Monday, April 27, 2009

Vatican, Carpi, Appian Way

What a busy weekend!


First I had an on-site visit for one of my classes at the Basilica di San Clemente. We got to go down to the lower levels of the church to see the ruins of an ancient worship temple devoted to a lesser god Mithras.

After that Marina and I tried to go to the Corsini Gallery but found it closed due to short staff. So what do you do on a Friday when your plans don't work out? Go to St. Peter's Basilica of course! Marina had never been to the top of the dome so I took her up there--all 551 steps--so she could get the amazing view from the top.


Shannon, Marina and I were up and ready to go early Saturday morning--our bus to Capri left at 4:30. We got to the port at around 8 but our tour guide was late. So we waited...and waited. Finally the leaders of our group decided we would just leave without her and she could meet us later. So we got to the island and waited some more.

At least the views as we were waiting were absolutely stunning. We hung out in some gardens as we waited and could look out over the ocean, at the bright blue water. Finally the tour guide arrived and we got on tiny buses that took us to the top of the island. Those drivers were crazy on the roads and hairpin turns, but we made it! At the top we found a place that hand-made leather sandals and most of the girls went nuts over that. I myself was more interested in the other side of the shop, the side that handed out free limoncello shots and chocolate samples.

After lunch and some more shopping by the other ladies in the group we headed back down to the coast and relaxed some more on the beach. On our boat ride back we circled the island and got to see Capri not only on land but from the water as well. When we got back to Sorrento, though, we were an hour late and our bus driver was not a happy camper.

We ended up stuck in traffic for most of the way home and didn't get back to Rome until after midnight so we were all quite tired. I was happy though--finally a day where it was warm and I even got a little pink! We haven't been having the best of luck with the Roman weather so Capri was like heaven!


Marina and I somehow made it out of bed and down to the beginning of the Via Appia antica where we were outfitted with some bikes and a map for an ancient bike ride. We rode down a street over 2,000 years old (and it showed in some places) and got to see all of the ruins along the way. The Appian Way is close to traffic (besides those who live on it) so it is filled with bikers, runners, and families spending the day in the country. The scenery was gorgeous and the weather even cooperated for the most part. It was pretty warm and only started raining near the end of our trip.

After our bike ride we headed back to the Corsini Gallery, which was at last open, and enjoyed all the paintings and sculptures for free since it was still Culture Week.

And then it was time to start that 10-page research paper due today. I'd been mulling it over in my head for a bit but never actually got down to writing it...and surprisingly, once I started, it came out pretty easy. I wrote nearly the entire thing late last night/early this morning and now I just have to reread it and add the finishing touches!

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