Roma update- week 3

This week is full of accomplishments as we continue to meet the challenge of living in a foreign city. Patty and I took the Metro to the Coliseum and spent several hours in the Basilica of San Clemente drawing not only in the church, but in the church below it, the Roman Villa and the Shrine to Mithras that are below that lower church. We nicknamed it the Church of the Recycling.
I also took the bus to Trastavere for my digital imaging class. We took lots of pictures in the area and saw an exhibit of photos by Mario Giacomelli, a famous Italian photographer.
My Inside Italian Design class visited the Quartiere Coppede`, a neighborhood that was built between 1913 and 1928 in the Stile Floreale (Floral Style) as well as a museum visit to the National Museum of Modern Art.
I took the tram/trolley to this excursion. With each excursion, we get more comfortable with the public transit system here in Rome. We purchased the monthly bus pass for February so we’re unlimited in our choices in getting around Rome.
I didn’t have a day off from school this week because the sketchbook class went to the town of Toscania for an all day drawing excursion. We spent about an hour and a half drawing in the morning and then two hours in the afternoon. It’s a lovely town in the mountains north of Rome where there are many remains of Etruscan tombs. I tried to visit the local museum on my lunch break, but it was closed due to a power outage. I took plenty of photos and they can be seen on my Flickr page.
View from the Park
Gwen’s fresco class visited a museum to look at ancient frescoes and this week she begins laying the first layer for the fresco she’ll be working on in class.
My Italian language class continued to cover basic items like dealing with money, shopping and how to order in a bar. In Rome, a bar is where they serve espresso, coffee, tea, fresh squeezed OJ, sandwiches, snacks and pastries. Some of them also serve alcohol, but that’s not really a focus. Most Italians down their café` standing at the counter, pay and then move along. I haven’t seen a cardboard coffee cup since we arrived.
But shopping has been something of a theme this week. One night we headed to the Centro Storica, the historical area and wandered down a street with vintage shops and got a few treasures. We also had a wonderful dinner as well and walked through Piazza Navona on the way home.
On Saturday morning, we finally took a walk over to the Piazza at St Peters to gawk at the Bernini colonnade and take a few photos. I was surprised to see the Christmas tree and Nativity was still up. I guess the Vatican likes to keep it up until either Groundhog Day or Lent whichever comes first?
The Groundhog Day tree
On the way back we found a kitchen store since we’ve been looking for a teakettle and I noticed they also carried Lagostina, the Italian brand of pressure cookers that I had researched. I had to think about it a bit, but I went back a few hours later and purchased one to bring home after the trip and use while we’re here.
My new Pressure Cooker
This Sunday we decided to try the Porta Portese, which is a huge open-air flea market, which goes on for miles in the Trastavere section of Rome. We found plenty of little things to buy. Pat found another of the same brand of pressure cooker, but hers was used and larger. It needs an overpressure plug replaced, but it was a fraction of what it would cost brand new. Gwen got a nice vintage Italian leather bag for her iPad, we all got some scarves and a few other things.

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