Angela's – Week 2: La Settimana Due Category
Monday, February 6th, 2006
Classes ended for me around 11:30 on Thursday. The weekend was finally here, yeah! I accomplished one very important feat in the afternoon. I booked our flight from Paris to Athens for Alexandra and me. Let me tell you, this was no simple easy task. Prices were not in my favor until finally Giuliangela found a flight on Air France that was cheaper than all the others. So I went to the website and started filling out the information for the flight that I wanted and you think that would have been simple, but no. Because I entered the US portion of the flight, the price showed up as more than 1000 pounds! Scary! Fortunately, Giuliangela hadn’t logged out of the sight. However, when it came to entering your address, the country said the United Kingdom and it wasn’t giving me an option to change it. So, I just entered in my American info and then it said I had entered an invalid zip code! So, I wasn’t about to pay 1000 pounds for a flight just because I am not from the United Kingdom, so we used the zip code of a Holiday Inn in London. So, if anyone asks, I’m from the Holiday Inn in Sioux City, United Kingdom. Keep in on the hush hush. All in all, my spring break plans are falling into place and I’m getting really good prices for all the flights. And, guess what!!!??!! Bryan is going to meet us in Dublin and I’ll get to travel around with him for my first week of spring break. We’re going to be in Dublin together and London and Paris for Easter. I’m so excited!!!
After all the plane ticket drama, it was time to have a girls night out (every night here is a girl’s night). So, we went out to our favorite bar in Trestevere ~ the ‘chips and salsa bar.’ Who knows the real name of it? I think it starts with an ‘A’ but I like to call it the ‘chips and salsa bar.’
After that we went to another bar near the hotel where a bunch of kids from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s were going to dance since this boy from Notre Dame was Dj-ing. It was really fun to dance the night away with all my friends. Almost everyone in the Saint Mary’s Program was there too, which made the night that much better. By the way, it was appropriately called Scholar’s Lounge, haha ;).
On Friday, we had tours in the morning and in the afternoon at different museums. In the morning, we went to Palazzo Massimo and the Baths of Diocletian. L’arte di romano è più bello di mondo!! (For all of you English speakers: Roman art is the most beautiful in the world; it sounds so much more beautiful in Italian). Besides the actual art, Roman architecture is also extremely beautiful everywhere I go. The Baths of Diocletian is a great example of Roman architecture, not to mention Roman Forum, the Imperial Fora, Capitaline Hill, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, the Baths of Caracalla, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon…and thousands more. If I had come to Rome a few years ago, I probably would’ve decided to become an architect.
In the afternoon, we went to Palazzo Altemps which was molto interesante perche I saw so many mythological figures that I’ve been studying in my mythology class.
After all of our tours on Friday, Christine, Alexandra, and I went shopping on Via del Corso. I’ve become quite fond of Zara’s and Etam’s. (Don’t forget, sales are still going on in all the stores in Italy). After shopping for a little while, we went to dinner with Giuliangela at a cute little sit-down pizzeria near the hotel. The rest of the night, we just relaxed in our room, watching Charmed and saving up all our energy to go out to a discoteca the next night at Testaccio’s.
On Saturday, we went to Ostia Antica for tours. Ostia Antica is an ancient port town that dates back to the beginning of civilization. It was pretty cool!
When we got back from Ostia Antica, I went shoe shopping with Giuliangela. It was very fun, I must say. I got some black boots on sale at this little shoe shop in Campi di Fiori. Later, a group of girls and I went out to dinner at a nice little pizzeria in Trestevere. (P.S. Trestevere is becoming my favorite part of Rome). Afterwards, six of us girls went out to Testaccio’s. It’s this part of town where there are like 20 different discoteca’s (dance clubs). We got all dressed up: Giuliangela, Alexandra, myself, Kate, Emily, & Marcia!
We had so much fun! Usually, people end up spending a lot when they go out there because you have to pay to get into clubs, pay to check your coat, pay a ridiculous amount for anything from the bar, plus you have to pay a taxi to get there. However, this was not quite the scenario for us this wonderful Saturday night. We were walking around and happened past this one club where they told us we could go in for free, so we did. When we got upstairs, it was more like a really nice piano bar than a club. Then, we asked this man who looked like he worked if we could sit down somewhere then all of a sudden he took us up to the bar and bought us all champaine or sparkling wine. Then we figured out that he was actually the owner of the place and he told us that is was his 50th birthday. Next thing we know, he’s taken us to the middle of the room with him, right in front of this massive cake and in the middle of all these Italians who started singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him while he blew out his candles. Then he told us to have some cake, so we did. It was so much fun. We were like birthday crashers! We mingled with the Italians for a while and had a great time trying to figure out what had just happened. We had so much fun there. After a while of clearly being the only Americans there and the only ones who didn’t know Sanino personally, we decided to get going to a dance club. We found one that looked really cool and we started waiting in line, but not for long. Giuliangela went up to one of the security guards to ask how long the wait would be and then he just let us in for free without waiting. We had so much fun the rest of the night, or should I say morning. We met lots of interesting people, learned how to fight off people in the bathroom line, danced the night away, and didn’t pay for a thing. It was great! We left the discoteca with lots of new and fun memories and started making our way home. While we were waiting for a taxi, this random limo driver came up to us and offered us a ride home. So we got dropped off in a limo right in front of our hotel. It was a very VIP night. It was a night I will never forget! The only downfall was my phone getting stolen, but as I’ve learned from the Italians, you just have to go with the flow and not worry about it. All the fun we had definitely overcame.
On Sunday, Giuliangela and I got up in the morning and went to Porta Portese. One of the largest markets in Europe. It was so much fun. I’ve never been anywhere like it before. There were hundreds of little vendor tables and so many people there. I got a couple cute scarfs and a ring. I looked for my phone, but to no avail. When we got back to our hotel, we took a 5 hour nap. We were so tired from the night before, but it was worth it. We got up to go to dinner later and that was the end of my 2nd fabulous weekend in Rome!
P.S. I got a new cell phone on Monday and fortunately whoever stole my phone didn’t use it so all my minutes were still there and I was able to keep the same number. Moral of the story: When in Rome…
Thursday, February 2nd, 2006
I can’t believe that it’s already February! Today (February 1st) was a great day. I had Philosophy and Mythology in the morning, which was pretty good. And then I had a great afternoon with Giuliangela. First of all, we booked our first trip – to Barcelona! We’re going there Thursday night, February 9th, and coming back Sunday, February 12th. I’m so excited! We got plane tickets and three nights in a hotel for around 220 euro each. That’s so cheap to travel to another country and stay there for three days. I can’t wait for my first trip to Spain with Giuliangela!
For the rest of the afternoon, we went for a walk around Rome. We saw a tap-dancing singing performer who was really amazing. Then after eating lunch at McDonalds (I had a nice juicy bacon cheeseburger), Giuliangela took me to Piazza del Popolo ~ place of the people. It was so beautiful! We walked up to the top of the hill and there it was an amazing view of Roma, you can even see the Vatican off in the distance. It was just breathtaking, I don’t know any other way to describe it.
It was such a nice day out today, so it was so wonderful to walk around and look at all the pretty things of Rome. We walked up through this huge park, Villa Borghese – the Italian version of Central Park. It was so relaxing and serene. After walking through part of the Villa Borghese, we walked down the Spanish Steps and ended up on Via del Corso, the shopping street. After walking past Armani, Gucci, Dior…I bought this really cool pair of knock-off sunglasses from a stand for 8 euro! So, that was fun. On our way back to the hotel, I stopped at this bookstore and bought the Italian version of Disney’s Little Mermaid. I’m going to try and read Italian children’s books to practice my Italian; we’ll see how that goes.
After dinner at the hotel, I went to the chapel where we celebrated mass with Father Mark, the religion teacher. He is such a fascinating person and extremely intelligent. He’s going to try and get us tickets for mass with the Pope sometime. Anyway, after mass, Giuliangela took Christine and me to the Trevi Fountain. Wow!! It’s amazing how many times I can be blown away by such amazing beauty in this city.
We stopped at the Spanish Steps again on our way back from the Trevi Fountain. Everything is so beautiful at night. I had a great day today and a wonderful evening. I finally had time to take a bubble bath too! I just have classes in the morning tomorrow and then I plan on doing some homework in the afternoon so I can really enjoy this weekend. We have more tours planned for Friday and Saturday. Then on Sunday, Giuliangela is going to take us Porta Portese – the market. I’m really excited to go and work on my bargaining skills. Finally, we are going to walk to Vatican City Sunday afternoon!! I can’t wait. Although our hotel is close to just about everything else that there is to see in Rome, the Vatican is a little far away. But I’m going to see it on Sunday for sure, praise the Lord. Anyway, I’m going to get going off to bed so I have plenty of beauty sleep for another fabulous weekend in Rome.