This really is what dreams are made of.
I swear, every time I turn a corner, I’m astounded all over again by Rome’s incredible beauty, breathtaking architecture and riveting history. The featured photo is from Piazza Navona, a famous piazza that is, apparently, located right by our school. (Our school is the main office of ACCENT, the main program that we are working with, where our classrooms are, where are production meetings are – oh, and it’s the home of former politicians and was built by one of the richest families in Rome 400 years ago with the intention of giving it to the Vatican to be its bank. The Vatican did not accept because they feared that it would make the family look richer and they couldn’t have that. Their excuse was that it was too far. They built a bank at the end of the same block.) After our equipment orientation on Monday, we were instructed to go around the area and practice filming. We used that as an opportunity to go visit a gelateria that an only Italian-speaking restaurant owner had told us about. (We trust her.) Ever since that visit, we’ve already gone three or four more times. It’s that good.
Anyway, after one of my group members filmed us buying gelato and interviewed us about our different flavors, ranging from spagnola to mango, we decided to find a piazza to practice various forms of shots and to get comfortable with the settings on the camera. We continued along the street and went through an archway, only to find ourselves in the entrance of the Museum of Rome. It made me think of Hercules when he’s surrounded by the gods and Mulan when Mushu rushes to the gods with worry. After getting a few pictures on our respective cameras, we casually turned into another archway.
Oh hello, Piazza Navona….
Every single one of us just stopped and gaped at the view in front of us. Every tip of “don’t be so touristy” and “keep your ‘Oh my God’s to yourself because it targets you” was forgotten. When you stumble upon something as tremendous as Piazza Navona in the day time, there’s no way you can hold that shock back. Needless to say, we got some beautiful shots that day.
Being in Rome is one enormous adventure. I never know what I’m going to see next because even if it’s another piazza, it looks completely different. Even if it’s another fountain, it’s completely different. Still, one thing remains the same. It’s unexpected, especially the Trevi Fountain or Fontana di Trevi. The enormous fountain can be heard from around the corner, but there is absolutely no other warning. Two nights ago, we took a late, random, casual walk to the Trevi Fountain. That’s right. You read it correctly. Casual. We’re in Rome and casual, completely impromptu walks to the Trevi Fountain happen. I know. I can’t believe it either.
Even when I expect to see something great and/or historical, there’s always an element of surprise and a new story waiting to be heard. The visit to the Etruscan Museum of Rome wasn’t my favorite. There were a lot of pots and drinking vessels all thrown together into exhibits. Without our professor, it would have been absolutely impossible to understand what was what and why it was so important. Going through the museum, even with all the pottery, helped us learn more about Italy’s history. The Etruscans had such a large impact on Roman culture, but nothing about the Etruscans’ origins are known. It was really cool to actually see right in front of me how the Etruscans tried to do what the Greeks did best and then see how Romans got their ideas from these ethnic groups as well. Their own beliefs and ideas suddenly seemed so much more advanced compared to only how far we have come. Etruscans gave their women some freedom, allowing them to leave the house. Although there isn’t much found details, we do know that Etruscan males allowed Etruscan females to have some amount of power.
Despite Italy’s failed attempts to be a unified political country, its history shows how it truly is a melting pot of cultures. I was surprised to learn that Italian is a language with one of the most dialects in the world. Not coming from an Italian background and with no class in school ever about Italy, I was not aware of the hundreds and hundreds of different dialects. With the differences also comes an endless diversity of food, as my professor kindly reminded us with our grumbling stomachs at nine in the morning…
Ah well, there’s always gelato. (And Italy seems to have nutella absolutely everywhere?! Not complaining.)