To reward ourselves for getting through our first full week of classes in Rome, my friends and I headed over to a gelateria near the Piazza del Popolo. All of us chose two different flavors ranging anywhere from dulce de leche to chocolate to strawberry. We couldn’t resist and ended up have a bit of everyone’s different flavors and it all tasted absolutely amazing!
On a random weekend day we decided to go explore a part of Rome we had never been before (this was south-west of the Vatican). As you can see, we had to cross the bridge to get there and we had yet another day of beautiful weather. This part of Rome had more alleys and cobblestone streets, portraying the more stereotypical Roman environment.
We walked through the Piazza Navona while exploring and came across many street artists’ work. It was so cool to see how Rome inspired these artists and the techniques they used to capture what was around them.
Even though Italian food is quite good, there comes a point where my friends and I also craved some good old American grease. We found a restaurant called The Perfect Bun where they served some American favorites such as delicious burgers and fries. It was just the break we needed from pasta, while also fulfilling the longing for food back home.
On Sunday, January 27th, was my twentieth birthday. Since we didn’t want to go out Sunday night because of having an 8am class Monday morning, we ended up celebrating my birthday Saturday night. Before we went out to hit up a club, my friends surprised me with a chocolate pastry that they stuck a candle in and sung to me. Even though this was my first birthday without my family, my friends still made this day special for me and consequently made me feel more at home.
On my birthday morning, I decided to go explore a crepe place that was located on the way to Temple. Here, there were endless options of what you could get on a crepe and I decided to go with the Nutella/banana option. It was amazing watching the guy make them because he first spread Nutella and banana on half of the crepe, then folded it again and spread another layer of Nutella, and finally topped it all off with sprinkling cocoa powder on top. It was honestly the best thing I ever tasted and totally melting in my mouth! Best thing was that it was only around 3 euros!
On Tuesday, my sketchbook class met at the Colosseum metro stop. The crazy thing about this though was how as soon as you walk out of the metro it’s like BAM! The Colosseum! Seriously though, it’s towering over you and is quite a humbling moment, as this famous ancient icon stands right in your face.
All the sketchbook classes went to Tuscania for the day on Friday to sketch for most of the day. When we first got there, there was this amazing blue sky and bright sun shinning above us as we sketched our first subject, San Pietro, which was a Romanesque church built sometime around 6th century B.C.
Another church we got to explore was the Santa Maria Maggiore. It was more decorative in the inside with very graphic images of hellish figures. Both churches though, rested outside the city walls, up on the hill.
Our ending point for the day in Tuscania consisted of all the sketchbook classes sitting on the wall’s edge and sketching the church and a castle’s ruins. It was probably the most gorgeous scene I have seen so far here in Italy.