Thursday, June 26, 2008
Over the course of the past seven weeks studying abroad in Rome I chose three topics of interest to me and created a blog sharing my information and experiences with anyone interested. This was my first time reading and writing blog entries and it has been a good experience to share with my family what I have been up to while studying abroad in Italy. Incase anyone is reading my page for the first time doesn’t know, I have wrote a majority of my blog entries on the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Nightlife in Rome. On my behalf I took these themes and places and picked unique and interesting aspects about each one that I thought other people would like to hear and know about. Hopefully by reading my page you found some interesting information and a taste of what I have been experienving through my pictures.
Being that the Trevi Fountain is one of the newer fountains in Rome I have observed that it is much more popular than others I have visited. For example you see tons of people go to the Pantheon but they don’t seem to be so concerned with the fountain there. They may take a few pictures of it but for the most part are not very concerned about the fountain in itself. The Trevi fountain is constantly flocked with people and tourists taking pictures and even locals hanging out. I have noticed that there are a large number of fountains here in Rome, some historical and some just for looks but it is interesting to see how people seem to flock to them for many different reasons. Some are dirty and not filled with water, some are small and some are big. Certain ones even allow you to dip your hands right in to cool you off on a hot summer day. There are many differences when talking about fountains in Rome but these were ones that have stuck out to me the whole time being here and I’m sure if you’ve been to Italy you can relate in everything that I am saying!
One of the most unforgettable moments I have had here in Italy was watching the sunset in Sorrento from the balcony of my hotel room. Watching the sunset over the beautiful ocean and seeing the sun fall over the city of Sorrento at dusk was absolutely life changing. I know at home in my everyday life I don’t take time to enjoy the simple things in life like watching the sun set. It is such a rare and beautiful site to see and I think many people take that for granted. Watching the sun set in Sorrento made me think about all the simply beautiful things in life that we seem to loose focus on because of our “hectic schedules.” I found myself reflecting on all of my experiences here in Rome while watching this gorgeous sunset and found myself shedding a new light on the past seven weeks. It allowed me to clear my mind and in a sense feel free. I am going to take what I got from this and always remember exactly how I felt at this moment in time and was lucky enough to capture some pictures of the amazing sunset that I will never forget.
Unfortunately I missed this very unique event at the Trevi Fountain but was lucky enough to have some fellow classmates share their experience they had with the artist at the fountain with me. They went on a clear and beautiful night to see the fountain and experience it in the dark. Luckily they went on a night where an artist was there shining different colored lights on the statue in the middle of the fountain. By looking at the Picture that a fellow classmate provided me with it looks as though the statue is painted when in reality there are just different lights being shined on it. I thought this was so amazing that you could create such an illusion with lights. I was also informed that the artist was playing a CD of sounds of the ocean. I thought this was very interesting and was curious as to why he would choose to do so when the sound of the water at the fountain is already so overpowering. Although I was not able to be there to see it with my own eyes I’m glad I had the opportunity to hear all about it and see pictures from other people.
Today I went to the Pantheon one last time before I have to say my final goodbyes here in Rome and head back to the United States. Today felt like one of the hottest days since being in Italy it was almost unbearable. Approaching the Pantheon I noticed the heavily populated area was even more crowded than usual possibly have something to do with the fact that tourist season is in full effect. After swaying through crowds of tourists and family I finally reached the inside of the church and was relieved to be walking into a shaded cooler space. To my surprise the inside of the church was not flooded with people by any means. I would have thought that there would be swarms of people congregating around in the church not only to look around but in hopes of staying cool. This was the first visit to the Pantheon where more people were standing outside and around the church than they were inside of it. I sat down on one of the altar benches for about 15 minutes and tried to capture as many pictures as possible with my own eyes to store in my memory. I don’t know if I will ever get a chance to come back and see this exquisite place again in my life and it worked out very well for me that the inside was not overly crowded and I was able to enjoy the space in a more memorable and personable way.
While visiting the Pantheon today I witnessed the interaction between the Carabiniere and the men who stand around the area selling purses, sunglasses, belts, wallets, and watches. Walking into the Pantheon I could see them all lined up in the area trying to sell their goods and everything was set neatly out on the ground. They were all chatting with one another and trying to lure potential customers in by repeating “special price” to every passerby. I then noticed two Carabiniere roll in the area on their motorcycles and this put all the men trying to sell their goods in a frenzy. They quickly folded up their sunglasses display, shoved their belts into suitcases, and loaded up each of their arms with as many purses as they could carry. The funny thing is that they did not leave the area they just stood around in hopes the police would leave. To my surprise I did not see and of the police take action to arrest the mean or even tell them to get lost. They did stick around in the area until most of the vendors trickled away from the heavily populated area.
Like I had mentioned in one of my previous blogs about the fair by the Tiber River I also found the shopping there a special sight to see. Once the sun sets the place gets swarmed with people. The stands they have set up there are great to find unique jewelry, clothes, purses, candles, lamps, candy, and an array of home made crafts. This was a fun place to go and visit and created a new environment not only for shopping late at night but being able to do so by the Tiber. The people at these stands were very nice and a lot of the products were inexpensive. I spent a few nights walking along the river exploring these stands I felt like they could have gone on forever. I ended up finding a lot of great things to take home to my family and friends and it will be fun to tell them the story behind where their gifts came from.