No visuals from today, unfortunately, because I was certain that we would not be allowed to video in the Capitoline Museum. I was wrong, but still didn’t have my flip, so we were out of luck.
As such, I’ll hit on the highlights and get back to everyone with pictures on my Thursday entry. The museum is fabulous, of course, and we were happy to have Luka back as our guide. Angela made sure to look for a bust of Homer to make all of us English nerds happy. Sarah commented on how the Romans seemed to all have six-pack abs, a smart observation about the Roman definition of masculinity, one removed from the Greeks. After the museum Alyson easily beat me to the top of the stairs that lead to Santa Maria in Aracoeli (there are 124 of them), while as a group we went to the top of il Vittoriano to get a bird’s eye view of Rome that helped me orient myself (yes, I did look up from the map every once in a while). We were a bit annoyed by the obvious disinterest in their jobs of the federal personnel who sold us tickets and rode the elevator up and down, but they were playing intense games of Mario on their DSs, so we didn’t want to interrupt.
After this trip we were down to three, as the rest of the group went back to Castel Gandolfo to rest and recuperate and get work done. Catie, Angela, and I wandered through the Jewish Ghetto, and I gave a hopefully brief explanation of what the term meant, punctuated by excellent questions/comments from the two of them. We saw some amazing contemporary art, a couple of restaurants that I would love to check out (including the first Thai restaurant I have seen in Roma), and we ended up at Largo di Torre Argentina, shopping for shoes and books and reveling in the different age of the tourists (mere saplings to me, compatriots in the student tourist experience to Catie and Alyson).
Both Catie and Angela received blessed oil at Santa Maria in Aracoeli, at which we also saw a mass being performed. I found this church particularly moving, and it fit with our reading of In the Name of the Rose as it featured the final resting place of an early follower of St. Francis and the poet Giulio Salvadori. They drug me away from the excavations in the center of the square and the used bookstores because it was getting late, and we arrived back at campus just in time for dinner.
Entries over the next couple of days will depend upon me finding wifi connections, as we’re going to Venezia. Yes, life is tough…