May 22, 2007
This was too good to not post:
On Sunday morning I was at the Rome airport, on my way back to the USA. I had checked my bags, gone through security and waited in line at passport control. After about a half-hour wait, I stepped up to the desk where the intimidating officer, clad in his shiny-buttoned uniform, glared at me through the glass between us.
"Buongiorno!" I greeted him enthusiastically. One of the best lessons I've learned in Rome is to suck up to the government officials and you'll never have any problems.
"Buongiorno," he began, and then continued in Italian, "How long have you been in Italy?"
"Since January," I said. "I study here."
"What do you study?"
"Communications," I replied. This is when the officer at the next desk chimed in:
"Where? La Sapienza?" He was referring to an Italian university.
"No," I said, "The American University of Rome."
"Ah, up on Gianicolo?" my officer asked. I nodded. These guys seemed pretty friendly for passport control.
"When are you coming back?" my officer continued.
"Will you go out for a pizza with me when you get back in September?"
This totally threw me off. I stared at him in shock. In fear of making him angry and potentially not letting me go back to the US, I nodded.
The other officer leaned over, "I'll come along, and make sure you bring a pretty American girl for me too!" Unbelievable.
My officer took some official document and tore off the bottom. He slip the paper under the glass window to me with a pen.
"Do you have a cell phone number? Write it down and I'll give you a call." I scribbled down a made-up number. He gave me back my passport.
"Have a nice summer and I'll see you in September," he said with a wink.
Posted by Kelsea at 10:11 AM | Permalink
| Comments (0)
May 11, 2007
After yet another long semester at The American University of Rome, my finals are finished, my papers are handed in and I'm ready for the summer.
This summer, however, I won't be dealing with Italian pests or...well...any of the variety of Italian pests. Nor will I be enjoying a creamy gelato or picking up provisions at the open-air markets.
Next week I will be heading back to New England, not to return to Rome until September. I do admit: I'm a bit nervous. The pasta won't be as al dente, the coffee won't be as creamy, and greeting someone with "Hello" isn't half as fun as saying "Buongiorno!"
When I do come back in September, I hope to focus this blog on the English-speaking community in Rome (of course, I will never be able to resist the occasional post about food). If you have any requests on what you would like me to write about, please leave a comment saying what. If you are an English-speaker in Rome and have an idea for a post, please leave a comment as well.
Thanks for reading and have a great summer!
Posted by Kelsea at 3:51 AM | Permalink
| Comments (0)
April 29, 2007
English speakers in Rome have to look hard to find some good English-language entertainment in the city. With only two cinemas showing the occasional movie in English and a handful of bookstores with a modest English section, the chances of sitting back and escaping reality without having to translate are few and far between.
If one digs deep enough, however, he may find this little gem beneath the cobblestones (literally): The English Theatre of Rome.
Last week I attended the show Broad Cloth Trilogy, part 2 – Body Matters, directed by Dyanne White and part of the “WOW: Women on Wednesdays” series. It was my first time seeing a show by The English Theatre of Rome and I didn’t know exactly what to expect.
Upon arrival at the Teatro l’Arciliuto I settled into the comfortable lounge where spectators wait for one show to end and the next to begin. The maroon walls were adorned with antique instruments and frescos and provided a relaxing atmosphere for a drink before or after a show.
The theater itself is very intimate. A stairway takes you from the waiting room and underground to the theater. The space – probably once a wine cellar – holds an audience of approximately 50 people.
Despite my initial qualms about the size, the show – seven monologues written and performed by women – blew me away. My favorite performances included Gaby Ford’s excerpt from “A Broad Abroad” where she comically demonstrates how to dub a pornographic film while eating fruit into a microphone; “Coming. Ready Or Not” written by Dyanne White where Melissa Palleschi personifies a zit; and Terianne Falcone’s “Sh#t Happens” which demonstrates her ability as a hysterical storyteller.
All of the actors were exceedingly talented and the monologues had me nearly rolling on the floor. My Italian boyfriend was also amused, and insisted that we return for the English-Italian language play that the group performs every season.
For ticket information, click HERE
Posted by Kelsea at 3:41 PM | Permalink
| Comments (0)
April 25, 2007
My third and final stop on my spring break was the Tuscan town of Lucca.
The city is famous for its medieval walled-in center. On weekends, tourists from Florence and Pisa take a day-trip to Lucca to ride bicycles along the ramparts or just get lost wandering through the streets. Other sites include its many towers, churches, a botanical garden and – my favorite – quaint Tuscan restaurants.
One of the sites I found more fascinating was the Volto Santo in that cathedral of San Martino. It is a wooden carving of a crucifix that is believed to depict what Jesus really looked like. One of the many stories says that Nicodemus planned on carving the wood after Jesus’ crucifixion, but when he finally went to work on it, the face was already there. Above is a fresco of the Volto Santo as seen in the church of San Frediano. This church also houses the remains of Saint Zita – whose mummified body is brought out once a year to be touched by the devout.
Posted by Kelsea at 1:28 PM | Permalink
| Comments (0)
April 13, 2007
My second stop in northern Italy was Ravenna. Famous for its Byzantine mosaics, it's a perfect to pass through for a day or two.
One thing I love about small European cities is that many of them rely on bicycles for transportation. They zig-zag along the streets, cutting-off the pedestrian tourists and speeding by the few cars stopped at a red light. It definitely makes the city feel smaller and less intimidating.
When touring Ravenna, every sight was more impressive than the one before it: A cathedral with extensive mosaic floors. A small mausoleum with brightly colored mosaics in geometric shapes. A basilica, then a baptistery -- all displaying the art in nearly perfect condition.
Once I had enough of mosaics (though in this country there's no such thing as too many mosaics), I went to the Church of Saint Francis where there is a waterlogged crypt with -- come to think of it -- a mosaic floor. Of course, I had to wonder how the goldfish got in there...
For the English literature buffs, tourists can visit the house of Lord Byron near the church. I had to snap this picture for my literature professor, in hopes that he will add a few points to my last exams!
Posted by Kelsea at 4:44 PM | Permalink
| Comments (0)
Keep going: Page back through previous months' entries