Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rome: Where Stereotypes Turn out to Have Some Validity...

Well, honestly, I should be sitting here studying for classes. Apparently our teachers have decided that we should do some work because suddenly I have assignments and midterms which is really not ideal. Who do they think they are giving me work? Seriously, someone should talk to them. But of course, instead of being productive I am finding many other things to occupy my time with before actually beginning to study. Obviously this became an important priority. Lucky for you!

Now let me begin by saying I didn't really have any expectations of Rome itself. Yes, it's an old city. I figured there would be some ruins. Maybe some cool buildings and art. Nothing could have prepared me for what I found. Which was, pretty much, one of the best weekends ever. Can I explain it? Probably. Would it fit in a blog post that anyone with a slight amount of sanity and value for their time would want to read? Most certainly not. Ah well, I guess you'll have to get the abbreviated version.

Heather and I arrived on a very rainy Thursday morning after fighting through a flock of pigeons, missing our bus, and nearly having ulcers over the closeness of our arrival to the airport and our supposed take-off time. Our flight was, needless to say, delayed. Highlights of our trip included the National Roman Museum (lots of sculptures, stuff written in cuneiform, ancient Egyptian artifacts, etc.), the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, Palatine Hill (including the Titus Arch), the Vatican, and every other important building in Rome. We managed to walk pretty much the entire city in our four day trip. Our feet may hate us, we may be poor, and we may have consumed several thousand more calories than necessary in glorious pasta/pizza/gelatto, but boy did we have a good time.

Our first night there we went to see 12 Angry Men at an Italian theatre, which just so happens to be one of my favorite plays of all time. Now perhaps seeing a 3 hour play that starts at 9 PM after getting approximately 3 hours of sleep over the past 24 hours isn't a great idea. But despite my accidental (and really only momentary!) falling asleep, I adored the show. Granted, it was in Italian so I didn't entirely know what was going on, but I've seen the play enough times to have it nearly memorized so it really wasn't a big problem. The special effects were kind of ridiculous any if you're into theatre ask me more about it because I've never seen a play like this or even heard of something like this being attempted. It was awesome but crazy.

So that was fun. Also, we managed to eat Ice Cream (and I capitalize it to underline it's amazingness) every single day. Also pizza and pasta at least once a day. Did I mention that the food in Rome is AMAZING? Because it is. AMAZING. Just in case you didn't get that from the first several capitalized pointers. AMAZING. Okay, I think I've made my point.

Saturday night we wandered over to the Spanish steps where we met several nice Italian boys. I attempted to impress them with my large Italian vocabulary. Apparently, however, I know less than I thought.
"Yeah, I know a few words. Bonjurno, bruschetta, pizza, pasta"
"What was THAT?"
"No, the next one."
"What's that? It's not Italian." (confused whispering in Italian between the two boys)
"Sure it is, it's in all of the menus" pause. pause.... pause.... REALLY LONG awkward pause.....
"Oh!!! Brus-ket-ta. Hahahahahahaha. Brus-KET-TA." More laughter. Apparently I've been saying it wrong.
So much for impressing the natives. Well, at least now I know how to pronounce it, lovely American accent and all. And don't worry, Heather and I managed to leave without incident or injury (i.e I don't want any worried calls about my safety around Italian men).

Two more important points to cover.
1. Going to Rome while reading "Angels and Demons" and then attempting to go to all the places mentioned in the book? Brilliant travel plan. I didn't get to ALL of them, but I managed to drag Heather to at least half of the locations including the coffee shop Tazza de Oro located next to the Pantheon. Which really is as good as Dan Brown claims it to be in the novel

2. Italian men (not to generalize or anything) really ARE like the ones in the movies. Or at least all of the ones we met. Seriously. In Piazza Navone we saw a group of waiters who looked so much like the images you see in films I actually thought they were wax figures until one of them winked at me. Where do these men come from? I have no idea. But they are HILARIOUS.

Okay, I can't possibly write any more about the gloriousness of Rome without making you jealous enough to fly out yourself (which you should do, as long as you bring me with). I will add, however, that you get what you pay for when it comes to Hostels. And we didn't pay a lot, so there is a chance we may not have showered while in Rome.....

Anyhow, hope you enjoyed this little edition of who wants to be Renana Fox.
Coming soon to a web page near you: When Purim, Renana, and Barcelona Collide.
Hasta Pronto!

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