Or mom depending on who is actually reading this...
Anyways I'll catch you up on my past few days since I haven't posted anything. On Tuesday after class our group went on tour to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. The colosseum name is actually colosso and was a thearter in it's time. Only being used for about 100 years, I might have to double check that, it was used as a free entertainment center for the citizens of Rome. How much you paid in taxes determined where you sat in the audience. There were acting performances, singing, and as we all know fighting between animals and animals, people and people, hangings and decapitations, animal and people(gladiators- some were slaves others were people who sold their skills for money for a few years). The Colosseum as you will see from my pictures on facebook is a brown color now but this is the cement that was underneath and actually was covered with a brilliant white marble. The Colosseum gleamed in it's glory days.
The Roman Forum is said to be the first location of Rome. This is where the old Emperor lived and ruled from and where the court justice system would be located. It is also the place of the legend of Romulas and Remus. It is said that one of the Virgin Preistess, chosen divinely and sent to study in the Roman Forum, became pregnant and according to her the God of War raped her; but being unbelievd she was hanged and her twins were left under a fig tree. Everyone thought the twin boys would die but a shewolf, female wolf, having lost her babies fed them and kept them alive allowing them to live and grow. The twins were of three parts, human, animal, and divinity. They were heros but later Romulas killed Remus and founded Rome, hence the name.
On wednesday morning I was able to attend a Papal Audience. This happens every wednesday and the Pope rides around in his chariot and shakes hands, prays, and kisses babies before going to the stage and blessing everyone in attendance, their families, loved and sick family and friends and anything with us. There is a cardinal in attendance for every language to represent a nationality and shares our resepect and love for the pope and in return translates the popes words of blessing. This was an amazing experience and I am so happy I was able to see and be apart of something like this. I only wish I could have sat closer so that I could see him better.
On Wednesday night I left with several other people to go to Cinque Terre, a coast line of five towns. We stayed in the last one, Monterosso. That night we had pizza, which is always amazing, and gelato, a regular, and just hungout in the apartment and bonded a bit. The next day we went hiking through Cinque Terre. This is several paths that connect the towns through the valleys and mountians. Unfortunetly we kept going on different paths and somehow ended up going on most of the diffiuclt trails. Now when I say trail I mean rock path. We rock climbed for approximately 7 miles straight up and down mountains. The views were definetly worth it but this was the most extreme physical activity I have ever done in my life. I was sweating profusely and constantly, someitmes wanted to cry, and was grapsing for breath like my oxygen was being sucked away from me. But the climb and visits to the towns from 10am to 8pm were definetly worth it.
On Friday we left for Florence. We got there early enough to check out the area and explore the Di Omo, spelling?, a rather large Church and while beautiful it was very different from the ones in Rome. The inside is ornate but also most of the decoration seemed to be the outside of the church itself rather than on the inside like I am used to seeing. Then we went to the Museum of Michaelangelo, and of course saw the statue of David. The staue is so realistic and much larger than I expected. It had to at least 30 ft tall.
On Saturday we explored another museum and gardens, that had beautiful fountains and path ways set up like a maze. It was fun running around in them. One of the gardens also had a quartet playing and I was able to creep and watch a little bit of a performance of Mozart! Afterwards we did some shopping, doesn't seem prodcutive but hey got to have tie for souvenirs sometime. Both nights we also made pasta in the apartment to eat and save money, 2 euros for dinner both nights, I think yes! On saturday night we walked up to the Stairs of Michaelangelo and watched the sunset over the entire city. It was absolutely beatiful and worth the pain of climbing more stairs.
Today, sunday, I am riding the train back to Rome and will do homework and go grocery shopping today and then class and do homework Monday-Wednesday. Thursday I will leave for Bologna, then spend two days in Venice, and finish in Verona on my way back to Rome.
This trip is starting to go much faster than I thought was possible and while starting to miss home and the American culture I am happy for the experience.