St. Peters and my excursion to UMBRIA

Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
Trip End Apr 21, 2008

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    I've now been in Rome for a whole week and it is still as crazy as it was when I first arrived.  I guess I last wrote after only about two or three days.  Since then I have gone to more restaurants (with delicious food and wine of course), seen even more sights throughout the city, visited a hill town in Umbria, and started classes. 
    On Friday, I went to dinner near the Colosseum, which is beautiful at night.  I also visited St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday evening.  Again, gorgeous with the lighting, not to mention the lifesize nativity scene erected in the square.  The basilica is like an entire museum all by itself.  Even the ceiling is amazing.  My favorite piece is definitely the Pieta.  I am hoping to return soon during the day to see it in the light and with sun coming through the windows.  I found out that the vatican is actually closer to my residence than the school.  It takes me 40 minutes to walk to school and only about 10 to get to the vatican...pretty exciting.  After that on Saturday night I went to an Irish pub with some girls from Fordham to watch a Manchester United Soccer game.  It was actually refreshing to consistently hear English again. 
    Sunday was a real treat!  As a part of our orientation, Temple took all of the students on busses to a small hill town in Umbria.  We met at the busses at 8 AM and had about an hour and a half ride to Todi.  At first it was very rainy and cold, but as the rain and fog subsided we could see the Italian countryside.  We had about 2 hours to wander around the small town and visit the churches.  Unfortunately a lot of places were closed because it was a Sunday.  Walking through the small streets, seeing the landscapes, and having a quick cappucino was enough though.  After that, we got back on the bus for about an hour to go to a small castle known as Titignana to enjoy a traditional Italian lunch.  This means that there would be tons of courses, tons of wine, and it would take about 3 hours.  The Italians take their time and love to socialize during meals.  This area was beautiful and the grounds overlooked a gorgeous lake.  The food was all made on the premises.  I tried everything (including wild boar) and I can honestly say it was all really delicious.  After the long bus ride back, we had a mellow night because classes started Monday.  So far my classes are going well.  I am taking Italian I, Baroque Art in Rome, Late Antique/Byzantine Art, and A Sociological Examination of Postwar Italy.  Each of the art history classes include three hour classes taught on site each week.  This morning I went to the Vatican Museums and the Sistene Chapel with my Baroque Art class. 
    I added pictures of pretty much all the things I just described.  I have also taken pictures of my apartment, but haven't uploaded them yet, so check for them in the next entry.  Love and miss everyone so much!!  Thanks for reading!
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