April 23, 2009
Our final stop on our epic 2-week Europe extravaganza: Rome. As you may have read in Tim’s blog, Cornell has an amazing Architecture, Art, and Planning program in Rome. I stayed with my good friend Jess, a Urban and Regional Students major. Knowing that we had a few hours less in a more intimidating city, Sarah and I managed to cram a lot into 48 hours.
Day 1 in Rome started with a nice morning hike around the Trastevere area (where we were staying), hiking through the hillside park called the Gianiculum, and trekking our way over to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Tucked behind the Basilica lies the famed Vatican Museum. The museum was breathtaking: from Raphael’s School of Athens to the Sistine Chapel, it was masterpiece after masterpiece everywhere we turned.
From there, we walked across the Tiber to Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, to Trevi Fountain (we tossed a coin over our left shoulder, so we’ll be back!) and down towards Piazza Venezia. Right behind Piazza Venezia? The Forum and the Coliseum.
The feeling of walking along ruins that have stood for millennia was overwhelming. Makes you feel pretty insignificant. Pictures of the ruins really don’t do it justice. The sheer size of these buildings makes you wonder how all of this was possible without modern technology.
On Day 2, we booked tickets to the Galleria Borghese, home to the famous Bernini sculptures David, Apollo and Daphne, and the Rape of Persephone. I stood in the Apollo and Daphne room for half an hour, just ogling at the detail. How is it even possible to sculpt marble so thin that it looks like glass?!?! We then strolled through the nearby Villa Borghese gardens, and made our way over to the Spanish Steps.
The view from Aventine Hill:
It was so hard to leave. My trip to Europe was everything that I imagined it to be and more. Seeing masterpieces in real life, soaking up the European lifestyle, was exactly what I needed to cap off a busy-bee four years. If there’s anytime to take a trip, it’s now. With my Roman Holiday over, I’m now looking forward to graduation in (YIKES) four weeks!