I went to school really early so I could update my blog before class only to realize that the building didn’t open for two hours. So I ended up wandering around for a while. I had heard about a market in Campo dei Fiori, and it was really cool. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, which are nice to look at even if I don’t want to eat it. There was also a vendor selling stuff like limoncello and grappa who gave me a free sample. It’s way too lemony for me. Then I walked over to do some studying at the Pantheon while I waited for the building to open.
I went with Shelby, Professor Antonella and Antonella’s husband to see about getting Shelby’s phone fixed. The phone store people have been so unhelpful this entire time that we were expecting to have to fight them for anything. But then it turned out Shelby’s battery was just bad, so they gave her a new one.
After class we went to a bar to watch the soccer game, Italy vs Paraguay. I’m not terribly interested in soccer, but the program was paying for dinner so I went for the fun of it. Shelby and I left a bit early to walk to the Campodoglio and see it at night. There was a really creepy guy hanging around, so we left to walk over to a balcony overlooking the Roman Forum. After that we walked around for a while and kind of got lost somewhere near the Circo Massimo, but eventually found our way back to the area near our school.
Tuesday a few of us went to a a national museum, the Palazzo Altemps. On our way we stopped for pizza, which looked really pretty. But then it turned out that what we thought was melted cheese was actually mountains of mayonnaise. So we ended up eating gelato instead. Palazzo Altemps was pretty cool, had lots of Roman copies and even some Egyptian works. I don’t have any photos of it since cameras weren’t allowed. I do have some photos of Shelby and Elin acting like idiots in front of Bernini’s Fontana di Quattri Fiumi.
We also stopped at Feltrinelli’s a bookstore near our school, so Elin could buy a 99 Posse album. I am really looking forward to listening to this album when I get back to Houston.
It was this night that I recieved lessons in proper Italian etiquette from Beatrice (my host mom). It started when she offered me “melanzane.” Once I looked up what it was, I had to tell her I didn’t like it since it was eggplant. So she launches into this whole thing on how if I eat at someone’s house and say something like that I will give a bad impression. I have to eat whatever the lady of the house cooks because she spends a lot of time cooking. Beatrice says what I have to do is take some of every dish, eat everything on my plate, and then say that I loved it all. So after all that, I ended up eating some eggplant, which I must say was pretty gross.
Not too much happened Wednesday, just went to see a movie after class. It was called “La Nostra Vita” and I actually really liked it. The only problem was, it wasn’t just in Italian, which I would have had trouble following anyway, but it was in a dialect. So basically I didn’t understand anything and now I want to rent it and watch it with subtitles. Also, at dinner that night, Beatrice cooked tomatoes au gratin, which I had to try after the lecture I recieved the night before. I decided the flavor wasn’t bad, I just didn’t like the texture, which is my main problem with tomatoes in the first place. I did eat two though, just to be polite. Beatrice gave me an ice cream bar afterwards, and I rather feel like she was rewarding me for trying new foods.
Thursday was pretty awesome. We had a quiz in Italian that I did well on. After class, we went shopping since Shelby needed a swimsuit. I almost bought a dress from H&M, but it was made of heavier cloth and the store was so hot that I just couldn’t bring myself to actually buy it. It was pretty cute though, all black and white stripes with ruched sleeves. I might go back and get it this week. I tried on some harem pants, which I’ve been thinking about buying, but they looked pretty silly. If I find the right pair, I may have to get them.
We went to a wine tasting after that, a friend of ours who has lived in Italy for a while recommended it. The place was called “Il Goccetto” and the bartenders were all very nice. The prosecco that I had was good, but weirdly salty tasting. Brianna had a wine, I don’t know the name, but it tasted like roses. We mostly just hung around for a while, eating cheese and drinking wine before we had to leave.
On our way home Shelby and I decided to stop at the night market. It was cool, even though we were there too early for too much to be happening. There were lots of ethnic restaurants, which I’ve totally been craving, so we’re going to go back to get some Indian food some time. Shelby tried to win a Hello Kitty toy at one of the crane games for me, but she kind of failed at it.
Ok, that’s enough for one post, sorry about the lack of photos for this one. I’ll have way more photos on the next one when I cover our weekend in the south.