This Thursday was Italy’s 150th Anniversary of being a united country. This meant my favorite three words in the Italian lanuage – “non c’e scuola” – or “no school.” To celebrate, many of the museums in Rome were free. I took advantage of this by going to the first ever public museum in the world – the Capitoline Museum. It was comprised of a bunch of pieces of art donated to the city of Rome by the Catholic Church. It was huge! It had the famous statue of Romulus and Reamulus drinking milk from the she-wolf – I’d heard so much about it and was so happy to be able to finally see it. The museum also had amazing views of the Roman Forum!
Statue of Romulus & Remus
On Friday, I took a tour of the Vatican Museum – it cost me €40 but was so worth it. I got to cut the four hour line and a phenomenal tour. I would not have been able to navigate the museum on my own, either. It has 1,200 rooms and 18 kilometers of hallways! We saw the Belvedere Torso, Laocoon and his Sons, the Map Rooms, Raphael’s Frescos, the Sistine Chapel, and the Last Judgement! It was an amazing experience. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and the Last Judgement were my favorite, though. I’d heard so much about them, but words cannot do it justice. Also, my tour guide put them into context which helps you appreciate the art even more!
My picture with the Duomo
Garden in the Vatican Museum
Laocoon and his Sons
One of Raphael’s Fresco
Friday night, we went to an area of Rome called Testaccio. It is a bunch of old warehouses they turned into bars and is home to quite a nightlife. I was happy because it was the first time I’ve gone anywhere at night that was not dominated by American students. One of the bars was even playing Italian dance music! I had a great time.
I spent the day on Saturday trying to study for Midterms, but just kept procrastinating. I was able to get my studying done on Sunday, though, because the Rome Marathon shut down the city.
Note: This post was originally published on March 20, 2011 in a blog entitled “Romeing Around Europe” which chronicled my study abroad experience.