The Chronicles of a Perspiring Pedestrian

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After several days of being a student – not a tourist! – and several nights of not quite enough sleep in that comfy top bunk, I was starting to wonder whether my brain could muster enough creativity for a blog post. As I was walking to school, I realized that Rome has a way of speaking for itself. Let me explain why.

First, I put on my sunglasses, because it was a bit bright. Then, it started raining. I watched a little girl dragging her grandfather across the street, grinning from ear to ear. I saw a Vespa pulled over to the side of the road; its driver had stopped to put on a royal blue poncho. It stopped raining. While I was waiting to cross a busy intersection, I watched a man cruise by in a golf cart. He was casually smoking a cigarette and his left arm was completely wrapped and resting in a sling.

See? No creativity necessary, just a few simple events strung together that made it totally worth my while to walk to school in a bizarre mixture of sun and rain. I stopped at school for a creamy steamy vending machine cappuccino en route to where I thought we were meeting Paolo at 10:30 for our last on-site art class.

The timeline of events is as follows:

10:20 – Arrive habitually early at the place I thought we were meeting and realize no one else was there.
10:21 – Get directions from a nearby policeman, who informed me that the Borghese Gallery was across the villa, about 2 miles away. When he saw the look on my face, he promptly decided it was only 1 mile away.
10:23 – Down my cappuccino and put my game face on.
10:24 – Embark on a fast-paced journey across the Villa Borghese, asking for directions every so often (mainly so I could catch my breath).
10:37 – Arrive at the right place, red in the face…gymnasts aren’t built for endurance events.

Now, Paolo, having realized our tickets wouldn’t allow us to enter until 11 anyways, showed up maybe 20 minutes later. Soon enough we were looking at paintings and sculptures of Caravaggio, Bernini, and the like. Just another day in Rome. I’ve been here for 35 days total, and I’m happy to report that I have checked almost everything off of my list (except for a few things I saved to do with my parents, who are due to arrive very soon!). This week I checked off Sant’Ignazio, Ponte Fabricio, Tiber Island, Fontana delle Tartarughe, the Jewish ghetto and Synagogue, and last but not least, the Vatican Museums. I also returned to Tony’s in Trastevere for another fantastic meal and watched World Cup soccer on the big screen in Piazza Venezia.

Sant'Ignazio, the church of illusions

Sant’Ignazio, the church of illusions

Tiber Island as seen from Pone Fabricio, Rome's oldest walking bridge

Tiber Island as seen from Pone Fabricio, Rome’s oldest walking bridge

Fontana delle Tartarughe, one of my favorites!

Fontana delle Tartarughe, one of my favorites!

I had some pretty tasty kosher gelato when I visited the Jewish ghetto, but pistachio was my favorite this week.

Looks like mud mask, tastes like heaven

Looks like mud mask, tastes like heaven

And this week’s parkers did not disappoint! Just see for yourself.

Parking Award (2)

This car is a winner in every category. Blocking the crosswalk, perpendicular to the road, and note that the front tires are on the sidewalk while the back tire is completely lifted off the road by a circular slab of concrete. Well done.

This week's runner up was not far behind for being not far in front of his fellow rebel parkers.

This week’s runner-up was not far behind…and also not far in front of those other excellent parkers.

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