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When In Rome Do As the Romans Do

So I just got back from Rome and I think I did what the Romans were doing, I mean they were pretty normal. I went with the Art History class to tour the great pieces of Renaissance art. Our first stop was the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel and some famous works by Raphael. Standing under the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was definitely the highlight of my trip to Rome. It was so incredibly beautiful, it took my breath away. One thing I really like was that there were no pictures allowed. This annoyed a lot of people but I realized, how often do we just stop and see instead of hide behind the lens of our cameras and pretend to have really witnessed. I’m not exempt from this either, but I work on being really selective and critical when taking photos.

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Art History professor Elisabetta Cunsolo explains each of the different works in the Sistine Chapel while we freeze to death.

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Ceiling of the map room

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Map of Italy

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The School of Athens by Raphael in one of the Stanze di Raffaello. The two individuals in the center are Plato and Aristotle, we know this because Plato (left) walks barefoot and points to the sky since he believed that reality lies beyond the earthly plane and what is done on Earth is to assure a place in Heaven. Aristotle (right), Plato’s student, gestures forward suggesting that our actions on Earth are what are important.

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Me just chilling with one of the greatest pieces of Renaissance art. No need to freak out y’all, it’s just a day in the life!

Okay, so after the Vatican it was off to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo. This was really cool because we were able to see two of Caravaggio’s works, Crucifixion of St. Peter and Conversion on the Way to Damascus.

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Obelisk in Piazza del Popolo

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Who wants to tell me what the monkey’s is going on here!?! I stood there for like 20 minutes trying to figure out the secret…I’m at a loss.

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Piazza del Popolo at dusk

After the tour of the Bascilica we had time to explore before dinner. My friends and I headed off to find the Trevi Fountain and make our wishes. It was so beautiful and majestic. It had it’s own presence and energy that I cannot describe, which is actually something I found happening a lot in Rome. The Colosseum  for instance had this overpowering and dominating presence that left you feeling small and speechless.

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Find the coin…

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Throw the coin…

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The coins gone!! Where’d it go?!

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Me and my good friends/new family here in Italy

And so begins day 2!! We started the morning at Villa Farnesina to look at, wait for it…MORE ART!

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Let me tell ya, we were all thrilled to be there…

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Exterior of the Villa

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Me and my roomie being photographers

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Being not so amused…

After a break for lunch we headed off to the church of San Luigi dei Francesi to see Caravaggio’s The Calling of St. Matthew. And that was the end of all that art history stuff!! So enjoy some random photos of Rome…

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Derpy Roman dog

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This was the worst! We had to carry our luggage everywhere we went so I put my bag on top of Marilyn’s rolling bag and we switched off dragging it. The cobblestone roads didn’t help the situation…

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Deciding who was the hottest priest in the Hot Priest calendar.

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Day 3 of Rome was very much an “on my own” kind of day, which was actually really nice. In the morning, three of my friends and I went back to the Vatican City to climb to the top of the Cupola. After I went to see the Spanish Steps (which were kind of disappointing because of all the tourists, the fountain was being redone or something, and there were no pretty flowers!!). My favorite part of Day 3 was going to see the Modigliani exhibit at the Palazzo Cipolla. I discovered some new artists, such as Utrillo, Rene Durey, Suzanne Valadon, and Moise Kisling. Before leaving, I went to the Colosseum and just soaked in its majesty!

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St. Peter’s Square

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550 steps later…

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Michelangelo’s Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica

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Spanish Steps

La femme au pullover rouge - Kisling

I didn’t take this photo but this is Woman with red sweater by Moise Kisling. I saw it at Palazzo Cipolla and loved it (it obviously looks much more beautiful in person)

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Piazza Venezia

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And of course…the beautiful Colosseum!

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So all in all, I liked Rome a lot. More than I expected actually! I think because there were not as many tourists and people actually spoke to me in Italian. I also LOVE art and this is a city that is full of art and history. This tour came at a great time too since I’ve been working on a mini-mural of Oscar Romero and have hit a bit of a wall (get it?!). If Michelangelo can spend 4 years painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel I think I can paint 1 portrait in 5 days!

A presto!

One thought on “When In Rome Do As the Romans Do

  1. Coryn Cenzer says:

    Something I read from Buddism reading in class, you have people travelling to see Buddha all over the world, mainly India, but you have these people coming to this place that’s suppose to be holy and meditate but all they care about is coming back home to their friends sharing pictures of the Buddha and how they got to see him instead of their experience, because you can never really capture the real Buddha in a picture:
    “….unable to be in the here and the now. They take pictures to prove they were there, and they are eager to return home to show their friends. That would be the desire of many people who would go there. They are not able to walk with the Buddha. They are not able to be in the here and now. “Being there is a concept, and the Buddha that you see is a mere appearance. You cannot photograph the real Buddha, even if you have a very expensive camera.”

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