Category: Posts

Churches and Piazzas

Monday is here already, the weekend was quick and classes are starting.  Today we walked through Rome as a group visiting and learning about different churches and piazzas throughout the city.  Our day started at about 8AM with a wonderful breakfast from the Hotel Derby and we ventured out to the Piazza del Popolo.  Here we stopped at the Chiesa di Sta. Maria del Popolo.  This was my first experience in a Roman church and I was awestruck when i entered.  The detail and feeling of hierarchy is almost overwhelming it is so amazing.

These two pictures show the detail of the interior of the church and the openness of the Piazza, notice the axiality of the placement of the obelisque in the center of the Piazza interupting the view of one gets of the axis between the two churches beyond.

My favorite stop of the day was to the Sant’ Andrea delle Valle which was indescribable to be inside.  The gold was so intense and the church has huge vaulted ceilings that made you feel like an ant.  The detail on the sculptures and organs that hung from the walls were incredible. The church was designed and built between 1590 and 1650 and has an exterior facade that is a baroque style and the interior has a plan that represents a Latin cross that is flanked at the sides by 8 different chapels.  This church isn’t as wide as many others but instead focuses on the vertical and goes higher in proportion to its width.

We visited other churches and Piazzas as well today, not all of them were open, but they were still worth stopping by.  On our lunch break I was able to visit the Pantheon which is one of the places I’ve been looking forward to visiting most.  The oculus inside was much bigger then I had imagined it would be in my mind, and the entire structure and interior and simplicity of the Pantheon was extremely intriguing.  I also learned that if I ever get homesick and need some American food that McDonalds has opened shop on axis with the entrance to the Pantheon!

We ended our day at the Trevi fountain which is a huge place for tourists and was packed.  The fountain is the biggest I’ve seen yet and had water coming from every which way which was an amazing sight to see.

Today was a day filled with lots of walking, but we were able to see many different places in Rome so in my mind it was a success.  Although we couldn’t get into every place we wanted to, even the outsides were something to be noticed. Arrivederci!


Campidoglio and Beyond

So it’s my first full day in Rome and I couldn’t be more excited.  We met in the morning and then sent loose to go visit a site that each of us were assigned.  My site was the Campidoglio which is a pretty incredible space near the Coliseum and the equivalent to the Capitol Building in the US.  It sits framed by two museums in a piazza.  It was designed by Michelangelo and oriented in a way that it faces the Basilica of St. Peters.  Today was my first real look at Rome and my first real experience being out of the USA (besides a trip to the Bahamas in high school) and I couldn’t be more excited and in awe.  Everything around me is so different from anything I’ve experienced before and I cannot wait to see more.  Throughout the day after sketching and taking pictures all around the Campidoglio I walked all around the area looking at the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II which surprisingly was only finished in 1935, but still a pretty incredible structure to look at, it gives you the feeling that you are so small in the presence of something so big.  Today was a good day and I cannot wait to see what is in store for the rest of the time in Rome and experience many Italian traditions.  Ciao!!

Roma Termini

Wow, landed in Italy and took a train to Rome.  I cannot believe I’m actually here, and our first experience in Rome is that the Bus that is supposed to take us to the hotel isn’t answering, no big deal we’ll take the subway.  NOT! Subway is on strike and cabs are overcharging unknowing tourists.  We decide to walk 3 miles with 6 weeks of luggage through the back streets of Rome to get to our hotel.  What a trip that was, got to see some cool stuff like the coliseum and Constantine’s Arch but barely noticed it because we were all so tired and our muscles hurt from carrying luggage, but a good experience overall, we were the talk of the town the next day, everyone was talking about how we were walking through the streets in the middle of the night with luggage in hand.  It was an experience I won’t soon forget and something that no other class who went on this trip has done.