Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Today we took our walk with our small group and Hilary. It was Courtney’s topic of markets, so I walked to the girls place at 8:30 in the morning and then we walked to meet Hilary in Testachio. We walked to an indoor market there. They sell everything there from shoes to fresh fruit. I saw some things there I haven’t seen much of in other places, for example Skippy’s peanut butter. I have found that peanut butter in general is hard to come by here. This market was different than the ones I have been to so far. First of all it was inside, which makes it less likely for people to just wander through. Also it is in a much less touristy part of
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
We will start our walk where we attend school at Piazza de Collegio Romano. Walk east down Via Pie della Marmo . Along this street there is my favorite pizza place, it's the best I've been to and i can't stop going back. Then bear right on Villa de Santa Caterina where my favorite church is on your right, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. After exiting the church, take a right and walk alongside The Pantheon, our second church on the journey. When exiting the Pantheon, take a direct left on to Salita de Crescenzi where on your right where be the church of St. Eustachio. In this piazza, one of the most cafes I've previously blogged about is here, Cafe St. Eustachio, so i recommend stopping there at some point.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
All throughout Rome the past week or so the motion picture Angels and Demons has been being filmed in different parts of Rome including the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and as I just saw the other night, Piazza Navona. I yet again stumbled upon another blog entry. The movie is being filmed based upon the book Angels and Demons that was written by Dan Brown. In the book, a series of murders occur following a theme of earth, water, fire, and air. One of the four preferiti (cardinal who is thought to possibly become next pope) is brutally drowned at the Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. I am going to have to read this book when I go home and see the movie, considering I’ve seen it being filmed in multiple places throughout the city.
Just north of Trastevere, right at Palazzo Corsini lays the beautiful Botanical Gardens. This park was established in 1883 when this part of the grounds was given to the
Castel Sant’Angelo is a 58 room museum that used to be Emperor Hadrian’s mausoleum among other things such as a prison and a residence of popes during political unrest. The Vatican Corridor leads right from the
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Boy’s Town was not exactly what I expected, but it was a very cool place and I was glad to be able to experience it. We were guided through the town by a few faculty there and two boys living there. The place wasn’t very active. Many of the kids were away because school had recently let out. The boys there range from 8-18 years of age. One thing I loved about the place is that they are free to come and go as they please, but so many of them consider the place their home that they don’t want to leave. The few boys we saw seemed extremely friendly and close to each other; they weren’t afraid to goof around or give each other hugs. Many of them attend school within the city of
The boys there pretty much run the town themselves. They have meetings a few times a week to discuss things that happen in the town and decisions that need to be made. They elect a new mayor every two months so that almost everyone gets a turn. Adults are allowed to be present at these meetings, but are not allowed to speak at them. We were taken through where the boys make their own wine, and in the cellars they have pictures from when the boys used to actually squish their grapes with their feet. They took us through their ceramics studio which was very impressive. Many of the boys there are extremely skills in the trades they are taught in. We also saw their basketball courts and soccer field. The boys there love their soccer, and compete against other schools and have numerous championships. Their trophy room is filled with trophies from soccer and other numerous events.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Ostia Antica is a ruins site right outside of Rome. It used to be a sea port and military base with its chief import being grain from Africa. The city was completely under sand fro centuries, and eventually excavated.
While walking through today, the ruins were awesome to look at. It was hard to believe that the places we were walking through were completely underground for such a long time. At one point during our wander through, we came across a small area that used to be used for to shopping and a place to eat an drink. This is very much like modern day Roman piazzas. It was a small little area, and on of the few areas we saw still with a roof. The coolest thing was a small structure that was amazingly similar to what a modern day bar looks like (in the picture above). It had a skinny entrance with a L shaped table shaped for standing, not sitting, and a shelf behind it and under the table for food and drink. The construction of this and all the ruins were extremely well done to be still standing today. It was a beautiful day with plenty of sun and a light breeze, adding to the calm and surreal atmosphere throughout the ruins.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Since my last Piazza Navona blog was about some dining habits there, I figured I would continue and probably end the sub theme of restaurants in the piazza. So I took a very slow walk around past pretty much every single restaurant there. I wanted to see if I could find something different, something similar, or anything that struck my attention. What I noticed in particular was the wait staff of all these places. First of all, the staff is predominantly male. And if you are greeted outside the restaurant, I feel like it absolutely always male. They are all somewhat attractive men dressed in a three piece suite with friendly but stern posture. If you make eye contact with them, they immediately give a little head gesture or very small bow, sometimes extending a hand and ask if you would like to dine there, almost like a fisherman anxiously but calmly watching a fish creep up on his bait. And if you take the bait and pick a place to eat there, the wait staff is so friendly and real to you and literally happy to serve you. It gives you a very nice sense of Italian culture and dining. The waiters seem interested in all their customers, even willing to have a small conversation with you if you seem equally friendly and they aren’t too busy. A little different than in
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I also noticed that grabbing a cup of coffee here is almost just as fast paced in the morning as it is in America. The Romans come in, not necessarily in a rush, but you can tell they have their mind set on a further destination. They still stand at the bar for little, but they finish their coffee quick and get on their way. This differs form American culture where many drive or walk with their coffee, and keep it at their desk at work or counter at home for some time slowly drinking it throughout part of the morning.
There is one last thing that these observations triggered me to notice. IF you go into a cafe in the afternoon or late morning, I have seen ore than a few people or a simple cafe (shot of espresso), literally finish it within 45 seconds, and be on there way. It seems a quick midday jolt is what many Romans need to keep the day going after their lunch or on a short break.
Today at Piazza Navona, I sat and observed one particular restaurant at around 4:30, an odd time to eat especially in
I drew a conclusion from this scene and my experience so far with dining throughout
While in Piazza Venezia, look for a big main road called Via Del Corso. You can see down the road extremely long, which has awesome shopping and a great environment. It will give you a real feel of the city. It is much easier to walk rather than take public transportation because there is not a close bus station, making buses less convenient. Plus, you save a euro. Take Del Corso all the way to Piazza del Popolo. About half way there you will pass a church called San Carlo al Corso on your left. Continue up the Corso through Piazza del Popolo to Piazza Flaminio. You may have to walk up a winding hill to get to this specific piazza which is at the foot of Villa Borghese. In order to get through the museum, take a stroll through Villa Borghese following Viale del Murotorto. This winds through the park, as you will pass Galoppatoio and come to Piazzele Brasile. Continue in the same direction down Via Pinciana until you get to Viale dell’ Uccelliera, and make a left. This will take you right to the Borghese Gallery.
In order to be able to view the gallery, reservations are mandatory. To find out more information about reservations and cost, visit http://www.ticketeria.it/ticketeria/borghese-eng.asp. In the gallery, the amazing art you will find is divided into two sections: a sculpture collection and picture gallery (collection of paintings). A few of the more important works included here are Bernini’s David, his Apollo and Daphne (his most famous sculpture), and Titian’s painting called Sacred and Profane Love. Within the two hours you are allowed here, Rick Steves suggest to spend at least an hour and a half in the ground floor sculpture gallery.
Within a four mile circumference in addition to the gallery and many other attractions, there is a zoo and schools of archeology. It may be quite enjoyable to cover this distance with a nice bike ride (bikes available to rent in the villa).
Go out of the station and head straight until you hit Via del Uiminale and make a left here. Piazza del Repubblica will be on your right. After you pass Teatro dell' Opera on your right, make a right onto Via Agostino. Continue on and pass San Carlo Quatro Fontane on your right, and the street name here will change to this. Continue until you hit Piazza Barbarinni. Then go up Via Vittoria Veneto and the crypt will be along the corner of the curve on your right.
The crypt is one of the most intriguing places I've been so far. The monks here arranged all different kinds of human bones into amazing patterns and designs completely filling the crypt. No pictures can be taken here, but it doesn't even matter because yuo could not capture this feeling or sight with a camera. The humble music they lay in the crypt completely adds to the affect they are trying to give you.
In this blog, I will give you step by step instructions on how to a first timer in Rome from the main train station, Termini, to Piazza Navona, and also why you should go here.
When you walk out of the train station, onto Vialle L. Einaudi. Follow that through road through Piazza del Repubblica where the name of the road will change to Vitte del Orlando, leading you to Piazza Piazza San Bernardo where there are three different churches to see. Here, hang a left onto Via Barberini, which is main road with many things to see alon the way. The name here changes to Via del Tritone where you will see Piazza Colonna on your left and the Chamber of Deputies on your right. Follow in the same direction onto Uffici del Vicario Follow this road to Via del Scrofa where you will make a left, and stay on this until you hit Via del Giustiniani and make a right. When this road ends, turn left, and then make the first right, and you heading right into Piazza Navona.
Piazza Navona may be one of the most famous Piazzas in in the world. While there, be sure to check out the two fountains at either side and the obelisque and sculptures in the middle. You won't be able to miss any of these things. I would suggest getting a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants here in order to take in the atmosphere a bit. Try to discern the difference between tourists and Romans. If you are visiting at night, make sure you see it during the day, and vice versa. They are both very different, very important experiences in Rome.