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Civis Romanus Sum July 10, 2013

Posted by lauramargaretb in Travel Log.


 On the way to Rome, we stopped in Padua to see Giotto’s frescos in the Scrovegni Chapel.  The paintings formed an extended narrative that could be read from left to right all the way around the church.  We had some time for lunch after visiting the church, and then proceeded to Rome!  We checked into our hotel, unpacked a bit, headed to our Welcome Dinner, then rested up for our first full day in Rome!       

            After lectures for our two classes and lunch in the park, we headed toward the Borghese Gallery with the assignment to identify the was in which Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne is the epitome of Baroque sculpture.  I have loved this piece ever since we studied the story of Apollo and Daphne in my Latin class in high school.   After all, Daphne’s victorious transformation into the laurel tree provides the origin for my name!  Seeing the actual sculpture did not disappoint, especially with Bernini’s Pluto and Proserpina and Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius in the same gallery as well.

            We walked around a bit, then headed to a café for dinner.  Rachael Ray always refers to gnocchi as “pillows of heaven,” I now know why.  We headed back to the hotel to work on our Bernini papers, the walked to the famous Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain.

            The next day we spent at the Vatican, admiring the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the architecture of St. Peter’s Basilica with our art teacher’s commentary.  I thought is was particularly interesting how a hole in the ceiling aligned perfectly with the Pope’s altar which was situation just above the burial place of St. Peter.  After lunch near the Vatican, a bus ride back to the area of our hotel, and a nap, several of us headed to the Flavian Amphitheater (better known as the Coliseum), the Arch of Constantine, and the Trevi Fountain.  We got some gelato to take with us for the walk back.

            Our Friday began with a walking tour of Rome led by our art teacher, affectionately known to the group as “T. Town'” (Dr. Tiffanie Townsend).  We stopped in several churches, including the Santa Maria della Vittoria Church to see the altarpiece in the Coranaro Chapel, a Bernini sculpture we had studied in our pre-departure classes back in Atlanta.  We walked around to the Pantheon (literally all gods).  The design of the ceiling was beautiful, with the plated dome ceiling and the opening in the center to let in the sunlight and “see the gods.”  Among those buried in the pantheon was Raphael, whose tomb marker bore the poetic inscription: “Here lies Raphael, by whom nature herself feared to be outdone while he lived, and when he died, feared that she herself would die.”

            Further, we walked to the Trevi Fountain (You get three wishes, after all!) and then to the Four Rivers Fountain.  We stayed there for lunch, rounded off with a tartuffo, a chilled, dark chocolate dessert dish.  It was so rich, but quite delicious!

            Our final day in Rome was left free, so we slept in a bit and then met in the lobby to plan our day!  We decided to head over to the ancient part of the city, where we toured the Circus Maximus, the Baths, and the Forum.  I took a picture with the Curia, the government building from the Roman Republic about which I had written a report in ninth grade Latin!  We then took the metro to a beach just outside the city, and had lunch with our feet in the sand!  After returning to the city, it was time for some schoolwork and packing before hitting the road the next morning!




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