Another week whizzes by…

The past week here has been another busy one. Drawing class at the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine. So funny to hear my classmates complain. “Do we have to draw it again? There’s too many arches!” There was also much preparation for my last Italian test on Thursday.

The Jam Session Show was on Wednesday night and it was a fun evening. Temple Rome rents all kinds of high tech sound and video equipment and puts on quite the event. I’ll let you know when the video is posted. I performed a belly dance which I wrote about in a blog post.

Our onsite Design Class this week was at Eataly. This is a four story market place of fresh food you can buy for home or places you can sit down and eat. Food is such a part of the culture of Italy and this location showcases every aspect of this in fresh, locally sourced, well presented way. I understand there is one in New York, too. I may have to plan a trip to see how it compares.

The Italian teacher from Temple who planned our Ventotene trip this past weekend was able to connect Pat, Woody, Coriander and Mason with a great apartment on the Island of Ponza. They left Thursday morning for the Ferry from Formia to Ponza with a few travel adventures on the way.

There was a Trenitalia (the Italian national train system) strike scheduled for Friday. So Thursday the train station was mobbed with people trying to exchange tickets, change and confirm plans, etc.

This fact also affected Gwen and I’s plans for Florence this weekend. We were scheduled to take the train Friday morning. Getting anxious about all this, I changed our train to Thursday evening after class and added another night to our hotel.

I never made it to Florence when we were in Italy in 2011. I was dealing with other issues on the cruise and had to forgo the shore excursion that day. We’ve been in Rome for over three months now and you would think I would have made it there by now.

Gwen and I made the most of our time. On Friday morning, we crossed the Ponte Vecchio on our way to visit Le Arti Orafe, a jewelry school where I was doing research for my design paper. After that we went to the Pitti Palace for the Argento (Silver) museum, the Boboli Gardens and the Villa Bardini where we saw a collection of Capucci fashions as well as a lovely overlook of Florence. We found a place for lunch that offered an Italian/Indian Blend menu that was just yummy. We again crossed the Ponte Vecchio, this time scrutinizing the window displays much more carefully. We even went in and tried on a few things, but in the end didn’t buy anything.

Then we finally found the Duomo, the Florence Cathedral. It was closed by the time we arrived, but we were able to get some time inside the Baptistry and gawked at the dazzling 13th century mosaics on the ceiling. It reminded me of the Pantheon and as we read the information, we realized that yes, this was also an ancient pagan site. Friday night we had a lovely dinner, followed by wandering around the duomo taking night shots.
Florence Dome and Cathedral

Saturday we slept in a little then headed straight to the Uffizi Gallery. It was crowded. Gwen and I managed to take a few pictures also before we found out it wasn’t permitted. But it was wonderful to see Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera as well as many other works I have studied in Art History. Then we went to the Galileo Museum, much to Gwen’s delight. This was followed by going to the Cathedral to see the inside of Brunelleschi’s wonderful dome. Pizza for a late lunch, we rested for a while at the hotel, then back out to see Michelangelo’s David. We were really glad we sprang for the Firenze card there because we basically walked past the line the that stretched down the block and walked in.

On Sunday we checked out, left our luggage at the Train station and visited both Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella. We arrived back in Rome about 5pm in time to get some school work done.

Patty, Woody, Coriander and Mason extended their stay on Ponza for a couple of more days. It’s just so hard to leave all the beauty, but I expect we’ll see them back here in Rome soon.

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