums, we had class and then…I GOT DRENCHED. You would think a rain jacket would prevent you from getting soaked, but that walk home was rough. Every piece of clothing on me was soaking wet. On top of that, my purse strap broke. Happy Monday right? All this means is that now I get to go shopping for a new purse. YAY.
Tuesday, we went back to the Vatican, but into St. Peter’s Basilica. This church is one of the largest churches in the world. It is huge. After standing in line in the rain for a few hours, we finally got in and it is massive. Just walking around, it seems like it never ends. BUT. I honestly was not super amazed. Yes it is absolutely stunning. Yes it is the largest church I have ever been in. But I felt like it was just ehh. Whether it was because I was exhausted from seeing so many other churches already and everything has started to blend, or whether it was because all the tourists were being loud and taking selfies more than actually being quiet and respecting the church, who knows. Don’t get me wrong, I did really like it; I just didn’t think it was as amazing as everyone has built it up to be.
Wednesday, we went to the Villa Farnesina which is really close to where we all live in Trastevre and has some paintings from Raphael. These paintings or frescoes were really interesting. I could literally stare at it for an hour and not get bored. There were some of the most random paintings and I had a lot of fun finding weird things in them. For instance, in one room, painted on the ceiling is a woman looking off into the distance with a wistful look on her face. But if you look down into her hand, she is carrying a head. Just a head. With a really horrified look on his face. Then there were other hidden things. A centaur, a Sphinx, etc.
Now I am at today. Thursday. The day I relived my childhood dream. I went to TIVOLI! Now for those of you who have lived under a rock, Tivoli is the place where Lizzie McGuire and Paolo went on a date. Walked behind a waterfall, ran beside some fountains, the whole ten yards. Today was the best.
Let me backtrack. We first went to Hadrian’s Villa, or the Villa Adriana, which is basically the ruins of what were once his villa and the gardens surrounding it. It was really beautiful but I think I would have enjoyed it more if the buildings were still there. The ruins were cool, but it was hard to picture what it once looked like in its pristine condition.
Then we went to Tivoli. Within Tivoli is the Villa D’Este which is the gardens where the Lizze McGuire movie was partially shot. These gardens are without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever been. It is so tranquil and it seems effortless in how it was built. But everything has it’s place and for good reason. Everything fits perfectly exactly where they are. We explored here for a few hours and I had so much just living a fairy tale life for a little bit. I wish I could have stayed there forever. I have a new goal. Find a way to make enough
money to be able to construct my own Villa D’Este gardens. Challenge accepted.
Tomorrow is our midterm reading which is where we just read a piece of writing we’ve done so far. Then we have a luncheon and then our week break starts!!
I realize that some of you may want to know what I have been writing, so I will write another post tomorrow with some of things I’ve been working on.
On another note, I finally fixed my international phone and I got to hear my wonderful Gramma’s voice and it made my week!
Oh and on another note, I think I broke our washer.