Tuesday, February 8, 2011
So the past few days I have been without Internet, so I haven’t been able to start blogging about my adventures, which there have been many already. It has been a wonderful return trip to Rome, and it feels more and more easy to walk around and exist in the city as time goes on. However, this trip has felt much different than the one before when I was in HSP. My perspective on Rome this trip is all about the art, when last time was all about the religious exploration and growth. Both experiences have had different results, but you cant come to this city and not change in some way. I got to see my first Caravaggio this week, and I seriously wanted to cry. His paintings are absolutely stunning and pushed the boundaries for its time. Even today I can't say I have seen anything like it. Its wonderful to look at his work and see how he breaks all of the conventional rules we are taught in our own painting classes. No fair. When can I do that?! I guess I have to get my skills on par before I can do that…. Which seems unlikely because Caravaggio is pretty much a god in the art world. Hahaha I am seeing things in art all around me that I want to try, and I’m getting excited about starting classes once we get to Cortona. So, there is this church in Rome that has a strange tradition. The monks that reside there use their own bones to decorate the entire crypt of their church. Should be cool right? NOT!! TOTALLY GROSS!!! Ok, when you have to have air fresheners in the wall to keep the stench of decaying bodies at bay…. There is a problem. Seriously there were full bodies, that were at a skeleton phase so they weren’t that gross, but there were some that still had skin on them…. STILL HAD SKIN ON THEM?! As most of you know I have an irrational fear of zombies, and I saw my fears suddenly coming to fruition when I saw this tiny little hooded figure with skin dangling off of an old crusty skull…. Ok maybe I am dramatizing this a bit, but it was still terrifying. On to nicer things… I haven’t really been keeping with the group. My friends and I have been exploring Rome on our own finding sites and art that we haven’t been had time to see as a group. Its incredible. One of the best experiences I’ve had so far was a lunch I had with a new friend of mine. We were sitting in this little restaurant and ask the man beside us when we are finished eating how to get to that nasty monk church. Turns out he is visiting from Vienna, and we have a long conversation about places to stay in Naples and about our program in Cortona. Its been wonderful meeting locals. Ive noticed if I try and speak some Italian, and ask questions about the language, the locals are SO much more helpful and happy people. Its been interesting learning about how Italians live, and their demeanor with other people is so foreign at times I have a hard time adjusting. A couple things I am struggling with is the level of harassment you get as a foreigner. You get harassed by gypsies, by people wanting you to eat at their restaurant, by people who dislike Americans, by people who like blondes… Ugh its getting old. I hope things change a little as we go to smaller cities. I think I have been getting over a case of Culture Shock, and I’m hoping to get through it soon. The past few days have been much easier, and I find myself more relaxed around the city with just one other friend.