Tag Archives: campidoglio

Buone Feste & Arrivaderci!

My last week in Rome was filled with last dinners, final exhibitions, packing and Christmas shopping.

On Sunday I headed out to the Porta Portese flee market again to pick up some things for friends. Unfortunately, it was too early for the Christmas markets to open. Although, Rome does seem to be getting into the holiday spirit! There are Christmas lights stretched across alley ways and garlands in the store fronts. They also began selling Christmas ornaments in the Campo and down Via del Pellegrino. But to be honest, I am really excited to spend the holidays in Seattle and California. I can’t wait!

On Tuesday night Leish and I had our farewell to each other dinner in Trastevere at Otello. Yum, yum, yum. It was a great way to send her off (to Amsterdam and the Wok to Walk). On Wednesday morning she left for the airport. Don’t worry though! We have plans to see each other in Seattle next week.

As far as the final exhibitions go, the architecture students converted the conference room into a gallery space for their show on Wednesday night. While the rest of the Rome Center was a complete mess with their scraps of paper and cardboard, the conference room looked lovely. I wish I had the ability to understand their advanced architectural renderings, but I did enjoy the sketchbooks they had on display.


Architecture Student Sketchbook

On Friday it was the art program’s turn. They used both the conference room, all the classrooms on the first floor, the two small classrooms on the third floor and the medieval tower for their exhibition. There was artwork all over the building. I think I took a photo of every single piece. Some of my favorites were the angel mobile by RaShelle, the horse by Gini, the erased Colosseum by Sam, the chandelier by Kate and everything by Stefanie. (You can see all of these in my facebook album.)

Art girls in front of Stefanie's grafiti piece.

Roberto, the door man, came up to see the exhibition and his favorite was a distorted image of Christ by Ashton. If you stand in a particular spot, the image compresses into its correct perspective. Roberto went on and on about it while I translated. I really like Ashton’s work as well. In fact, I bought a small watercolor that she painted while in Murano, a small island near Venice. It was hard for Ashton to part with, but I’m glad she did!

Ashton's watercolor of Murano

On Saturday, I ran around taking care of last minute things. For example, I went to the biscottificio (cookie store) in Trastevere to pick up some fresh cookies to bring to Chad when I land in Seattle. In the evening, I went out to dinner near the Colosseum with the girls from the food program. We had a wonderful dinner with shared appetizers. We also shared our pasta dishes by passing around plates and trading bites. Afterward, we took a long walk around the city through the Campidoglio and then to enjoy the Christmas lights. Rome is so beautiful this time of year.

Christmas lights down an alley in Rome.

We got home kind of late and it was originally my plan to stay awake until I had to catch a cab at 4:00am to the airport, but I am feeling pretty sleepy and I think I may get an hour or two of shut eye before I start the long journey home. See you all tomorrow!!!!!!!

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Dana in the Land of Pizza

The Campidoglio at sunset

The Campidoglio at sunset

Dana came to visit Leisha and me this past week. She was a nanny in Spain, but it didn’t work out, so she did a “nanny and dash” and headed to Rome. She arrived on Wednesday night and we took her to all the sights in the neighborhood: the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Trevi Fountain.

On Thursday morning while Leisha and I were at work, Dana and Joey bonded while visiting the Vatican Museums together. As I suspected Joey’s favorite part was the map room. I suppose getting kicked out of the Sistine Chapel was pretty memorable as well! That night we went back to the bar in Trastevere and had another giraffa of beer together.

Day of Morbidity: Jenn, Dana, Joey and I in front of the Capuchin Crypt

Day of Morbidity: Jenn, Dana, Joey and I in front of the Capuchin Crypt

Joey designated Friday as the “Day of Morbidity” and forced us all to dress in black. Then he took us on a surprise adventure to Parrochia Sacro Cuore in Prati, a small Neo-Gothic church near Castel Sant’ Angelo. There is a small Purgatory Museum here with objects marked by people stuck in purgatory. They burn hand prints into bibles so that people will pray for their souls. The creepiest one was an altar that caught on fire and a face was charred into the frame.

Capuchin Crypt

Capuchin Crypt

That evening Joey and I escorted Dana and Jenn to yet another surprise location to bring an end to the day of creepiness. We took them to the Capuchin crypt where bones are arranged decoratively. The sign in the final room reads, “What you are now, we were once. What we are now, you will be.” To lighten up the mood a little, we visited the Spanish steps and Piazza del Popolo.

Saturday was Leisha’s last day of work so Jenn, Joey and I met Leisha and Dana down at the Colosseum. We walked along the forum and up to the Campidoglio before having dinner at the worst Irish pub ever.

Joey, Dana and Leisha at the Colosseum

Joey, Dana and Leisha at the Colosseum

On Sunday Dana and I woke up at the crack of dawn to experience St. Peter’s before mass started, before the hour of tourists dawned and before the heat set in. It was wonderful to get there so early because it seemed like the basilica was ours alone. We even saw the Pietá without having to elbow through the crowd. After seeing the church from the ground level, we climbed the hundreds of stairs up the cupola. Dana kept saying, “Slow and steady wins the race.” And sure enough, we made it. First we walked along the inside of the dome where we saw the mosaics up close and personal and heard the Sunday sermon echo through the building. After a few more stairs we were on top of the dome enjoying the view of city and examining our sweat stains. Dana won.

View of Piazza San Pietro from the top of the Dome

View of Piazza San Pietro from the top of the Dome

After the church I went with Joey and Jenn to the Porta Portese flea market. It is here that I was swindled. There was a pet store booth selling bunnies, guinea pigs, love birds and all sorts of furry friends. Being me, I naturally bought a companion for my year here in Rome. He is a miniature turtle about the size of a silver dollar. When we got back to the apartment, I was excited and began looking up information about caring for my new pet. I quickly found a website with some sobering news. “There is no such thing as a miniature turtle. If you were sold a turtle under this pretense, then you have been fooled. Your turtle is a baby and it will grow.” UH OH. In other news, my soon-to-be-gigantic turtle still has no name. Please vote below to help me choose one for my friend.

Turtle without a name

Turtle without a name

After the market, Leisha met up with us and we all watched Amelie on the big screen lying on my mattress in the middle of the conference room underneath the air conditioner. Afterwards we shared a few beers in the Campo before saying goodbye to Leisha and Dana. They will be traveling in Italy and Spain together for two weeks. Then Dana will fly home and Leisha will become my roommate.

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