Sunday, June 27, 2004

Tell me on a Sunday...

Hi folks. Even across the pond, I could hear the sighs of disappointment yesterday when I didn't blog on. My apologies, but I was having way too much fun until I got myself very lost trying to get home, but I'll get to that. So we don't have Saturdays off of The Program so we went to the Villa Giulia, an Etruscan art museum for a half-day. It was very good, and now I think, after the past week, I may be becoming a fan of the Etruscans. Especially their jewelry...all I can say is 'wow.' And there was a whole gallery of it in the museum. Unfortunately, no cameras allowed so it remains in my memory alone... I was set free around noon and began an excellent Amy adventure. I walked down the Via Flaminia towards Piazza del Populo. I stopped at a cafe (Rosati) on the piazza and spent far too much euro on some pasta and wine, but it's a pretty famous place, with Art Nouveau (my favorite!) decor, and several Ferraris and/or Lamborghinis parked out front. A couple nearby (owners of at least one of the said vehicles) were drinking Cliquot which cost about $100. They spoke English, and for a second I thought I recognized him from a movie, but I'm not sure. Anyway, the lunch was excellent and I quite enjoyed myself so it was worth it. I had dressed for the occasion as well, not wanting to look touristy, in a light orange top and linen striped skirt, and no camera to set off any warning signals. I had on black sandals (not good for walking...big mistake...) and only two things set me apart from real Italians: 1. I don't smoke, and 2. I don't speak Italian. But I pulled it off almost, because several people tried talking to me in Italian all day and Americans kept asking me for advice and directions thinking I lived here. I continued to walk down Via del Corso, a famous street that runs right through the city down to the Forum. The street is closed to traffic on Saturdays and all the natives were out shopping. I browsed in some shops, made purchases in others...found a great music store (opera c.d.'s for 5 euro), a stationery store that was like a fancier mini-Staples, and an English book store in which was the AAR librarian (I said, don't tell Myles I'm pleasure-reading!!! She promised not to.), a cafe where I had wine and they gave me free snacks, etc. etc. I bought a necklace off some artisan on the street for 6 euro and I'm wearing it as we speak. By now my feet were killing me and I was hungry again (it was around 7 or so...I didn't wear my watch), so I went into the Black Duke, an Irish pub in a basement, for some sustenance. I stayed for awhile, met some Americans, watched Italian MTV, and put my feet up. Why an Irish pub? Because it's near Giolitti's, the best gelaterie in Italy, so I went there next and bought my gelato and some cookies and found a good spot near Trajan's Column (2)to sit with all my packages and eat my gelato. By then, it was late and I was hobbling down Via del Corso because my shoes were killing me so I got on the bus and headed for home. Except I never took the bus home before and the stop is not the same as when you get on and I was all turned around and got lost for the longest time and was quite worried, but a nice Italian man helped me and then I saw, shining in the darkness, the Madonna della neon blu' as I call her, which is a statue of the Virgin Mary lit up with blue neon above the church next door to the Centro. She is my guardian, I've decided. That was yesterday. As for today, a few of us hopped the train to the beach at Santa Marinella (2), a great little beach town South of Rome. The sand is blackish from the volcanic material (for more on that sort of thing ask Chris) and the water was cool but not cold, and very calm. It was a good relaxing day and now I'm chillin at the Centro with dinner plans around 7:30. Buona sera!

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