A Travellerspoint blog

Il Musica del Roma

Today was my second day interning with Giuseppe. After feeling refreshed from my hibernation of intense dormancy I decided to tackel our expresso maker again. I filled the bottom part of the saucer with just enough water, poured expresso powder over the small filter and attached the top of the french press looking pitcher, fired up the gas stove and waited.....although it wasn't by any standards the best expresso I've ever tasted, it was at least drinkable. Oh well, this can be perfected. I headed off in search of Guiseppe's studio. It is located in Euclid, a ritzy area of Rome. With the perfect directions that the internship coordinator gave me, it was easy to find. Once I arrived we discussed what I would be working on and decided that I would be researching and publishing a periodical on the mafioso and how they have shaped the legal system in Italy. (This makes me feel much better about missing the final season of Sopranos). Giuseppe also wanted me to write a letter for him that he needed to send to two of his clients. Last year two girls studying at Temple Rome went to Venice for Carnival. While there, after a little too much vino rosso, they decided to throw their empty wine bottle over one of the bridges. This bottle landed on agente di polizia, talk about bad luck. Anyway, Giuseppe is representing them and needs their signiture allowing him the permission to represent them in court. These poor stupid Americans!!

Instead of going to the country club for my swimming lesson today, we drove to Piazza Borghese to see if the International Horse Races were going on. We were in luck...one of the races was just about to begin! He quickly bought us tickets and we watched the horses approach the staring gates. These massive animals were very well groomed and their coats couldn't have been any shinier! The race was quite impressive. One horse jetted out before the group at the beginning of the race and remained in the lead the entire way around the stadium. The winner was an English horse and his name was Phillip. On the way out of the arena we stopped and looked at some of the memoribilia. I was glancing at a nice scarf and...Giuseppe draped it around my neck, told me that it looked beautiful and purchased it for me! Then, on the drive back to school, he leaned over and kissed me =O....in a more than "friendly italinan" way. I explained that I didn't think this was a good idea and that we should keep our relationship professional. I dont want him to get the wrong idea! Although, I'm really hoping this doesn't ruin my chanch for the swimming lesson with his sexy swim coach!

After class today I spent some time in the computer lab and finallized some of the plans for my upcoming weeked trips. I've decided to celebrate my birthday in Barcelona! A good friend recommended that drinking sangria and tanning topless, would be most appropriate. A friend and I booked tickets with RyanAir, (great low cost fares) then began planning the rest of the trip. I am so excited!!

The weekend after that I'm going to group trip to Ventotene, a beautiful island near Capri. Supposedly it is like Capri but there are fewer tourists and it is less industrialized. The beaches look delightful. While snorkeling and scuba diving we will be able to see underground ruins and have the opportunity of cliff diving. Lets hope I can build up the courage.

Thursday night we found out about an underground music club in Rome, called Traffic. Three Italian bands were going to be playing so we decided to check it out. As much as I love Pearl Jam, I'm getting really sick of hearing American music everywhere I go. Well, what we were about to experience was far from anything I've ever heard. When we arrived, after an hour of figuring out how to get there, discovering that the metro was closed, 1 bus ride and a cab ride later, we were ecstatic. The band Volconoman was amazing! They were a rock/electronica band with lots of interesting sounds and beats. (The lead singer wasn't bad either). I had such a great time! The bartender was also wonderful. She was a cute Italian flower child who made me fritazzas all night. (Her own special creation of vino biancho, freshed squeezed orange and appleton rum.) SQIUSITO! The club was full of lots of interesting people from punks, to an Irish philosopher who was helping me "find myself" and everyone in between. We also met two Romans who were intrested in trading/sharing some of our "goods." It was quite the cultural experience! I will definately be coming back here!

Posted by veranoamor 14:55 Comments (0)

Dutch Drill Sergent

Today I woke up early and went to buy tickets for this Sunday's soccer game. Roma will be playing Sicilia in the last game before the World Cup. Although Ive never been a huge soccer fan, apparantly soccer is a HUGE tradition here in Italia so I decided to go for it. However, "buying tickets" for an event in Roma is not the same as "buying tickets" in America. Instead of simply logging onto ticketmaster.com, the process is much, much more complex. First of all we had to take the metro to the Spanish Steps then walk to the Roma store from there. When we arrived there was a line out the door and they let us in two by two to purchase our tickets. After this we walked around for a while and stopped at the Trevi Fountain. This popular tourist attraction in Rome was used in La Dolce Vita. Supposedly, by throwing three coins in the fountain, you guarantee a return visit to Rome! While searching for coins I decided to have my photo taken with a authentic roman "gladiator" who in turn demanded a euro in return.

After this on the way back to school we stopped at a beautiful church outside of the Piazza de Popolo. The inside was gorgeous with intricate marble mosaics and colorful stained glass.

Today was the first day of the On Site part of my history class. We were taking a trip to the The Roman and Imperial Forums. Now, I concider myself relatively healthy and have always been in shape. But, after this I was exhausted! We ran up hill after hill, racing to keep up with our psychotic professor then standing in the hot sun while listening to him go on and on and on about the ruins and it was...amazing! Aside from the grueling workout, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to be learning about these extensive columns, temples and ruins and how they related to life in Ancient Rome. Instead of looking at slides in a classroom or reading from a text book. We were right here, ON SITE with a private Dutch tour guide, not to mention personal trainer. What more can you ask for?
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Finally, after everyone was about to pass out we went inside to the Capitoline Mueseum. Here the origional structure of Romulus and Rhemus suckeled upon the She Wolf was displayed. This is also the symbol for Roma's soccer team and seems to very representative of Rome. I already seen hundreds of miniture statues replicating the sculpture.

When I got home tongiht, I can't verbally describe how exhaused I was. My feet were coal black and after showering I collapsed in bed. I haven't slept this well in years!

Posted by veranoamor 14:53 Comments (0)

First Day in Italian Court

Today was the first day of my internship and I'm not sure if my boss is just a friendly Italian or if he has a thing for me. We met outside the metro at Piazza de Flaminia. He seemed very impressed and was happy to see me. He then explained that we were on the way to court! He had to present information to the judge reguarding a case he's been working on for several months. Because everything was in Italian I had quite a difficult time understanding but there was a discrepancy concerning a proposition for purchasing a penthouse apartment by someone who currently resided in a garage and had no income nor had filed a tax return in the past 10 years. After the judge made his decision, which I still didnt understand at this point, we left and headed outside. Later my boss explained to me that the judge set a continuance for a later date. The date scheduled was Octobre 2011. No, this is not a typo. The case won't be discussed any further until 4 years from now! And I thought the court system in America was screwed up! My boss asked what I like to do for fun and when I told him that I liked to ride hourses and swim, he really perked up. We went to pick up his Mini Cooper from the garage then headed to the stables where he keeps his horse. All of the animals here were very well groomed and taken care of. The owner of the stable came over to introduce himself and told us that he might be able to get us tickets for the International Races taking place this weekend. How exciting! On the way back to the car, Giuseppe asked me if I liked gilatto. Well clearly, anyone that knows me understands that like is quite the understandment concerning my feelings for gilatto....With this response the Mini Cooper was racing in and out of traffic on the way to Pasticceria MONDI Gelateria a trendy, swank gilatto bar. Once we stepped inside, I was in awe. Not only did they have a full gilatto bar with way too many selections but they also had thousands of inticately designed chocolates, fruit tarts and cornettis. I decided on a swiss chocolate gilatto complete with crumbeled ladyfingers and swirls of neutella. AMAZING! I told Giuseppe that we will definately be coming back here! After this I figured we were probably going to go to the office but instead we went to his country club and scheduled a swimming lesson for thursday so I can "improve my technique." He introduced me to his instructor who was quite handsome! I guess my stroke could use improvement after all. After lounging around with the other head to toe burberry clothed members, I needed to get back to school for Italian class. The Mini Cooper got me there just in time while blarring the Rolling Stones. Once we arrived, Giuseppe helped me out of the car and kissed me after thanking me for such a lovely morning. We decided that I would meet him at his studio on Thursday....then he kissed me again. Like I previously mentioned, I'm not sure if my boss has a thing for me or if he is just a friendly Italian. But, either way, I don't mind the treatment!

Posted by veranoamor 14:53 Comments (0)

il primo giorno di scuola

On Monday I started my first day of classes. After a quick breakfast of yogurt and the best fresh strawberries I've ever tasted, I started the walk to school. I stopped to grab some coffee and was faced with another cultural difference between Italians and Americans. Italians simply can not walk and drink at the same time. This is forbidden. They sip their expressos in the bars, then head on their way. So when I asked for a Cafe Americano in a to go cup, they seemed to be very puzzeled. Although, they were helpful and poured some watered down expresso into a plastic cup then inserted a straw, they still looked at me funny. Oh well, at least I know enough not to order a cappuchino after 10 AM! Anyway, I made my way to school and had my first Italian lesson which was very relieving! I'm getting sick of looking stupid and not being able to communicate so this is a class I will be studying very intently. My next class was History Of Ancient Rome. My teacher is Dutch and insane! He yelled at a boy in the front and called him a stupid, fat American for wearing shorts as well as instructing me that his classroom is not a bar and next time I should finish my Coca Light before class. He raced through 4 different time periods beginning in 31BC and ending in 476AD in less than 1.5 hours! WOW.

Posted by veranoamor 14:50 Comments (0)

In love with Roma!

Todi and Titango.

sunny

Well it is only my third day in Rome and I am already in love with this beautiful city! It is unlike any place that I've been before. All of the Italians are friendly, easy going and extremely laid back. This is definately the lifestyle for me!

I arrived on May 18, 2007, 7:30 AM at the Fiumicino Airport here in Roma. Then I met up with some of my classmates. We were all apsolutely exhausted but so excited that it didn't seem to bother us. We took a bus to our residence which is called Medaglie D' Oro and is located near the Vatican. My apartment is lovely with a great balcony. Since the food on the airplane wasn't the greatest we were all starved and headed out for a delicious lunch. The antipasti di mar was squsito! After this I headed to the Trionfale Market to pick up some frutta fresca e verdure. Communication was difficult since the only phrase I knew at this point was "Vino rossi per favore." However...that was very useful later on in the evening. After a pizza party at Temple Rome and a short orientation a group of us began to explore Rome and had drinks at a small trattoria near the Piazza do Popolo. The montepulciano here is amazing! After a few drinks it was finally time to go to bed. So we headed back to Medgalie and called it a night.

After a much needed rest I woke up feeling refreshed. We were meeting at school for a meeting followed by a tour of Rome. Temple Rome is about a 40 minute walk from the residence. It is located on the Tiber River directly accross the magnificant Ponte Matteotti bridge. During the tour we went to the Piazza de Poplolo, the Spanish Steps and saw the American Embassy. The countless cobbelstone streets were lined with Versace, Dolce and Gabanna, Fendi, Gucci , Burberry etc. Italy is a shoppers paradise! One thing I noticed while walking in Rome is how much Italian men love American women, especially blondes...and they have no problem showing this. Although all of the other Americans are already complaining about this, I am loving the attention! After the tour I came back to the residence and cooked my frist Italian meal in Italy with one of the boys I met on the tour. Era squisito!...So was the pre-dinner appetite enhancer=)

Sunday I forced myself out of bed at 7:30 AM and met with the group for a trip to Todi! We drove out of Rome and through the countryside to the midevil hill town of Todi. The landscapes and scenery is unike anything I have ever seen! The rolling hills seem to go on forever in every direction that you can see. Many fields were filled with wild sunflowers and acres upon acres of agriculture. Once we arrived to Todi we began to explore the town. The streets were all very narrow, which indicates why almost all the cars we saw were tiny Mini Coopers and Smart Cars. I cant imagine trying to park the Mustang here! One of my favorite parts of the scenery in Italy are the elequantly decorated window boxes and shutters that line all of the villa's windows. I think I already have enough pictures of these to start a home decorating book!.
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After exploring Todi we pilled into the buses and headed off to Titigano. (Try saying this word 5 times fast)! Here we were greeted with fresh guava juice,il succo di guaiava fresco, with a slight hint of gin. After this the 14 course meal began!! Waiters brought around trays of small Italian antipastis: toasted focaccia slices with mushroom and roasted pepper tapandades, pizza with grilled onions and frittattas. After these delicious teasers we headed inside to begin our 4 hour lunch! We started with a small crepe filled with bri cheese and a vino rossi. The next course was trays of cured procuitto, salami and formaggio. This was follwed by il risotto con l'asparago. (definately one of the highlights) although I was trying to pace myself, at this point it was difficult! Next was linguini with a pork sause, followed by plates of venican, chicken and lamb, with plenty of vino rossi in between! By this point I was stuffed and switched to the lighter wino biancho. At this point, conversation was becoming more free flowing and everyone seemed to be more than a bit tipsy by the time dolce rolled around. Alas, my favorite.....tiramisu. I have been waiting for this moment all of my life, the opportunity to eat tiramisu in Italia! Well, it was well worth the wait. And if this wasn't enough, we were also served boscotti to dip in our VERY strong dessert wine. After the meal, once I was finally able to move we slowly crawled outside and lounged by pool until it was time to go back to Rome. Italians really know how to live!
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Posted by veranoamor 13:45 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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