we went to class. which was wonderful as it were. we then began to pack our stuff and clean our apartment a little bit because we were getting ready to leave to come back to the states. we went to campus to have our study group for our final on friday and afterward we went back to our apartment and studied and packed a little more and all in all good day to hang out and relax
we woke up early to go take our exam at 9 am. it was fairly easy our first question was to identify the colosseum haha.. after we planned on going out to lunch and we waited in the courtyard for everyone to finish their finals and we went to a restaurant which offered a 4 course meal for 10 euro which is a great deal.. so we had bruschetta, lasagna, chicken, and dessert.. it was deeeelicious. after that we went back to campus to turn in our keys and sign the necessary paperwork to get our transcripts sent back to Grand Valley! and we went back to our apartment and completed the necessary packing, cleaned our apartment top to bottom, and waited for the girls to finish getting everything and we went to get some dinner at a restaurant we had gone to before which was amazing!! so after dinner we went out to scholars the american bar to meet up with some of our friends from villanova and grand valley to hang out for out last night. it was a lot of fun.. after we left there we got ready to go to bed and kendra went to the hotel that her and her dad are staying at since she's going on a Mediterranean cruise - super jealous!
This morning we slept in, i walked to john cabot to return my key and walked back to the apartment and mandy let me in, then we finished the last bit of everything around our apartment - our roommates had left the night before and at 6 am.. so after our last sweep.. we called a taxi company and they came to get us at 1:15 to take us to our hostel. we arrived at our hostel and it is amazing like it is really nice overall we are super pleased!! after our venice experience we were hesitant to stay in hostels haha.. but oh well.
we cannot wait to come back home on monday so hopefully tomorrow will fly by!! we aren't sure what we are going to do tomorrow yet, but word is there's a mall and a beach around here so we might venture there to help pass the time.
woohoo monday :)
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Posted by J at 6:28 AM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
today started out great and was action packed so far.. we started out by showering and getting ready we met some of our friends in the Jewish Ghetto for lunch and had fried artichokes which were delicious and some eggplant parm. yummy! and then our friends sarah and meghan's prof told them to get 'pizza' from the jewish bakery - its not the pizza your thinking of, its a dessert type thing it was really good but very different.. from there we went to largo argentina which is where there are ancient ruins from victory monuments which has been turned into a cat sanctuary since cats are protected here.. so mandy fed the cats some salami she bought at the grocery store called simply.. and we fed the cats, and afterwards we walked to the pantheon to try to get a tax refund for our purchases - we have to do it at the airport :( and we then walked to piazza navona to look at and potentially purchase artwork - we ended up buying artwork.. its on canvas so we know its legit and not copies.. but i bought a picture of venice, mandy bought one of capri and meghan bought one of the spanish steps.. we are really excited about this.. after we walked home and walked the wrong way so hopped a few buses to get home, our man friends kyle and rocco made us dinner :) which was delicious they made us chicken parm :) and we are just sitting around now trying to rest up were going to go out to our american bar scholars for a little bit since usa is played spain in the soccer game although it will be over by the time we get up there.. itll be nice to hang out and not worry about school work.. everyone is leaving early saturday which is a bummer since we will be going to a hostel for a few days but we'll make the most of it!
Posted by J at 12:00 PM
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
today we slept in and spent all day writing our papers and doing drawings for class on tuesday.. we had to do visual analysis of portrait heads which wasn't fun but i mean it was fine not too difficult..
we went to campus to print our papers and we did, then we called DJ and Rocco and Kendra and had them meet us at a restaurant for dinner with 3 euro pizza's and then we went out for some gelato afterward it was a lot of fun.. and a very chill day..
we went to class this morning and learned some fun things.. and after class we went to Zara's similar to Macy's for here, to shop around and then we went to the Pantheon to find out where we could get our tax refund back from.. and we came back to our apartment and made some quick lunch got ready and met Rocco at school to go sight seeing.. we went to see Ecstasy of Saint Theresa which was amazing and went to the Capuchin Crypts which were really cool inside, we finally found the American Embassy after so long of looking for it.. and we came back and have been relaxing the rest of the night, and are planning on relaxing tomorrow, meeting some of the girls to go to the Jewish Ghetto to get some Jewish food for lunch and do our tax refunds and maybe start cleaning and packing a little bit.. its sad we're leaving so soon but i think we're ready to be back in the land of convenience..
Posted by J at 1:14 PM
Sunday, June 21, 2009
so this past weekend - friday morning until sunday night was spent in Cinque Terre. or 5 Terre.. or 5 Towns. anyways in short they're five towns that are along the coast of the italian riveria. which you can hike all five its about 7 miles or 5 hours ish to hike or train to each town.
town 1 - riomaggiore
town 2 - manarola
town 3 - corniglia
town 4 - vernazza
town 5 - monterosso
friday when we arrived it was midday since we left at about 730 for a 4 hour train ride, and we arrived in Riomaggiore which was where we were staying at - got showed to our apartment while we were there, put on our swim suits and went down to the beach - which was made of hugeeee rocks. so they don't know what sand is here apparently! anyways on our way down to the beach we found out they had scuba on the cove - well fun dives so we signed up and did that right off the coast it was amazing - so cool we bought an underwater camera and we are considering becoming certified.. after that we got a quick dinner ate some gelato and hung out at the beach and went to bed early after such a long day and in anticipation of hiking the next morning
saturday we were going to wake up early to hike the trail and see the towns and everything.. and then it decided to pour rain.. everytime we've left rome it's rained.. boo.. so we slept in til about noon and then got going hopped on the train and went to the final town (Monterosso) and laid on the beach there - also rocks but smaller rocks this time, and we looked at all the shops in town and went back the fourth town - Vernazza and shopped around there too before going back home to shower and get ready for dinner.. we were meeting up with some other girls that decided to do the hike anyway that day. so we ate dinner, some gelato and went down by the beach to hang out - and watch the storm roll in.. which it did start raining about a half hour after being at the beach so we went back up to our apartment to call it an early night again..
sunday - we woke up early finally and packed all our things up and checked out and hiked.. it was quite the journey after climbing the side of a mountain and then climbing 386 stairs to get to town three- Corniglia - and hanging out and visiting each town - we realized we had not seen all of Monterosso so we decided to go back and check out the remaining stores and beach that we had missed. come to find out they do know what sand is - it was on the one beach we didn't have time to lay on which was a huge bummer but we're hoping to get time to go to the beach in rome one day this week to maybe find some other sand.. after arriving back to our main town Riomaggiore we got on a train and headed back to rome and here we are ready to start our final week of classes..
ps. this place was the land of pesto. they make it different than most places in rome so i ate pesto pizza about 2394334893 times a day it felt like which was delicious every time, and pesto pasta and pesto everything! aka so delicious :) so i bought a ton of it to bring home.
we are officially starting our last week of classes - so i have two classes, 1 final and one paper due this week.. and we will be staying in a hostel for saturday and sunday and flying home on monday - which we are excited for since we've made a list of things that we as americans have taken for granted and things we never would believe before like paying 3 euros for a liter of water.. 3 euros = 4.5 or 5$$$
but italy has been a great time and were not going to let this week slip past without making our mark :)
Posted by J at 3:54 PM
Thursday, June 18, 2009
monday we took it easy after an active weekend we met the girls for some lunch and shopped down via del corso which was really fun we found a cheap dress store with some cute things.. which was a great bargain since most of the time the stores are too expensive for us.. but the window shopping here is wonderful :) i decided that i wanted to get a pair of shoes from italy - well shoes in my size are just as hard to find in italy as they are in america so it was a epic fail after shopping for hours on end. Mandy, her friend Lauren that came for the weekend, and Meghan all got henna tattoos from a guy in campo di fiori over the weekend and when we were walking around again we all got more henna tattoos i have one on each foot, mandy has one on her foot and wrist, sarah and kendra have one on their foot, and meghan has one on her wrist and ankle. so it was really cool. Also it was our roommate, Annie's, birthday... we made plans to go to dinner to celebrate - and we went to the restaurant that our cooking teacher's family owns. it was delicious :) after this we went to get gelato and then we went and sat in the piazza and our other roommate Lily sang an opera song which was incredible. After this we went to our american/irish bar scholars to hang out and have a few drinks
we went to class today and it was by the colosseum so we were really excited so we were walking over there and our whole class was there and class starts at 9.. so then.. we were waiting and it's 915 still waiting 925 were like uhm wheres our prof?! so we get the syllabus and find her number and give her a call.. and guess what she's eating breakfast!? lady class started a 1/2 hour ago?? she comes out and apologized but still didn't realize how late she was and that class had actually started at 9. (it has started at 9 the other 4 weeks of class) so since she showed up late the long awaited inside the colosseum had limited time.. it was so sad we had time to stay after class but we didn't get like the whole history lesson that we should've surrounding it. everyone in our class was really disappointed too.. also when we were asking our prof about it she said that it wasn't really that great.. which is weird since all of us were like "Wooohooo colosseum!" Then tonight we just hung out and chilled watched some movies and cleaned our apartment a little...
finally the ability to sleep in as late as possible. it was amazing and we did nothing all day literally nothing. i uploaded pictures and we just made pasta and relaxed since we haven't really had time to just chill out. we made plans to go to a bar crawl last night so we did do that. it was fun there was a large group of us and they had free pizza and cool tee-shirts and drinks. but it was a great way to top off our day of doing nothing. we met up with some of our other friends afterwards and they were having a market/parade on the river which was really cool so we've been doing that and going down there a few times to check it out and theres a lot of shops around there and it's really cool since they just ended a festival some where else near by.
today we went to class. our prof arrived on time and was now realizing she was super late last class. we came back and planned our next week out since we only have 9 more days in rome, and then we are staying in a hostel for the 3 days til our flight leaves on june 29th. but we will be leaving tomorrow to go to Cinque Terre which will be fun. but back to today after we planned out the last bit of our sight seeing we've decided that we are going to go to the 'ice bar' tonight. its a bar completely made of ice its a place thats like 5 below 0 which is funny because its like 90 and humid almost every day so itll be a great change of pace. other than that i just woke up from a nap and were getting ready to go to the grocery store to get some snacks for this weekend!
Posted by J at 6:06 AM
Sunday, June 14, 2009
i apparently wrote too much so im dividing my days -- heres the weekend!
in keeping with the american trend there is a place here called TBONE STATION. well its american food and it was delicious i got a hamburger and fries and again tasted like home haha.. buttt its funny but they got american better here than we've got italian at home... deeelicious - after this we walked to campo di fiori and piazza navona to see what was going on in the stand for fun sometimes they have shops and paintings and things.. so we found a place that sold dresses and fun shirts for 10 euros which is a great deal and we scooped up on that :)
for dinner we had a pasta party at our apartment, we had meghan and sarah over for dinner and then we got ready to meet up with DJ and Rocco to go out to an american bar that is here.. the bar is called Scholar's.. the rumor was they only let in americans and didn't let in italian people.. we found out this wasn't true but the bar only played american music and had american drinks. it was really fun and we totally felt like we were at home.. clearly as you can tell from our american weekend we miss home and needed a little taste to get us through the next two weeks.. :)
today we started our morning rather late being able to sleep in for one of the first times in a while, and got ready to go to church. well we realized we wanted to go to the vatican for mass (which was super cool) and the next mass they held was at 4. so we got ready and went to a really cheap place to eat pizza before going to church. we made the journey to the vatican and attended mass.. it was all in italian and probably one of the quickest masses i've ever been to.. were talking like 1/2 hour.. and it was in st. peters basilica which was really cool since we had already been there to sight see. after mass we went down into the papal catacombs which was really super awesome. we got to see all the catacombs and they had pope j.paul II's all guarded and everything it was very cool.. and they had it so you could see into his catacomb and it was highly decorated and super awesome - we weren't allowed to take pictures which was a huge bummer but some girls snuck some shots so that was pretty cool.. after this we walked back to our apartment to chill out and made some dinner. after this we got ready to go out to dinner with some friends even though we already ate so we got dessert, it was delicious and we walked to get gelato and again delicious and we went to the piazza by school and there was a comedy act going on the guy was really funny and then a juggling act came on that was super cool to watch too.. its unique that they basically have free entertainment all over town but of course they always have the hat out to collect change :)
it was definitely an eventful weekend and we are looking forward to more fun to come this week.. we have a trip planned for the weekend to Cinque Terra. and we have a wine tasting at the school on tuesday and more fun to come! i am happy and sad that i'll be home in 15 days!! .. eekk!! ..
Posted by J at 3:17 PM
we attended class and walked around the roman national museum. it was very interesting we learned about julius caesar and augustus.. super interesting! we got a study group together from our class and studied all night for our midterm on friday. mandy and i quizzed eachother until the wee hours of the morning. we were nervous for our exam and wanted to be the best prepared possible!
our midterm was at 9:30 so we woke up got a little bit more studying in and then went to face the midterm. our professor just put pictures of things up on the projection and we had to identify and give facts about each of them. it was very difficult, even though we thought we were prepared it was something that we had a hard time.. but we talked to classmates afterward and they were also very nervous for the results!
we decided after a rough midterm to go get some food. we ran into meghan and sarah who were going to "friends" to get some AMERICA BREAKFAST! woohoo.. we got omlettes and french toast, fresh squeezed orange juice, and bacon - it was defintely a taste of home that we miss very much!
after this we met up with our friend DJ and decided to go shopping around town, to help ease the hurt of the challenging midterm. we found some great deals and started to get hungry, and what do you know - we found a MCDONALDS! so were talking 2 american meals in one day - most of you that know me know i don't really eat fast food but i broke down and got a hamburger - it tasted like home.. i know corny - but the mickeyd's here have curly fries and spinach Parmesan nuggets and breaded shrimps. dj and sarah were daring enough to try to s/p nuggets and said they were very odd.. and kendra got curly fries - and they tasted like arby fries :)
next, we went back to our apartments and got everything together to go out for the night. we got our group of grand valley people and all the friends we've made and had a blast!
Posted by J at 3:00 PM
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
tuesday june 9
we went to class.. it was very fun we walked around and learned about the Augustan period of roman history..very interesting lots of pictures.. after class we came back to our apartment to get ready for our cooking class we had last night - it was awesome... we made a three course meal - a vegetable mix for appetizer, home made, own rolled pasta with eggplant and tomato sauce - super delicious - and we made a tiramisu type dessert which was also really good - our iron chef ingredient was 'eggplant' which was amazing! and it was nice to have legit food since we've just been eating plain pasta a lot. there were only 12 people in our class who were going to eat and we made enough food to feed 30 - are you surprised - cuz i am not lol.. it's great for us since then we wont have to buy more food! we were so full when we got home we couldn't move but we have pasta dough to roll noodles!
wednesday june 10
we got to see the POPE today! :) we woke up very early to get to the church to get our tickets for the papal audience. so then we realized it was at st. peters so we were on the hunt for a bus stop to get on a bus to go half way across rome. which was rough they are pushy here and we missed 3 buses before we got wise and crossed the street to get on the bus before the main stop. which was bright - after this we made it to the vatican/st peters and went to our seats. finally the pope came out and he drove around in the pope mobile for a little while and everyone cheered.. they read a reading in english, french, german, spanish, italian, and russian, so he has cardinals do these readings - he gave a homily type thing in italian which we understood it to mean you need to believe in the bible and see it as the whole truth and how we have to believe as it's written and the vatican is the platform of christ ect. and then they cardinals came up and did 'shout outs' and acknowledging all the groups that showed up - the choir's all sang when they were named, and then even after every group was called he blessed everyone - after the shout outs Pope would give a speech in that language which was really it was hard to understand because of his accent but nice to be blessed... lol.. when it got to italy everyone was goign nutso there were little kids there - how awesome of a fieldtrip to have - and everyone was super excited.. and then he did a closing remark, sang the our father in latin, and gave a final blessing and blessed anything we wanted as you held it out.. and it was reallly awesome overall - they had tv's so that you could get a better look since there had to be at least 500 seats.. it was really nice though..
overall super awesome i have great videos and great pictures ill post some since the pope's the man
Posted by J at 10:04 AM
Monday, June 8, 2009
So this weekend. we'll start with thursday night - we had to be at the central train station at about 7 to get on the bus at 730 which turned into 8pm so we got told we weren't allowed to sit down or be in front of the Nike store which is the meeting place for the bus to alps trips.. next we hopped on the bus and had a 4 to 5 hour bus ride to Sorrento where we were staying for the weekend - it flew by we probably played about 40 games of euchre if i had to guess.. lol. from there we arrived at our hostel which was extremely nice - the staff was amazing and the accommodations were lovely.. we were so hungry since we didn't stop for dinner and the staff brought us out some free snacks and some left over cake from a party - the cake was amazing!! friday we had to be up bright and early to get ready to go to capri. well the weather was too bad to go there - since we wanted to go into the blue grotto. and we had to make other arrangements so we went to Pompei instead. pompei is an ancient town that is now ruins - when we were there we walked around the ruins which were well preserved because they were once over taken by a volcano eruption from mount vesuvious so we saw fast food restaurants they had, old houses, and mosaic art they made in addition to many other things. from there we had a break for lunch and had to gear up to climb a volcano. we got all our stuff together hopped on a bus and rode up quite a ways - from there we paid to climb to the top of the crater and we were able to look down inside of it which was pretty awesome and the skyline view was amazing! it was quite a hike so that was a nice treat at the end. after this we went back to our hostel, and got ready to go to dinner - they had planned a dinner out somewhere in town so that we could have a nice dinner with everyone - it was just that very nice :) we had five course meals and the food was delicious - however the service not so amazing - they don't care really about customer service in italy like they do in america.
saturday we awoke to find out we were going to go to CAPRI! the long awaited capri - everyone says how wonderful it is. and i mean all these places are just amazing - so we get our own private boat to take us to the island and take us around and we end up at the blue grotto - basically you have to get in a row boat and lay in the bottom of it to get inside the blue grotto. and when your in there the rocks don't go all they way down to the bottom of the sea so the sunlight reflects into this cave making everything a crystal blue color - aka its pretty amazing. our guide told us its about 80 feet deep and it was the roman kings swimming pool - and you aren't allowed to swim in it well so the sign says but our guide let me sarah and kendra jump in to swim in the blue grotto for a while - we were the only ones that got to swim in it - so i now get to say i swam in caesars pool :) hehe - after the blue grotto we hopped back on our boats and continued on to the main land part of the island. from there we were allowed to explore the island and lay out on the beach - we also we told we could taste limoncello - which is a lemon, vodka, sugar dessert alcohol that is produced on the island of capri and only served in italy. so we tried a variety of flavors, in addition they grow some massive lemons were talking lemons the size of cantelopes and they make lemon flavored everything - chocolate is another specialty so that was amazing to taste the variety of chocolates they produced. after that we just laid on the beach and waited for our boat to come back and pick us up.
we had saturday night to chill out and hang out with our friends at the hostel so we just sat back - had a glass of wine and hung out all night
sunday we were on our way to Positano we packed up our things and hopped back on the bus to get us close to town. from there we had to climb up the hillside again to get to the main part of town. once we were here it was really nice - we just kinda hung out on the beach, swam and relaxed all day - which was really nice after go go go all weekend. however they were offering cliff diving as an excursion which sounded cool so we rented a boat to go find a cliff to jump off of and the water was to rough to jump but we did hop in to swim, the current was really strong we made it to the rock to climb but the current was to strong and wouldn't allow us to climb up the stone so after hopping in we hopped right back out and onto the boat. (sounds a lot easier than it was, right?) on our way back onto the boat Meghan got stung by a jellyfish.. which sucked. and we made our way back to the mainland got some lunch and gelato, got all cleaned up and made our way back up the 500 stairs we had climbed to get down, hopped on a few buses and went back to our hostel to get on the main bus and drove back to rome! the ride back to rome was about 5 hours and we jumped on a bus that took us back to our apartment and did a little homework last night and crashed - it was an exhausting but amazing weekend!
Posted by J at 2:53 AM
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
so today we went to a lot of places - it was pretty exciting,
we went to the spanish steps, gesu' - a jesuit church, we looked for a statue of a huge cat on via della gata - but it was non existant - the santa maria della sopra manerva, and a wax museum, and there was supposed to be a pasta museum - but it was closed which was a bummer.. we also saw the inside of the pantheon -
tomorrow for class we are going to the museo capitolini which is pretty sweet its two museums that are connected underground - which is pretty awesome
and we also ventured back to the movie theater and we able to watch angels and demons so that was pretty cool - the movies amazing- it is places we see here on a daily basis so if you want a taste of rome - GO SEE IT! :)
tomorrow we have class and need to get ready for a weekend away - we are leaving tomorrow night to go to Capri, Pompeii, Sorento, Positano, Amalfi, and the Blue Grotto.. it should be pretty exciting and were going with a lot of our friends that we've met here.. :) woohoo!
ill write again on sunday when i get home - since i won't have internet all weekend
Posted by J at 2:47 PM
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Yesterday we basically laid around, it rained for the first time since we got here, which sucked, cuz as soon as we walked outside there was like a huge down pour - however we were able to make it to school, and we paid for a trip to Cinque Terra in a few weekends which will be pretty fun - we then ate some pizza - which yes the pizza is soo good here :) and came back to our apartment to clean - we had some of our friend we've made while we were here over to play cards and eat dessert. it was a blast and nice to just sit around and hang out and chat..
Today - tuesday - it is Festva de Repubblica here which is like the american 4th of july and we were going to go to the parade, but didn't wake up in time, so we decided to walk in that direction to some shops that we had found another time we went that way. so we did some window shopping in all the name brand stores that are around here that were actually open and bartered with some street vendors - but that was about it, on our way back home we were going to go to the markets around our apartment but realized that everything is basically closed for the holiday which stinks but we get it. and we are just about to make some dinner and chill out for the night, and getting ready to make some fun plans for tomorrow when everything is open again :)
Posted by J at 8:40 AM