Friday, September 23, 2011

Roman holiday

A mandatory three-day field trip to Roma. Haha, the birth of civilization, mandatory!

I think the blurriness of many of my pictures is an appropriate representation for how much of a whirlwind this trip was. An incredible whirlwind.

On our first day, a woman with the most soothing voice held her pink umbrella high and led us through Campo de Fiori, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain. It was seriously such a blessing to have her calming present guide us through the insanely crowded areas. "Before you cross the street, you must first cross yourself!"

Campo de Fiori's fragrant floral and fruit smells, and the song comprised of the yells of the market's vendors made it one of my favorite spots. Still, there was nothing like seeing the colossal Pantheon with its concrete coffered ceiling and giant oculus–I think the event that made me realize, "I'm in Rome!" Through a few coins in Trevi fountain, and after the tour broke up we ascended to the top of the Spanish steps for a panoramic view of the city.

Day two: hardcore-parkoured the walls of the Vatican and rushed through the museum to see the stunning Sistine Chapel–no pics allowed.

Catholic and happy.

Rafael's "School of Athens"

Took a breather before entered St. Peter's Basilica...turned a corner and there it was, the largest cathedral in the world. The pillars created arms reaching out to welcome her pilgrims (and tourists) in, and upon walking through the massive doors, we stood in awe. Wandered and prayed (and cried a little, I'm not going to lie) for over an hour.

Look, God gave us mood lighting!

a personal fav: all the Popes, starting with Peter.

Finished off the already very Catholic day by meeting up with my seminarian friend, David. We enjoyed a fantastic pasta dinner & limoncello (to aid in digestion, of course).

Day three was ancient Rome with our very enthusiastic, very fast paced, very knowledgable, and not to mention handsome tour guide, Rich: Teatro Marcellus, Capitoline Hill, the Forum, the Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheater), and Constantine's arch.

It's still hard for me to understand that we were able to see these places, to look down into the old city's elevation, to see where Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March, to acknowledge the people who invented and discovered things so that we can all sit comfortably and picnic in front of the Colosseum. Mind. Blown. Here's a little poem I had fun writing about day one, specifically:

'An experiment on the overwhelming of your senses'

Turn now to channel 2
can you hear? good
follow the pink torch

think of the ancient
did she say Asian?
no, Ancient
look here at the plan
we are close to where Caesar gasped
et tu?
do you know the Ides of March?

see the corso name?
where artisans perfected their craft
at this Piazza something important
try to listen
the smell of fruit and of flowers and
ew, sewer
the vendors sing my praises.

this was a palace
see this fountain? it is a joke
here the Senators make our decisions
across from the deer in place of a cross
drink the world’s best coffee

turn the corner
the building you have only read about
no pictures could have prepared you
the coffered dome, solid concrete
the martyrs replace pagan idols
the artist and the pizza queen rest forever

let’s see a Gothic church
this statue he re-chiseled
(out, damned spot!)
another church with a false dome
make a wish, or maybe three
ignore the beggars and hold tight to your purse.

the Virgin Mary is adorned
and here
the steps Audrey floated down
why is it Spanish again?
(I don’t know)

we finish. te piache?