Monday, April 10, 2006

Rome week 11

Time here is becoming more precious. As I write each of these emails,
I become increasingly aware that as the week numbers get higher, I
have less time to explore and find the spirit of Rome. I honestly
believe I could be here for years and still not understand it fully.

However, just so you all aren't completely convinced I have my head in
the clouds here in Rome here's a dose of Italian reality. (I recently
wrote this to a cousin who wanted to swap places).. I do laundry in my
apartment in a washer the size of a 2 gallon bucket, I swear. Of
course there is no dryer so all clothes must hang dry. I cook on a
hot plate that takes 20 minutes to boil water and 2 people cannot
stand in my kitchen together. Well, its more of a platform that holds
a small shelf, a fridge that should be in a dorm room, and a
waterspout that empties into an old marble basin with a depth of 3
inches. Of course if you turn the water on too much, the water
splashes everywhere but where
you want it to go. Which means the floor gets mopped regularly.

As far as electricity in the apartment goes. I think we've finally
figured out that only one plug in per outlet actually works. So the
extension cord that feeds the hotplate and my computer actually gets
plugged in in the bathroom. Which of course also means that if
someone is cooking, you can't shut the bathroom door all the way.
Fortunately the fridge is in a "secured" (meaning the plug is shoved
so far in you can't pull it out, even when trying very hard) outlet.

But then again, there are the outside pleasures of Rome. AKA, Rome is
spring is amazingly beautiful with flowers spilling from everywhere.
The scent of traffic is actually covered by all of the flowers in
bloom if one can imagine. I love the museums and even just riding the
bus gets you places you wouldn't have normally seen.

Last week was packed. Monday was spent in the midst of research and
papers. Tuesday was spent in several cemeteries and in the Church of
San Lorenzo Fuori la Mura. I have never experienced anything quite
like an Italian cemetery. The sculpture found in them is moving (and
great to draw from), family mausoleums are given as much attention as
palaces, and the landscaping is like walking through formal gardens.
Here, they give me the much needed peace from the pace of the city.
They are constantly filled with beautiful flowers and one can actually
hear the birds. Wednesday was spent in studio and attending a

Thursday for class we studied San Giovanni en Laterno "the Mother of
all Churches" named that by Constantine who layed its first
foundations. It was interesting to be there at the beginning of the
Holy Week pilgrimages. There is a staircase (said to be the one
Christ walked on to see Pontius Pilot) in one of the churches across
the street that must be ascended only on ones knees as you pray to the
stains on the stairs. The stains are said to be those of Christ. At
the top of the stairs is the private chapel of the Popes.

Friday...ugg.. Friday was critique day. It amazes me that 30 minute
crits for 6 people end up being 7 (SEVEN) HOURS!!!!!!!!! 'nuff said.

After Friday, I figured that since it was the Week of Culture and all
state owned museums are free, that I should actually take advantage of
it. So on the weekend I went on a Museum Marathon starting with the
Etruscan Museum at Villa Guilia and the Modern Art Museum on Saturday
and then Sunday the Crypta Balbi (Ancient excavations and such) and
the Galleria Doria Pamphilli which has one of the most fabulous
privately owned painting collections I've ever seen. Not to mention,
the fact that the same family still owns them and the palace is

Whew! Its been a week. Sorry this email was late. I needed a
breather :) Well this week promises to be even busier, so I best get
some rest for it.

Take care. Hope everyone is well at home.