Arrival

Let me bring you up to speed as with being here for not so long so much has already happened. First let me introduce you to my home stay family which consists of my dad Luigi a retired soldier and Licia a stay at home wife. They have been married for 48 years and have 3 children who now have children themselves around their twenties. Luigi speaks English while Licia only speaks Italian meaning I get to practice a lot. Also at my home stay is my now friend Jasmine who attends UCSD and is also here for the quarter. She is a linguistics major and has studied Italian which has made interacting with out host family the more fun. What we usually do when hanging out with our host family is eat dinner with them which is usually around 8. In Italy people eat dinner late compared to the U.S. While we eat, which includes great wine we watch tv either the news or my new favorite guessing show. Licia cooks amazing food and gives me the opportunity to try authentic Roman dishes. Here in Rome I am studying at a study center meaning only other UC students where I have befriended a group of lovely ladies.

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Site visits

Salve! Within my program here in Rome they offer the opportunity of site visits which are usually lead by professors. Meaning you get a specialist in the field to tell you all the history behind these sites. The first site we went to visit was Ostia Antica an archeological site which has preserved ancient buildings. Similar to what Pompeii would of been before it’s mass destruction. It was awesome to see that although we lived in such different times people relatively enjoyed and live the same way as us. Such as going to stores to buy items and going to a theater/stadium for entertainment. 

Another ruin we visited was the Banditaccia Necropolis which is an ancient Etruscan city. People excavate the tombs illegally to obtain objects like pottery and jewelry. A famous piece from this site would be the Sacrophagus of the Spouses. This piece is considered an Etruscan masterpiece made out of terracotta, depicting a married couple reclining with each other in the after life. The Eutruscan would bury their loved ones next to their own cities in these hut like houses or in urns. 

Lastly, we went to visit la Villa Giulia and Cerveteri museum. Both of these museums hold prominent pieces with ties to the U.S. For example, the Museum of Cerveteri which now holds the Euphronios Krater which was claimed back from the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Where it was viewed by millions and now it’s viewed by about fifteen people every other day. It is really interesting to visit these sites, since these are the topics we discuss about in class. It truly feels like the art is just in our backyard. 

Arrivederci! Thank you for joining my small lecture 

The creation of Adam

Ciao a tutti! Well from my previous post you read how I got the chance to visit the Vatican museum. Where I admired some of the worlds most beautiful art. In the Vatican Museum lies the Sistine Chapel where on it’s ceiling has world class painter Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam”. I was absolute breath taken with such a view and mind blown to actually see it in person. I have always had an interest in this specific painting not only because I am religious but because for once I felt like a painting had an actual meaning to me. 

With less than a week of visiting the Sistine Chapel I knew I wanted to get the creation of Adam tattooed. So I did… 

I have always wanted to get a tattoo but just have never gotten around to do it. To which I never knew understood why since I am not afraid of needles and my parents never disapproved. I guess you can say the timing just felt right and I had no doubt in my mind.   

The meaning behind my tattoo is my relationship with God. I would say I’m pretty religious but sometimes stray away from the church because I’m too busy or just too lazy to go. Yet being here in Italy I now go three times a week for mass and catechism classes. This has made me realize how much I have missed my bond with God. So my tattoo is just kind of my reminder, no not to go to church all the time but that God is always in my life. Besides the religious aspect, I also view my tattoo, it being cropped to only the hands as simple human contact. Another small reminder that I not only have God in my life to depend on but other people and that I do not have to deal with everything alone. 

Il Vaticano

This weekend I got the chance to visit the Vatican which is definitely a must being in Rome. I secretly hoped to see the Pope while being there but I did not want to get my hopes up. I’m assuming God heard my prayers because lo and behold he gave a speech that day. (And no I didn’t actually pray although it was a great experience getting to see the pope) After hearing the pope speak we went to the Vatican Museum. 

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I never thought that someone like me can truly appreciate art but being around and talking about it so much it’s quite hard to not find the beauty in it. I guess you can say I fail to understand the complex interpretations of art so I avoid it all together. With visiting the Vatican Museum I got the chance to see one of the worlds biggest art collections. Even just the rooms the art is in is beautiful. One piece that definitely caught my eye was the statue of Laocoön and His Sons which we had talked about previously in my art crime class. 

To give you a brief summary this marble sculpture was excavated in Rome 1506. This sculpture depicts a scene form the epic Aeneid where the Trojan priest Laocoon and his two sons are killed by giant snakes. 

The story goes that Laocoon was a Trojan priest who tried to warn the Trojans to not bring in the horse in case it was a trap. Athena being a protector of the Greeks punished Laocoon and his sons for this act. 

Another fun adventure here in Rome… Arrivederci! 

Una Passeggiata

Ciao ragazzi! This week in Italy I visited a lot of turisti stops. Although the turisti spots are beautiful like the Trevi fountain the overwhelming crowds and people taking photos kind of ruins the illusion and it’s quite unbearable to be there for too long. I would add that I find it more exciting to be in a regular Italian neighborhood. 

The Trevi Fountain is just as beautiful as I imagined. It is such a spectacular view both day and night. In case you we were wondering yes I threw a coin in the fountain. Another place I visited was piazza del Popolo which was basically where the gates to enter Rome were. As soon as you walk in you see two twin churches and an obelisk brought all the way from Egypt. After we walked from pizza del Popolo to Piazza de España. In piazza de Espana you’ll find a lot of high end fashion stores such a Gucci and Valentino to name the few. Also in this piazza you’ll find the Spanish steps.

Another very popular place full of history is the Pantheon. Here is where the first two kings of Italy are buried. I find it quite nice how wherever you walk in Italy you are close to something worth visiting. After seeing the Pantheon me and my friend Jasmine wanted to relax and this is where I purchased my first alcoholic drink since I’m only 19 and can not do it back in the states. The drink I got is called spritz which is a popular drink here in Italy. 

Arrivederci! I hope you enjoyed reading all of my little adventures in one. 

Tivoli

Ciao ragazzi! Rome is truly a city rich in history, there is not one second where I am not learning something new. This week I got the chance to visit Tivoli which is slightly outside of Rome. Let me share my new found knowledge with you, during ancient times in Rome if you were “somebody” you owned a villa in Tivoli which you would used during the summer since it would be too hot to be in Rome. This is why there is so many villas in Tivoli. The one we went to see is listed under UNESCO world heritage site and is called Villa d’Este.

The original church to which he added the villa to it

One of many amazing views of the towns built around the villas 

This villa is popular for its renaissance gardens and many fountains. This villa was constructed during the 16th century by cardinal d’Este who came from a powerful aristocratic family. His overall goal was to become Pope but with his family having control of most things in the city, having them also control the church through their son is what cost him the opportunity to be Pope. Although, it can now be said he left more of a legacy with his Villa. 

For those of you who have watched the Lizzie McGuire yes this is where Paolo took Lizzie during one of their adventures. So yeah I have lived my childhood dream minus my Paolo. For those of you who have not watched this movie this is quite awkward.

Arrivederci! Until the the next adventure….

Arrival

Let me bring you up to speed as with being here for not so long so much has already happened. First let me introduce you to my home stay family which consists of my dad Luigi a retired soldier and Licia a stay at home wife. They have been married for 48 years and have 3 children who now have children themselves around their twenties. Luigi speaks English while Licia only speaks Italian meaning I get to practice a lot. Also at my home stay is my now friend Jasmine who attends UCSD and is also here for the quarter. She is a linguistics major and has studied Italian which has made interacting with out host family the more fun. What we usually do when hanging out with our host family is eat dinner with them which is usually around 8. In Italy people eat dinner late compared to the U.S. While we eat, which includes great wine we watch tv either the news or my new favorite guessing show. Licia cooks amazing food and gives me the opportunity to try authentic Roman dishes. Here in Rome I am studying at a study center meaning only other UC students where I have befriended a group of lovely ladies.

Anywhere you are in Rome there is something always worth seeing such as this spectacular view five minutes away from the study center. Not only do I have classes but I also have the chance to take cultural tours such as cooking classes or market tastings offered by the center. Farmers markets are more economical than in America and more popular than supermarkets. Remember when I told you there is always something to see, across one of the markets is Circus Maximus. Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot stadium used during the 6th century BCE. With only a week and a half in Rome I can’t wait to see not only more of Rome but other Italian cities. Arrivederci!