This was a BIG day for us art students. What I mean by "BIG" is that we spent the day at the Vatican. First we took some time out to appreciate the exquisite beauty at the Basilica Papale de San Pietero (St. Peter's Basilica). Then we took all 551 exhausting steps to reach the top of the tower of the basilica, but it was worth it since the view was AMAZING!
After the quick descend down the steep steps and we swiftly scurried to the Musei Vaticani. This place was straight out of my art history textbook, which was surreal to see all these pieces in real life. Among famous sculptures we also saw the incredible Sistine Chapel! Personally, I was not prepared for this moment because after I found a spot to sit and really began to take in the hard work and beauty, I started to cry a little. It's a bit embarrassing to admit that, but it's true. Post Vatican, my classmates and I decided to go out for an aperitivo (glass of wine and appetizers) for dinner. Who knew numerous courses of small amounts of food could be so filling?
Visit to the MACRO
We started our last full day in Rome by enjoying our usual croissant and coffee breakfast, then we took a brisk 20 minute walk to the MACRO (Museum of contemporary art of Rome) to have a little break from all the Renaissance work we've been looking at. There we saw some elaborate pieced by Anish Kapoor, who's work was primarily focusing on the metaphorical representation of blood and flesh. Many of these pieces were quite grotesque, but also were very beautiful. What surprised me about these contemporary pieces was that they still followed the rule of renaissance art making (central composition, utilized framing devices, and were very large). It was cool that I could find similarities between the two styles.
Goodbye Rome and Hello Florence
An Unforgettable Birthday!
I had the fortunate opportunity to celebrate my 21st birthday on this trip! But before I was able to celebrate, I had to pack... On the morning of our departure (January 11th) we ate our last breakfast and left our sweet little hotel to catch our train to Florence. While sitting in our train car, most of my classmates took the time to catch up on some much needed sleep, but there were a couple of us who stayed up just to take in the beauty of the Italian countryside. An hour and a half later, we take a short walk to what we thought was our hostel, however there was a miscommunication with our reservation. After a few calls and a new booking we were able to settle into a different hostel down the street.
That night we kept it very casual and went to the Palazzo Strozzi to see contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei's thought provoking work about censorship. From there we took another short walk to a restaurant for dinner. There we toasted my birthday and had the best bruschetta I've probably had in my life– I'm not a big tomato person, but these tomatoes were the BOMB.
Overall our transition from Rome to Florence has been an experience, but it's one I will definitely remember. Rome had its own quirks and I can't wait to figure out what Florence has to offer!