Two Fridays ago my new camera arrived in the mail fresh from Amazon Italy! Oddly it was factory-programmed to English right out of the box (not that I'm complaining).
Saturday was a beautiful day—one of the first of many to come—so armed with camera and joined by two fellow adventurous types, I set out to go survey the environs and see some of the sights that had thus far eluded me. We started out with a walk through Trastevere, where we made a quick stop at the Almost Corner Bookstore, a fun little English-language bookstore handsomely stocked with a healthy mix of literature past and present. If I ever end up finishing the Dostoevsky I brought along, I know where I'll be going to get my next book.
From there we happened upon a huge open-air market in the center of what appears to be a restaurant Eden. I opted just to grab a sandwich from a corner bakery; you can tell what the good places are by the ratio of Italians to tourists frequenting them. The spinach and cheese sandwich I got was delicious, in no small part because of the surprise sea salt seasoning on the bread that brought out all the flavors—yum!
The rest of our itinerary brought us to the Pantheon, one of the few free-entry sites in Rome; Giolitti, the current leader in the Best Gelato This Semester standings; and—at long last!—the Trevi fountain.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK (and/or Trip): "This is the Round Temple. You can tell it's the Round Temple because of the way it is."
(runner up: "Do you see that round thing next to the rectangular thing in front of the square thing?")
The above quotes were the only redeeming parts of our site visits Monday morning, when a thunderstorm hit and coincided perfectly with our visit to the totally-open-air Circus Maximus. Other than that particularly miserable trip, the weather has been getting warmer and the rain has been subsiding. On Tuesday we had a day trip to Palestrina, ancient Praeneste, home of an awesome shrine built into a hillside. Over the weekend I caught up with some Georgetown students visiting from London and got the scoop on what life is like in the UK and spent the rest of my free time working on my first paper of the semester. Woohoo...
This week we're jumping ahead in the Roman timeline for a special week on early Christianity, culminating in an overnight trip to Ravenna this weekend. Next week will be midterm- and presentation-heavy before we depart for our weeklong trip to Sicily. I'll do my best to post more updates between now and the start of that trip (or at least make one post about Ravenna, which should be AWESOME). In the meantime, here's a small gallery of the highlights of my new photographs to tide you over (hover for descriptions on some images).