As I mentioned in my previous post, my Dad and brother came to visit me this week. As their arrival drew near, I couldn’t wait to see their faces and have their company.
They arrived at Rome Fiumicino Airport, the main airport of Rome, two hours late. Their plane was late coming into JFK and the tardiness was passed onto them. I picked them up at the airport at 11:00 AM and we took a taxi to our hotel, Hotel Orange. We arrived by 11:45 AM, but the room wasn’t ready. I had to be in class by 12:15 PM, so we walked towards my apartment and my school. After a quick tour of my humble apartment, my Dad and brother, Matt, went to have pizza at one of my favorite take away pizza places in Rome while I went to my three hour film class.
I directed a scene from “Caterina in the Big City“. We had three hours to shoot the whole scene and were not able to waste a minute. It was the craziest class I’ve had here, but we shot great quality shots. We start editing the footage in two weeks.
After my class, I met up with my Dad and Matt outside my school and we took a taxi together to my next class, Italian. I had a field study in the Testaccio district of Rome where I had to give a presentation on the Pyramid of Cestius. My presentation went very well, but was a bit of a different style than usual. Normally, we just present to our class, but this time we also presented to our teacher’s 200 level Italian class.
After my presentation, I left class early and met back up with my Dad and brother and we caught another taxi back to the middle of Rome. We commenced our sightseeing week with a visit to the Capuchin Crypt – the monastery with the monk’s bones arranged as artwork that I wrote about two months ago. Matt got a kick out of it, but my Dad and I are still wondering how the monks came up with that idea. It does not sound like anything the Catholic church would condone.
After the Capuchin Crypt, I was able to show off my navigational skills as we walked to the Spanish Steps. I brought us right out atop the the steps with a great view of Rome.
View from the top of the Spanish Steps
We then walked down the Spanish Steps to Piazza di Spagna and saw the famous fountain, the Fontana della Baracaccia (Fountain of the Boat) at the base. We also posed for a few pictures.
Fontana della Barcaccia
Matt & Dad
Matt & I
Dad & I
After this, we walked to the Trevi Fountain and Matt threw a coin over his shoulder which guarantees his return to Rome one day.
Then, we went to a cafe that my Dad and I went to my first week here that had really good cafe lattes that we thought Matt might like. They were not as good as the first time we had them and the coffee taste was a bit too strong for him. We then went to one of the most famous gelaterias in Rome, Giolitti, for Matt’s first gelato in seven years. It was an expensive gelato, but it was phenomenal. After gelato, we went to try and get into the Pantheon, but it was closing as we walked up to it. We then went to my favorite piazza in Rome, Piazza Navona, and people walked as we walked around it. It is so beautiful at night and my Dad and brother loved it. The artists were out painting their beautiful artwork, street entertainers were scattered all around, and musicians were rocking out. It was perfect!
After Piazza Navona, we walked down to my favorite restaurant in Rome,Monte Carlo Pizzeria, where my brother & Dad had their first “real” Italian pizza of the vacation. The food was great, as usual. After our dinner, we took a leisurely stroll back to my apartment to grab my bags. I showed Matt and my Dad some of the highlights of my neighborhood at night including the Steeler’s Bar that I still have not been to. I did, however, take a picture next to a banner outside of it.
Penn State is even in Rome
By the time we made it back to our hotel, we were exhausted & decided to call it a night.
Note: This post was originally published on April 19, 2011 in a blog entitled “Romeing Around Europe” which chronicled my study abroad experience.