Okay so I'm a little late on updating, but I have had an interesting 2 weeks... and soon to be an interesting 2 more because mom and dad are coming to visit, and after that we have Spring Break!
Last Friday (not 2 days ago, but before that), I had a class trip to the Printing Museum on the "Via del Stampa" - literally, the Street of Printing. It was easy to get to, located right next to the Trevi Fountain. We spent a few hours reviewing many beautiful prints from famous people such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Then we all got cappuccino compliments of our professor Mario ("And you ask me, 'Why, Mario, must we do this?' and I tell you, 'Because you must always keep your tools clean so that we get a nice print.'" Allora, I digress). We also sampled some Carnevale treats. Then 4 of us explored the Jewish Ghetto, made our way into a museum in the basement of a Synagogue, and got some falafel before going home. That night, I went to a pizza place in Trastevere called Dar Poeta. At first, they didn't understand the concept that we wanted two salads and one pizza for two of us to share... so we got one salad and one pizza. Perhaps our "due" was not clear enough? The pizza was fabulous, though.
After dinner, we ran to a chocolate shop nearby in the pouring rain, and everyone had a Bailey's shot in a chocolate cup, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. The woman was explaining how to take them...
After the rain died down and our stomachs were settled (When in Rome, Drink as the Romans Do, right?) we made our way to a bar called Stairs which was remarkably close by. It's as though we had planned it. But we didn't. I think this was one of the first nights where dinner and after-dinner festivities continued within walking distance of each other. Yay :-)
The next day, I had another class trip for Anthropology to a smaller city called Rocglione, which is utterly difficult to pronounce correctly. It's just outside of Rome, and we got there by metro, train, and then bus, which took in total just over an hour. Maybe two, with the waiting. Before our bus ride we grabbed some pizza, and my friend Caroline was belittled in Italian for not having the correct change. They are not a fan of £50 bills here. No one ever wants to break them for you. In Venice, we each wanted to pay separately for our cappuccino one afternoon, and the cashier was very upset with me, being the last one to pay, thus hurling all the change left in the drawer onto the counter and telling me that it would just have to be good enough.
Anyway, after the pizza incident we made it to Ronciglione for a horse race, Carnevale-style. Like the Palio races of Sienna, which only happen 2x a year, this was kind of a big deal for the town. Pictures, and a video, tell all...
So although I understood little of what the announcer was saying in Italian, except "Do not use flash photography," and "Hold onto your kids," the atmosphere was great and the race was exciting albeit very short! We'd had to give up our "illegal" spots about 3 times although Italians ended up crowding there anyway closer to the start of the race, and we couldn't see what was going on until the horses turned the corner. Apparently the bare-backed horses sometimes do not want to go into their pens, or start at all. There were 3 heats of 6 horses each, and a few horses fell on their way around the corners, which is why everyone had to hold onto their kids, haha. The race was almost called off a few weeks before as some animal rights groups were hassling the town. However, the horses were fitted with orthopedic horseshoes and all was well in the world. Following the race, I had the best cup of hot cocoa EVER made, pretty much pure chocolate topped with pure cream, hehe. I also bought £8 worth of Carnevale candy (nuts and dried bananas and such), unintentionally of course. After we had walked around a bit, basking in all the decor and atmosphere of Ronciglione, it was time to catch the last bus back to Rome.
(For more info on the Ronciglione Carnevale, in terrible English, click here).
That night, I went to Art Cafè a.k.a. Babel, which proved to be very trendy and un-American on Saturdays, unlike the Fridays I'd been hearing about. When they play American pop and "Commercial" music, drawing swarms of American students and non-natives.
Soooo after all this, you would think I'd be tired. But then came Super Bowl Sunday and since the GIANTS made it, why shouldn't I? Even if the game started at midnight here...
A fabulous ending to a fabulous weekend.