Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Day Two, Age of Augustus

Buonna sera. It's after 9 p.m. here and still about 90 degrees. I miss air conditioning, but I always have cold showers (glass half full???)! Today was part two of Augustus, but I found it to be a bit disappointing. The morning was the best, however, as I found myself standing inside of Augustus' mausoleum, in the inner tomb where HE was buried. Like, wow. That was huge for me. But the day went downhill from there. The Ara Pacis is, STILL, closed (Melissa!) for renovation and then we walked (and walked) through the Campus Martius down to the Largo Argentina to the Theater/Cryptus of Balbus which was kind of a non-site, to me anyway. I never really heard of it before, and it seems like I wasn't missing much... That, of course, ran late and we ended up with a 20-minute lunch (which, luckily, I'm used to, go EHS!!!) before meeting again at one of the great National Museums of Italy, the Palazzo Massimo. BUT, we met a lecturer and were there 1 1/2 hours listening to him talk while only looking at two sculptures. I say, lecture to me in a classroom; if you take me to a museum, let me look around!!! I have been to this museum before, though, so it wasn't a total loss. Two of my personal Top 10 favorite things in all of Rome are there, and I got to see them both today: the frescoes from the dining room of the House of Livia (a copy of which hang in my bedroom at home...) and the statue of Augustus as Pontifex Maximus (high priest). Also lots of other great sculptures, frescoes, and oh...the mosaics. You can hardly believe how intricate and detailed they are! I stopped at the grocery store on the way back, got some snacks, cheese, and fruit, and then back to the Centro for another great dinner: macaroni and cheese, but with gorgonzola instead of cheddar, chicken breasts in a light orange glaze, and profiteroles (basically cream puffs) filled with chocolate custard. Tomorrow we head to Terracina and Sperlonga, with a stop at the beach, and then our long-awaited and much-deserved long weekend. Many of the 'gang' have visitors here or are headed to Pompeii, but since I'm going there in Part II of the Fulbright, I have decided to stay around Rome until Sunday. At that point, I'm headed to Assisi via a Eurostar train to visit one of the sisters connected to my Catholic school upbringing. Her name is Sr. Carol Woods and she is in Assisi for the year, so I'm looking forward to a wonderful tour of the town of Saint Francis and St. Claire. I'll be staying overnight at the convent's inn (only 28 euro with breakfast!). It will be a beautiful as well as peaceful retreat. But I'll be bloggin on before that...Ciao!

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