Hello again! Spring has offically arrived in Tuscany. The mimosas’ yellow blooms are mixing with the pink cherries and white sprigs of the pear orchards. The sun is out (at least half of the days) and thunderstorms have started to make their presence known, shaking the loose windows, and pelting tiny ice balls at the windows and our faces.
In our fourth week in Italy our group took a big trip to the metropolitan stronghold of the Roman Empire, Roma. Among my wonder at the ancient ruins, amazement at the incredible size of the pantheon, and disgust as to the opulance of the pope’s basilica, I got a cold. A terrible, sneezing until I couldn’t see straight, blow my nose every four minutes cold. It was such a great oportunity to see the major beginnings of western civilization, only it was a bit hazy. On the first trip we started with ancient rome, theaters, the coloseum, palatine hill, and walked around the Roman Forum. At the top of the Palatine hill there were extensive views out over the city. Also, it was the most windy day that I had experienced since leaving central Kansas. Windy and cold, setting records for the city. Our professor told us later that he had been watching the news and compared to Kansas, where the wind blows and branches fall on the roads without problems, there had been some major accidents from giant branches falling on unsuspecting Vespa riders.
Just last weekend (last weekend of March) I visited with my parents who have come to see Italy and myself. The weather was much warmer, and this time I was recouping from my second cold of the trip which started in France during Spring Break. Maybe I should sleep a bit more, try to travel a bit less…. Anyway, it was much better for the weather and more comfortable without my huge school group. My knowledge of the city from the previous trip made me a much better tour guide for my parents as well. We had a really great time. Pictures below are mixed from both trips. :-)
Palentine Hill, Palace of Augustus
Parco di Musica_ Renzo Piano
My parents and I attended a concert in the central pod. The pianist was really great and had fingers that moved in a blur. There were three encores, he loved the attention. :)
Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City_ the pope
School of athens in the apartments of the popes.