Sunday, January 29, 2012

The 8 Pack.

Day 16.

So far I have talked about the culture, the city, the food and of course the fountains. But I haven't mentioned a huge part of my life here. I am living in an 8 person apartment, which our professor named the 8 pack on the first night when we couldnt seem to find our way anywhere. From the left, Emily, Me, Trilbey, Maggie, Dana and Britt. Not in this picture are Sara and Renee, I think they were on photo duty. We all went out to Trastevere for the night for Danas 21st birthday which was a ton of fun. We are all very different, with different expectations of our abroad experience and for the most part in different groups at school. It has been so much fun getting to know all of them and has made this experience interesting to say the least! All I can say is that there have been a lot of laughs in this group and we all are here for a great time. Living with 7 other girls in one apartment is definitely different but we have tons of fun together. Mostly its just a lot of giggling about everything that goes on, but as many of you know, laughing is one of my favorite things, and this group really is great. 

Sassy Statue

Day 15.

Today was a day to relax, gather my thoughts and go for a walk by myself and  take some pcitures. After walking for a  bit I found myself back at Ponte Sant'Angelo, which is one of my favorite spots. It was late afternoon, the sun was beginning to set and there was this golden light settling over the bridge. I captured this image, because I love the statues but after looking through them on my camera I fell in love with this one, because either she is giving someone the finger, or is just really sassy. Its like she is saying "Talk to the hand" when she is in reality some beautiful statue that I just caught at a bad angle. Either way, it made me giggle and she is definitely my kind of statue. 

Piazza Cavour

Day 14.

Every day, we head off to school either on foot or on the bus and we pass this beautiful park. For the first two weeks of our trip it has been guarded with fences, caution tape and looked completely off limits. Today as I rode the 280 to school I wondered if we would be able to enjoy it, or if it would still be closed when we left. Well, on the way home from school the park was ready. It seemed that it had been put up, or renovated almost overnight, and I thought to myself, "...well that was quick". Nothing in Massachusetts, or even really on the HWS campus goes up that quickly! The piazza is gorgeous, there is a big center statue, but lots of lush green grass (that apparently grows overnight?) and benches. I settled myself on steps looking out at the piazza and sketched the big statue while eating some delicious fragole gelato. It was a lovely afternoon, and I was very glad that the renovations were over and that we will have plenty of time to enjoy it in our 3 months here. 

Mimi e Coco

Day 13.

Our area around school is teeming with little places to eat, drink, grab a gelato or an espresso. It is so nice to walk around and pick somewhere to eat after class if we dont feel like going home and cooking. One of my favorite places, that I have already been to a couple of times is Mimi e Coco, a little restaurant with FANTASTIC pizza. I love the pizza parma, which has proscuitto on it, but fell in love with the mushroom pizza the other girls got. Although we all live together it is really nice to go out and relax and laugh about class, how horrible our italian is, and eat together without actually having to cook for ourselves. 

Piazza Navona

Day 12.

After class half of our group headed to our professor's apartment for wine and snacks to get to know the 2 HWS professors we are here with. It was really nice to be able to get to know Professors Makker and Bulson while not in class or at a site, but to relax and just chat. After our apertivos I headed towards Piazza Navona, which is a beautiful piazza near our Italian school with 3 gorgeous fountains. I love this piazza because unlike a lot of fountains, this one is only lit from underwater, which is pretty cool at night. I snapped this photo because, there are so many things in the fountain besides the large statues at the top. I loved this fish, because it looks like it has the biggest smile on its face as its splashing around. Quite different from other fountains with just statues or forms, this one actually captures what could be going on in the waters below. 

Capitoline Museum

Day 11.

Today we ventured to the Capitoline Museum near Piazza Venezia. The museum is famous for  its beautiful statuary, rooms full of ornate decorations and the Romulus and Remulus wolf statue, among other things. We were able to walk through most the museum, see beautiful views of the Roman Forum as well as the rest of the city. The best part of the museum for me was the exhibit on Michelangelo and Da Vinci. We were able to look at actual sketches, their notes and original copies from their sketchbooks, such as Da Vincis sketches on flying machines. It was very surreal being only inches away from actual pages in each of Michelangelo's and Da Vinci's notes and sketches. Very, very cool. There were no cameras allowed in that specific exhibit, for obvious reasons but I was able snap some photos in the other parts of the museum. I particularly liked this shot of the light coming into either side of windows, illuminating the gilded decorations on one of the walls. 

Monday, January 23, 2012


Day 10.

Having Italian every day for 3 hours a day doesn't seem like much, especially compared to our hectic schedules at HWS. But, sitting in the same small room can get tiring and I have come to enjoy walking home. Not the quickest walk, (about 2 miles) but it is nice to clear my head after a long class. I pass this carousel every time I walk to school and tonight it caught my eye. When I was younger I loved carousels, and one of my favorite pictures of me when I was about 4 is me on one. I stopped for a moment to take a few photos and the lights, combined with really beautiful gilded embellishments made for a really beautiful scene. It was just what I needed to clear my head of all of the conjugations and prepositions of Italian class. 

Ponte Sant'Angelo

Day 9.

Having only been in Rome for about 9 days I have surprised myself with already having favorite places in the city. I never thought I would become comfortable this quickly, but I have. One of my favorite places is the bridge that brings us from the center of Rome over the river right to the Castel Sant'Angelo. It is one of the only places that you can walk freely without mopeds, or cars flying by you without the slightest care that they might hit you. Walking across this bridge, with the statues each depicting something different is really beautiful. During the day, or seen here at night it is definitely one of my favorite places to walk. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Day 8.

Today we ventured to the Colosseum with the whole group. We got up early and hopped on the metro, thinking it would take us forever to get there. Well it didnt and we ended up standing, waiting for the entire group to arrive. It takes some getting used to, the public transportation and the collective movement of 28 people. It was the first cold day we have encountered here in Rome, I think it was a chilly 36 degrees. Nothing compared to Geneva, or even Wenham, but cold for here and we felt it in the open space of the Colosseum. Being in there is really breathtaking. It is huge, and the way it is set up you can really imagine what went on thousands of years ago. The gladiators, the lions, the gauntlet type fights; you can really see it happening. This is a picture of that one of my apartment-mates took of me doing one of my many requisite sketches. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Forum Statues

Day 7.

Today we went on a sightseeing tour of the Palatino and Roman Forum with the whole entire group. We were able to walk around, take in the sights and sketch a little bit too. One of my favorite parts of the the tour was this garden of statues...statue garden? It was a large square garden with pretty lush grass and roses with a perimeter of these beautiful statues. Most of the statues had parts missing, hands, arms and sometimes whole faces. One of the most beautiful things about these statues is the fabric they are draped in, how such movement can be captured in stone. These were mostly intact and I was very happy to observe and of course take lots of pictures. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Salami Bruschetta in Tresteverae

Day 6.

So far Ive posted pictures of places, night scenes and things around me. But I havent gotten to one crucial part of living in this wild city. The food. The food here is incredible. Everything is fresh, well made and clearly good quality. You can taste it in the produce, in the fresh bread and of course the cheese. At dinner I ordered a salami bruschetta, and what do you know, they gave me a platter of salami! Quite a surprise, but very delicious. The eating experience here is extremely different than the US because dinner here is something to savor, enjoy and take time with. It is completely different than the rushed, quick dinners that are common in the American culture. Takes a bit getting used to, but is definitely worth it. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Statues Caught in Traffic

Day 5.

Today (Sunday) we woke up pretty late, and to make up for our laziness we set off in search of the correct Metro route to get us to school quicker than the 30 minutes we had been walking. We are lucky to have a Metro stop about a block from our apartment and decided to hop on and see where it took us. We ended up COMPLETELY in the wrong direction and ended up giving up trying to find our school and set in search of the Trevi Fountain instead. Well we didn't find that either, but we ended up walking through a little garden, finding interesting winding streets and eventually came to a four way intersection with these beautiful statues on the four corners of the sidewalks. The juxtaposition of the stoplight and the statues was very interesting; like this bustling metropolitan city had been built right around these old carvings. Its the little things like this that have been keeping me surprised every day.  

Vatican Fountain

Day 4.

Saturday night we all went out as a group and explored all different parts of the city. Rome at night is one of the most beautiful sights, and although you want to run through the cold, it is worth slowing down and admiring all of the lit up sights. Walking home my roommate and I happened to walk through the Vatican, which at night is a completely different experience. There aren't hordes of people, or taxis and buses stopping every 5 feet, or lines to see everything. It was calm, peaceful and absolutely gorgeous. We took time to walk around and take pictures, and this became one of my favorites. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Castel Sant'Angelo

Day 3. 

This is just one of the bridges that we walk across to get from our side of the river that our apartment is on, to the other side where the school is and where the center of town is. Walking home at night is absolutely breathtaking, when it is all lit up you have to slow down and take it all in! The big structure behind the bridge is something we also walk home towards every day, the Castel Sant'Angelo which is incredible when all lit up. It makes our walk home much prettier at night, and reminds me to just drink everything in and take time to enjoy all that is around me. 
Piazza di Santa Maria

Day 2.

This picture is marks the success of my first bus ride in Rome! My roommate and I wanted to go to Tresteverae, which is a small area with lots of small streets, restaurants and bars, but it is 45 minutes away from our apartment. We decided to take the bus and after about an half hour of waiting, and switching sides of the street, we made it to our destination and had a great dinner in a restaurant around the corner. I felt very accomplished with the fact that I had made it somewhere nowhere near our apartment in one piece and even that small accomplishment felt really great. The Piazza is beautiful at night, the church in the background is beautiful, and the fountain is really quite gorgeous. I would have preferred to have put up a picture of the Piazza itself but my Mom insisted on pictures of me as well, so here you go! 

Scuola Leonardo da Vinci

Ciao! Greetings from Roma! 
Today marks my 5th day here in Italia and it has been such a whirlwind of emotions, sights, sounds, smells, everything one could possibly imagine. I have decided to start a blog, or something similar to that to keep family, friends, and everyone who prefers not to be on facebook in the loop with what I am doing. I hope that this gives even a small glimpse of what I am experiencing on my semester abroad, and while doing that, some pictures to enjoy. I found out on our 1st day of the trip that we are here for exactly 100 days, and I wanted to capture a photo every day to remember each part of my journey, and share it with you all.

My first entry is of my first full day in Rome. It is a picture of the school I will be attending while here in Rome, Scuola Leonardo da Vinci. I will be taking all of my Italian classes in this beautiful building, which as you can see is surrounded by Rome's beautiful architecture. The school is about 2 miles from our apartment, so getting there the first day was a little different than I had expected, and took a lot longer than it does to get to class at HWS. We were able to stop before our first day Orientation at the school though and order cappuchinos and croissants before, delicious! After our Orientation we were able to go get a lovely Italian lunch at a cafe nearby and then we were sent off in a scavenger hunt around Rome to get acquainted with the city. We then ended our long day with our walk back home, and quickly collapsed into our beds.