Friday, December 6, 2013

The end of my Italian adventure


My last week was amazing, and I don’t think I could have ended my trip to Italy in a better way. My mother flew to Rome to meet up with me, and she gave me the opportunity to teach her about what I had learned during the two months that I spent in that beautiful country. I knew that I had learned a lot during this opportunity, but it definitely showed when I could physically show someone. I think that was the most enjoyable part for me.
 Antonella hired my mom and I a personal driver so that I could pick her up at the airport safely. Guilio (The driver), was the sweetest old Italian man I have ever met. He kept feeding me Italian chocolate that had alcohol in it and they were called Mon Cherie. Needless to say, after picking up my mom we had to buy ten plus boxes of these amazing chocolates so that we could share them with everyone at home. It was exciting to watch my mom look out of the window of the car taking in the views of Italy. I know how beautiful it was, but it is weird how used to the scenery and tainted you become after two months. A fresh pair of eyes was exciting.
When we got to the Villa my mom got settled in while we all got ready for our Galla Dinner.  A Galla dinner is a celebration that each group at the villa has as they are leaving. It is a chance to show what you had learned while in Italy, and to enjoy a large authentic Italian meal with everyone you created a relationship with at the villa. We had fried vegetables, and potato roll appetizers, pasta, and amazing chocolate cake. My mother was blessed to have this as her first Italian dinner, and she was able to experience her first glass of wine, which she did not particularly enjoy. Everyone ended their last night by dancing and packing. The Galla dinner was on Friday, but Dave, Brandon, my mom, and I did not leave until Sunday. Rosella took Dave and Brandon to Assissi, while my mom and I spent a whole day exploring Corciano and Perugia. At this time the weather was getting very cold and it was raining a lot. So, we did not get to do as many things as we had planned due to weather delays.
My mom and I walked up to Corciano, and I showed her the whole square. It is probably one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the whole world. Then we got due capuccini and enjoyed it in the square together. We also had the chance to walk to the antiquarium and read about the village’s history as well as look at the specifically laid out model. After our exploration, we made our way back down the hill to the villa. We enjoyed the views of the castle, the yellowing grape orchards, and the mining across the way. Our meals with just the four of us (Brandon, my mom, Dave, and I) were very enjoyable and educational because we would all talk about what we learned and my mom would enlighten us with what was surprising to her. My favorite conversation was when Dave was telling us about the prayer of Saint Francis. He showed us the copy that he bought, and then he explained all of the places Rosella took him that most people couldn’t go. Rosella used to have an art studio at a convent, so she knows and has connections with several monks and friars. Dave was very excited to learn about Saint Francis and it excited me to see him learning and growing even though he was one of our Professors. I really enjoyed learning, but what I enjoyed more was watching everyone else become excited about learning different things.
Sunday Morning, Dave gave a presentation on landscape photography to people of the Corciano, and Perugia community. My mom and I made sure to plan to have a cab after his presentation so that we could get on a train and make our way to Venice. The community was inspired by Dave’s amazing work, and they were awe struck by the landscapes he has photographed. But the most amazing part about his work is his determination and his techniques for receiving the photograph’s he is after. It was enjoyable to hear the translation of English to Italian and actually be able to understand both. I enjoyed the group questions, and socializing at the happy hour. As soon as the events came to a close, our cab showed up. I was lucky because everyone was there to say goodbye, such as Davide, Bebe, Rosella, Rosa, and Paoula. I will definitely miss them all the most.
My mom and I got on a train to Florence, and then we switched trains to finish our journey to Venice. This is where I experienced my first theft incident on the train. The train was packed, and there was no place to put my backpack. So, I left it in the hallway and was constantly looking back at it. The lady sitting next to me said that I should be worried, but only when the train stops. We talked about education, because she spoke English and she taught special education. When the train was coming to a stop she stood up, so I quickly got up, set my Ipod on the seat, and ran to my bag in the back of the train. After everyone got off of the train I went back to my seat, and my Ipod was gone. This taught me a very valid lesson, don’t trust everyone that talks to you.
Venice was beautiful, but cold. I think it was my favorite part of the trip with my mom because it was the place that we both related to the most. It began to rain when we were there and that was the moment that I realized Venice really was a sinking city. I looked outside of our hotel window and saw everyone wearing knee high rubber boots and couldn’t understand why. Then we left the hotel to go to the Peggy Guggenheim museum and the water was up to our knees walking down the sidewalk. All I could think about was the Titanic. My mom and I spent our one whole day in Venice walking around the city, exploring the square, taking photos of people feeding the pidgeons. Then we found a hole in the wall theatre that had a show on the history of Venice in English. It was something I would definitely recommend to future Rocky students. The Guggenheim museum was my favorite though. There is nothing like being able to stand in front of hundreds of world renowned artists works and learning about their human relations with Peggy. The Calder and Picasso pieces were the most exhilarating. When we ended our tour, we went to the coffee shop, and the bookstore. I found several books that will be very useful in my art classroom as well as some neat art pencils and Peggy Guggenheim’s autobiography.
We got on the train to go to Florence after the museum, and met some very nice people from Australia that were on their way to Rome. When we arrived in Florence we walked to the hotel, and got to see the Duomo. Then my mom was given the opportunity to meet Francesco and Liga. They were a lot of fun and she really enjoyed them. We walked to the bridge where Francesco told my mom stories about the flood that happened in the sixties. Then we walked passed the Uffizi and the Medici gardens. The next day my mom and I went to my favorite sandwich shop next to the Santa Maria Del Fiore, and toured the whole church. I was bummed that I was not able to go to the top of the bell tower when my back was injured the first time I was in Florence, so we went together. Then we went over to the Bronze Boar so that she could rub its nose to return to Florence one day. I am sad to say that her coin never made it in the slot and some man told us it was better luck to rub the boar’s genitalia…
At last we were on our way to Rome. When we arrived there we took a walk through the Piazza Navona and I shared my Knowledge about the fountains and the popes palace with her. We stopped in this really neat toyshop, and the pasta store (where they have genital shaped pasta…very embarrassing), and we bought some lemon chello for my dad. Then we enjoyed a fancy lunch in the square. I later took my mom to see the cat sanctuary, and the coliseum. We stopped at many other art history landmarks along the way. Later that evening we went to the Trevi Fountain. We didn’t get to explore all of Rome in our short stay, but we enjoyed every minute we had.