(Mild yet unspecific spoilers lurk within.)
Surely you aren't tired of this by now: more than a year after it first premiered at Cannes to shrugs from my corner of the world, reached the eyes of several of my Georgetown friends who were quick to point out that I was missing out on something great, and won an Oscar, plus a trip to the city in question and back, at long last...THE GREAT BEAUTY! Read More
On my second to last day in Rome, I learned how to say "I don't understand" in Italian.
Surely it won't take long for the irony of that statement to sink in; there I was, four months into my study abroad adventure and finally learning perhaps the second-most important phrase there is to know in any foreign language (after, of course, "I don't speak _________"). Better late than never though—I did manage to get one good use out of it on a Sunday stroll through the Borghese gardens when an Italian couple tried asking my help in taking a photo for them. Read More
Is there any sensation stranger than being addressed in English in a foreign country after having spent two months in two countries where English-speakers are a rare commodity?
I may have spent my entire spring break in Paris were it not for the three friends I wanted to visit in London and the friend back home who was anxiously awaiting for me to discover for myself the alleged greatest city on earth. Would London live up to the hype? Only one way to find out... Read More
How long does it take to fall in love with a city? Judging from my experiences, I'd say about 30 minutes.
I had only been on the ground in Paris proper for half an hour yet already I knew this was it—I was made for this city. 30 minutes by metro from the center of the city to my hotel in Trocadéro, and that was all it took for me to be totally smitten by the City of Lights. Hunched in the corner of the metro car with luggage for a week in one hand, camera bag in another, several differences from Rome struck me: Read More
Torrential downpours on the first day of an 8-day trip typically don't bode well for the days to follow, but the Centro lucked out with agreeable weather for the duration of our time in Sicily. One of the major selling points in this semester abroad program, the Sicily trip (along with the fast-approaching Campania trip in April) is a truly unique experience offering us Centristi the chance to see every last important archaeological site on Italy's southern island. As Franco, the program coordinator, told us in our orientation lectures the night before departure, it's the week that for many past Centristi marked the turning point in their deciding to turn their passion for Classics into a lifelong career...or run in the other direction and never look back.
Disclaimer: the Sicily trip was intense, and so is this blog entry. Imagine the 35 of us herded around the island by bus (with infrequent if not nonexistent bathroom breaks) on a strict schedule and changing hotels (and roommates) every single night. Fortunately, meals were provided throughout the journey, but abandon all hope ye vegetarians who enter here: Sicilians, and Italians in general, seem not to be too keen on making vegetables a meal of their own. It's a good thing our spring break began the day we got back to Rome; even though the rush to get laundry done before taking off on our individual European adventures was stressful, the time spent away from each other was a much-needed refresher before the beginning of the second half of our semester. Read More
As wonderful as the art and architecture of Rome may be, it was nice to get a change of scenery for a day to see something outside the purview of the Roman Republic and Empire. Of course, the epic trip I’m about to relate to you was not without its fair share of...misadventures, but in the end I’m happy to have spent a whirlwind tour in—
Ravenna! Read More
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. Read More
If Amazon.it is to be trusted, my replacement camera should be arriving tomorrow, meaning higher-quality, artisier photos for all! In the meantime, let me tell you about the week we've been having.
Continuing our series of weekly Tuesday excursions, we spent a day in Albano Laziale and (ancient) Lavinium. Once again the weather proved uncooperative, and many of our planned excursions were cut short. We were, however, blessed with the opportunity to visit not one but TWO entirely memorable museums—memorable for entirely different reasons. Read More