I'm taking a class called Art of Rome, which is an on-site class that takes us to historical monuments such as The Colosseum and temples that were built for the Gods.
For our first trip, we visited the church of St. Mary, which is right across the street from The Round Temple. Both are in the center of Rome. The Bocca della Verita is mounted on the wall at the left end of the entrance porch. It is a large marble disc, originally a fountainhead, with the head of a river god. In the time of the Gods it was believed that the Bocca della Verita (the mouth of truth) would bite off the hand of those who tell lies.
This is a view I came across as I was exploring on the first day of class. This is nothing out of the ordinary to your native Italian, but for a foreigner like me it is definitely something that deserves a second glance. This is literally right around the corner from The American University of Rome, which is located in Monte Verde. It’s the first of what will be many great encounters!
Nothing like ending the month with a cruise down the Tiber River with Castel Sant'Angelo in the background!
Weekend trip to Amsterdam along with the countryside of Holland, the city of Zaandam, was incredible - not to mention completely unlike anything I've seen so far in Italy. Of course seeing the "I amsterdam" sign was a must, which happens to be right across from the historic Van Gogh Museum, which I highly recommend.
The Pieta, which is in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, is a sculpture of Jesus and Mary done by Michelangelo. It is one of the most famous pieces of art in the world.
Day trip to Vatican City! Saint Peter's is the most famous - as well as the most beautiful - church in all of Rome. The line to get inside is well worth the wait. This section of historic churches houses some of the most famous works of art, from the Pieta to the Sistine Chapel.
My trip to the Pantheon was incredible. I was blown away when I found out that the height is the exact same dimension as the width of this colossal building. It is perfectly balanced. Aside from the towering pillars, the inside has a perfectly round open circle on top of the ceiling dome. I learned that the exact length of the inside pillar matches the diameter of this skylight. Both sun and rain enter the Pantheon (which has an excellent drainage system) and was erected to honor all deities of that century to ensure safety in their daily lives.
Found out where the Pope gets his threads. Classy, classy.
Aside from the cheese and wine, the nightlife here this past weekend was nuts. DJ Tiesto started off a two-week music festival of all music to put you in a great mood. Getting together a group to check out the show was one of the best nights here so far. It's definitely a great balance to find things to do at night apart from hitting up American bars and homework.
Florence. Enough said. Unlike Rome, this place - only an hour and a half by train - offered a relaxing atmosphere full of great shopping. Florence is beautiful piece of countryside and a breath of fresh air away from the city.
If you see NOTHING ELSE in Rome - please see the Trevi Fountain. With all the commotion of the city this has been the most relaxing sight I have been to yet.
Granted, there are a large number of people taking pictures, but if you find the right rock formation you can lie around for hours. Nothing beats laying in the sun listening to the rippling sound of the most beautiful fountain in the world.
It almost seems like there are as many churches here as people. These buildings are beyond any church back home, they basically look like an art gallery they’re so incredible.
Another Basilica I visited with my first class was the Basilica of Saint Maria. Luckily this one wasn’t nearly as far as Saint Paul’s. One tip: always carry a water bottle… prices are as wild as a Friday night in Times Square. This Basilica was unlike any previously seen. The entire ceiling and every arch were decorated with gorgeous crystal chandeliers. The reflection of the sun made the whole place seem like it was glowing.
What would a nice trip to church be without seeing the prison across the street? Apparently a handful of Jesus’ disciples were held in the very same Mamertinum, which let me tell you, is nowhere you want to be pre-sanitation system. Every inch of this place was built brick-by-brick and sealed off from the outside world. Aside from a barred hole in the prisoners' ceiling for food drops, you couldn’t see the light of day. Pretty rough, huh?