Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Day Three, or IS the glass half full????

Yesterday ended well. I did some (barely half, I admit it...) of the reading and managed to get dressed up for the lecture and reception. The lecture was about some of the burial sites that they have found on the Palatine Hill and in the Forum that date back to 1000 BC, earlier than the 'traditional' founding date of Rome, but I'm probably boring most of you, so on to the reception...
They wined and dined us with an open bar and some tasty finger sandwiches and cheesy puffs that weren't orange, but light yellow, like REAL cheese. We schmoozed with the fellows of the American Academy and some other academic types who were around then came back to the Centro for dinner. Dinner was great, and I am psyched since I eat here Monday through Saturday morning. We had a pasta course, salad, a main course of some meat that I still haven't been able to identify until I find a better Italian dictionary but it was good, roasted potatoes and gelato. I did some more reading and then went to bed. I'm determined to get 8 hours sleep per night!
Today, on the other hand, was just one of those days where you wonder if the glass if half full or half empty. I know, I know, I'm in Rome, how bad can it be? At least I wasn't in Ellington (happy last day, ya'll!!!). But for instance, I needed to iron my pants, and I did bring a travel iron, but alas, no board. However, my bed, which is as hard as a rock, worked very well. Full or empty? Then after our class outing (I'll get to that) I tried to find this stationery shop that I read about, and I walked and walked and walked (after already walking six hours, mind you) and I was so proud of myself when I found it, but it was closed. Full or empty? And then, I decided to go back to the Centro to rest for a bit (or read????) so I followed a street called Via Garibaldi because I knew it would take me back near the Academy. It did, but it was a winding road that went basically up a mountain and there were no bus stops and it took me another hour, but I got a fabulous view of the city. Full or empty? Oh well. As for our outing, we left at 830 to finally cross the Tiber River, to go to 'real' Rome (we live on the other side). We toured and were lectured at in the Roman Forum (the burial sites I mentioned earlier, as well as the Regia and Temple of Vesta), the Forum Antiquarium (a museum containing the stuff they found in the burial sites), the Palatine Hill, Palatine Museum, the Circus Maximus (2), then over the Capitoline Hill along the Tiber which we then crossed and were set free to do what we wanted. That was at 130, five hours after we started. No stops for food, constant walking and/or standing in the hot sun, and only one bathroom break, even though they keep telling us to drink water. Then, by the time I got back from my own two hour adventure it was 330, but I found a great pizzaria in Trastevere and actually figured out how to order it (get a ticket, attempt to order in Italian, pay for the food, get your ticket ripped, bring said ticket back to pick up food....) 'There's no place like Rome, there's no place like Rome...'

1 comment:

Brian said...

Getting comments is cool (I think my only comment is from my Aunt sandy, definitely not cool) Sounds like you're seeing quite a lot, although the pace seems a bit excessive! As you said, you could be at Ellington paying eight dollars for a crappy catered lunch instead of eating authentic italian pizza. Half full, to be sure.

Have fun,