THE DIARY OF A WANNA-BE GLADIATOR
6 June 2012 @ 2:40 PM

This is a post dedicated to the lemon flavour at Frigidarium.

2 years ago
5 June 2012 @ 4:49 PM
05.06.2012
Today we visited the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, the National Gallery of Modern Art. While modern art isn’t usually my thing, I tried to have an open mind.
The first room that we saw was exactly what I expected—and dreaded—upon hearing the term “modern art”: a bunch of abstract paintings and sculptures that were generally both ugly and seemingly easy to create. However, our tour guide pointed out a specific work by Alberto Burri, called “Big Red,” which was made of what appeared to be partly-charred plastic garbage bags. Our guide explained that the meaning of the piece was in the actual act of its creation; because fire cannot be controlled, the piece can never be exactly replicated. Unfortunately, although I thoroughly enjoyed this concept, the work was still not aesthetically pleasing.
Luckily, the museum also held works from artists like Cezanne, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh, and so my standards for artistry were met.

05.06.2012

Today we visited the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, the National Gallery of Modern Art. While modern art isn’t usually my thing, I tried to have an open mind.

The first room that we saw was exactly what I expected—and dreaded—upon hearing the term “modern art”: a bunch of abstract paintings and sculptures that were generally both ugly and seemingly easy to create. However, our tour guide pointed out a specific work by Alberto Burri, called “Big Red,” which was made of what appeared to be partly-charred plastic garbage bags. Our guide explained that the meaning of the piece was in the actual act of its creation; because fire cannot be controlled, the piece can never be exactly replicated. Unfortunately, although I thoroughly enjoyed this concept, the work was still not aesthetically pleasing.

Luckily, the museum also held works from artists like Cezanne, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh, and so my standards for artistry were met.

2 years ago
5 June 2012 @ 4:46 PM

04.06.2012

Alyssa and I went to the opera tonight! We saw La Traviata, by Guiseppe Verdi, the opera upon which one of my favourite movies, Moulin Rouge, is based. The plot follows a courtesan, Violetta, and her relationship with Alfredo; the two fall in love during the first act, but then, in the second, are separated due to miscommunications. Finally, during the last act, the lovers reconcile, just in time for Violetta to die in Alfredo’s arms.

Although the particular showing that we attended was an awkward sort of bootleg version (there were only four characters and a piano, as opposed to the usual ensemble/orchestra combination), the talent of the lead soprano was undeniable, and the show itself was still enjoyable. I even recognized some of the music!

2 years ago
3 June 2012 @ 12:40 AM

01.06.2012

We also climbed the Sacred Steps, which Jesus climbed on his way to trial at the house of Pontius Pilate. Apparently, if you look through the cracks in the wood that now covers the original steps, you can see His blood stains. I didn’t see anything, but that doesn’t mean that the experience wasn’t still incredibly spiritual.

2 years ago
3 June 2012 @ 12:38 AM
01.06.2012
After a morning of production meetings, we visited the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, the official church of the Vatican, wherein the Cardinals conclave to decide on the new Pope.

The Basilica was beautiful. The walls were covered in frescoes, and the main aisle of the church was lined with twelve statues, each in the image of a different apostle. To the left and right of the main door were two reliefs—one of Jonah freeing himself from the whale, and one of Jesus freeing himself from death.

01.06.2012

After a morning of production meetings, we visited the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, the official church of the Vatican, wherein the Cardinals conclave to decide on the new Pope.

The Basilica was beautiful. The walls were covered in frescoes, and the main aisle of the church was lined with twelve statues, each in the image of a different apostle. To the left and right of the main door were two reliefs—one of Jonah freeing himself from the whale, and one of Jesus freeing himself from death.

2 years ago
31 May 2012 @ 12:31 PM

31.05.2012

This morning was the earliest start of our entire trip so far. We met at the Galleria di Borghese at 8:30 a.m., which meant that I was out of bed at 6:30. Despite the early wake-up call, I was completely enthralled by the Gallery and its contents.

Our tour began with a brief history of Caravaggio, an artist with whom, until today, I had been unfamiliar with. His pieces, however, were pure genius. My favorite was his Madonna dei Palafrenieri, for which Caravaggio used a prostitute as his model for the Virgin Mary. I love what this says about society, and about the concept of redemption.

I was most enraptured with (of course) Bernini. Each of his four commissions for the Borghese family was based on mythology, which is another one of my passions, and so I was already familiar with the “plots” of his works. Bernini focused much of his efforts on capturing the intensity of both the physical and emotional heights of David (David and Goliath), Apollo and Daphne, Pluto and Persephone and Aeneas, Anchises and Ascanius/Iulus. His technique for Apollo and Daphne was particularly impressive, as the leaves sprouting from Daphne’s fingers, although made of marble, looked thin and fragile enough to actually blow in the wind. 

Ultimately, the Borghese Gallery was exceptional!

2 years ago
31 May 2012 @ 12:19 AM

30.05.2012

One of the things that I really appreciate about Rome, and I guess about the entire European Union, is its currency. The United States distributes one-dollar bills, which aren’t efficient because they’re made of paper and subsequently disintegrate; as a result, we have to mint more bills, which both decreases the value of our currency and kills trees. Contrastingly, the Europeans use both one- and two-Euro coins, which stay in circulation longer. I think that the idea of a one-dollar coin would benefit America, and that the U.S. should follow Europe’s economic example.

2 years ago
29 May 2012 @ 1:17 PM

29.05.2012

Today our scheduled tour was of the Jewish Museum of Rome. The Jewish population of Rome is about 14,000.

The synagogue that we visited is the largest of the sixteen synagogues of Rome. It was my first time inside of a synagogue, and I actually learned a lot. Synagogues are not allowed to have any images of humanity inside of them, contrary to the Christian tradition of having a massive Crucifix stapled onto the wall above or behind the altar; instead, synagogues are required to portray the Ten Commandments and to contain at least one Torah. Men are also required to wear yarmulkes inside of the synagogue, to symbolize their equality. Again, this directly conflicts with Christian doctrine, which requires men to remove their hats as they enter church, and for priests, cardinals, etc. to don theirs, thus establishing a sort of holy hierarchy. My favorite part of today’s synagogue was its ceiling, which is decorated with stained glass, rainbow-colored panels that are meant to symbolize God’s Covenant with his people.

2 years ago
28 May 2012 @ 11:51 AM
27.05.2012
This morning, Lauren, Alyssa, Kat (one of the TA’s) and I went to Pisa! We saw the Leaning Tower, the Baptistry and the Duomo/cathedral!

27.05.2012

This morning, Lauren, Alyssa, Kat (one of the TA’s) and I went to Pisa! We saw the Leaning Tower, the Baptistry and the Duomo/cathedral!

2 years ago
28 May 2012 @ 11:42 AM
26.05.2012
This morning we arrived in Florence for the gelato festival! Our first stop was an open-air market, where I bought a leather jacket. Then we waited in line to get into the Galleria di Accademia, which is home to Michelangelo’s David. I wasn’t expecting the size of the David to be so extreme; while I knew that the statue was larger than life-size, I didn’t think that it would be twenty feet tall! The overall grandeur and majesty of the statue was just so impressive!
After the Gallery, we trekked to the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge across the Arno River with a beautiful view. I then left Danielle, Julie and our friend Perry, with whom I had spent the beginning of the day with, to eat gelato and meet up with Sora, my roommate from this past year, and her friends Hannah and Nana. The four of us had dinner at an Americanized restaurant, where I ate chicken nuggets and French fries!
After dinner, I went back to Sora, Hannah and Nana’s hotel with them, to siesta before going out. The club that we went to is called Space, and it was actually the club that the cast of the Jersey Shore went to while they were in Florence! The night was a total blast; I love to dance, and the DJ at Space did not disappoint! It was an awesome end to a fantastic day.

26.05.2012

This morning we arrived in Florence for the gelato festival! Our first stop was an open-air market, where I bought a leather jacket. Then we waited in line to get into the Galleria di Accademia, which is home to Michelangelo’s David. I wasn’t expecting the size of the David to be so extreme; while I knew that the statue was larger than life-size, I didn’t think that it would be twenty feet tall! The overall grandeur and majesty of the statue was just so impressive!

After the Gallery, we trekked to the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge across the Arno River with a beautiful view. I then left Danielle, Julie and our friend Perry, with whom I had spent the beginning of the day with, to eat gelato and meet up with Sora, my roommate from this past year, and her friends Hannah and Nana. The four of us had dinner at an Americanized restaurant, where I ate chicken nuggets and French fries!

After dinner, I went back to Sora, Hannah and Nana’s hotel with them, to siesta before going out. The club that we went to is called Space, and it was actually the club that the cast of the Jersey Shore went to while they were in Florence! The night was a total blast; I love to dance, and the DJ at Space did not disappoint! It was an awesome end to a fantastic day.

2 years ago