Ciao! It has been another crazy week. We started Intensive Italian class that goes for two weeks, I’m in Italian 101 and we have it for two hours every morning. Even though it’s two hours it doesn’t seem to be that long of a class! The things we are learning are very elementary but have to start at the basics! I’m understanding things somewhat easily from having taken Spanish for so long. But it gets confusing when speaking and writing because I often think in Spanish, and it isn’t the exact same. I’ve learned enough so I can order coffee and some other things when I’m out which makes me feel less like an American.
We also started our Core Course called At Home in Rome which meets once a week. For this class we learn about Rome on site there will be little classroom time and we will be walking around different areas with our professor learning about Italian history and culture. Our professor is awesome! He told us that if we go to any ‘tourist’ places to eat or shop that he wont talk to us anymore and we get an ‘F’ which was funny but somewhat serious. He doesn’t want us to just be tourists but to live like Romans which, is what I would like to do here. During class we met in Campo di Fiori which had a market set up in the square, we walked to Piazza Navona which was a stadium where ancient Romans would go for entertainment. Now in the Piazza there are 3 fountains. The one in the middle is called Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi which means the fountain of four rivers which has incredible details and represents the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and the Rio de la Plata. One interesting fact was that the sculptor of this fountain’s believed that the church to be built right beside by a rival wouldn’t up hold and would crumble on his fountain. For this reason the figure facing the church has his hand out to shield himself from the possible falling church. We also went to a few churches to see amazing art. In the Church of Santa Maria we saw a Michelangelo statue, Statua del Redentore which is the only Michelangelo statue that can be touched and our professor told us it is the best butt in sculpture. It was incredibly detailed and unreal to be able to touch a work by Michelangelo. We also saw the Tomb of Saint Catherine the patron saint of Siena, our professor then talked to someone who allowed us to see the room where she used to pray which was pretty unbelievable.
This week the other interns and I went to look for our office in Vatican City and I will be working literally right down the street from the Basilica which made things all too real. Throughout the week we did some walking around and our fair share of getting lost. But getting lost in Rome isn’t like getting lost in any city there’s always something to see, a beautiful view, an incredible church, statues, fountains, Piazze (plural of Piazza). One day we went to go look for some shops, got lost and never found them but came across this amazing view of the sun setting over the Vatican and we didn’t even mind that we were lost and weren’t able to find the stores. Also this week I went to the Fontana di Trevi and made a wish! The Trevi is huge and there were so many people there it was a beautiful night to just hang out (and take lots of pics) at the Trevi! I also made another trip to the beach after class on Friday with a few others and it was a beautiful afternoon, beach season is ending so we have to get there while we can!
On Saturday I had quite an exhausting day, Arcadia (our host program) organized events for us throughout the semester, Saturday was a bike tour of the Ancient Appian Way. I haven’t been on an actual bike in I don’t know how long but I wanted to see the Appian Way and this seemed like a cool way to do it! Well riding a bike for the first time in years on an ancient road of dirt and cobblestone proved to be a little difficult for a lot of us, myself included. I got the hang of it after a while but going up dirt hills and over bumpy cobble stone was actually pretty hard! A lot of people had some bike malfunctions and bumps and bruises, of course I was one of them. I was riding by a rock and banged by knee right into it — but I managed not to fall once, even when the chain fell off my bike…The obstacles that came along with the bike tour was worth it though. The Appian Way had some neat history and was a beautiful ride. I only wish I was skilled enough to ride a bike and take pictures because the end of the ride down this big hill overlooked the city and was all too picturesque.