Ok, I’m back. That Friday, class was cancelled because of a strike. There weren’t supposed to be any buses or trams running, so there wouldn’t be any way for all the students to get to the school. Shelby and I decided we would explore the neighborhood around our house, but when we were walking around we saw a bus go by! Since apparently the buses were running, we went to the centro to find a church we had heard about, Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. It took forever to find it. We kept making wrong turns and missing small streets. We ended up in three random places not the church. We finally got there and it was so worth the hassle. Beneath this church was a crypt decorated with the bones of the Cappuccini monks. It was so awesome. It wasn’t just skeletons, but actual architectural designs. They were really creepy, but so cool. I couldn’t take any photos, so here is a photo of the postcard I bought.
Saturday we went to Ostia, the local beach. It was cool since I got to hang out with some students I don’t normally hang out with. The beaches were lovely, but very crowded. We went swimming and built sandcastles (which no one else was doing, is it an American thing?) and generally had a good time. I did get sunburned, even though I put on sunscreen like ten times, but it was my first sunburn in Italy, so I really didn’t mind. I bought a granita from a guy walking around selling them, but it had way too much syrup and was kind of gross. The guy also made fun of me for being super pale. The train ride home was really fun because I found our Rachel has the amazing ability of being able to spell words backwards. It doesn’t sound that interesting, but she’s so fast about it. There was also a guy wearing sweatpants that had “hooligans” written across the butt, like all those Victoria’s Secret pants. So then we had to get Rachel to spell hooligans backwards.
Porta Portense was on Sunday. It’s a huge flea market where you can buy pretty much anything. Some of the stuff are antiques (real or fake), some of it’s clothes, and there was also a whole lot of random stuff like Gilette razors (so random, I know). There was this gorgeous old telephone that I really wanted. It was the kind where you turn the dial to punch in the numbers and it was red. I almost got it, but then Shelby pointed out I would have to buy some special converter since it was had a really old plug. I did buy a clock, just because it was pretty (my parents are going to hate me for that). I also wanted to buy this really cool little knife. It was silver and the handle was shaped like a Venetian gondola, but it turns out it was a switchblade, which are illegal in the US. So sad.
After that, I walked to St. Peter’s with my friend Brianna to catch the noon mass. Except we waited outside, and the mass was inside. So instead we were standing around when the pope came out to give a benediction. Sadly I did not have my zoom lens that day, so he’s really far away in the photos. He talked in in five different languages and even dropped names of certain groups.
After that we went into St. Peter’s basilica, or at least tried. Brianna was wearing a dress that wasn’t long enough, so she got turned away. Luckily I was wearing the black and white plaid dress my mom made me (thanks for that!) and didn’t have any problems. Once inside, I just walked around taking photos and looking at everything. It was so intense. I’m honestly kind of glad I was alone because I could linger and look at whatever I wanted for however long I wanted. The Pieta was so gorgeous. It makes me sad I couldn’t get closer to it. I also decided that occuli are my favorite architectural invention. They make the light fall so perfectly.
I stumbled upon a mass going on, and had to convince the guy guarding the gate to let me in, but then I got to take mass at St. Peter’s. It was amazing. It also gave me an excuse to take photos in an area other people weren’t allowed it.
Our class was meeting at a the Crypti Balbi, a national museum to go on an archeological tour. We even got to go down into the site and see everything up close.
And that was week 2 in review. It’s weird to think that I only have like two weeks left. I really need to catch up on these before I go home.