After a whirlwind first two weeks of intensive Italian and neighborhood scoping, all the artists, architects, and planners have finally arrived and settled into Rome. Our new homes are in Trastevere, a beautiful region of Rome west of the Tiber River, a landmark which those of us living in the Dandolo apartments have the pleasure of crossing every morning to get to class. We were extremely relieved to discover that the weather is significantly milder than in Ithaca; while the native Italians hurry past in their winter furs, we bask in the Roman sunlight.
On Saturday, January 20, Academic Coordinator Jeffrey Blanchard led a walking and bus tour for all AAP students and professors that led us from our own Palazzo Lazzaroni to the Colosseum to San Giovanni in Laterno (St. John the Lateran) all the way to the Spanish Steps, with a picnic on the Appian Way in between. To describe it as overwhelming doesn’t quite do our tour justice; the span of our trek through the historical ruins of this renowned city, plus Jeffrey’s exceptional and thorough knowledge of Rome, made for a captivating, if physically exhausting, day. Needless to say, the cameras snapped away maniacally that day. We definitely played the part of eager American tourists, but as our knowledge of the language and of the city increases, we’ll soon be indistinguishable from our Italian peers. You’ll see!