Ciao everyone, and buona mercoledi a tutti. I hope you're all doing well today, I'm going through the motions of my last full day in Roma, and it's really, really surreal. It's so weird to think that I have just over 24 hours left here after spending the bulk of the last 16 (yes, 16) weeks here. That's 112 days folks, and with all my travels, I've been here for roughly 100 nights. Man.
And it all ends tonight with a final goodbye to the city, the people, and really, my home for the last 4 months. But what ends finally tomorrow started yesterday, and I'll explain my exploits from here on out.
Last time I updated, I had finals going on, and now, they're over. Whew! I got all four in the books, and I'm hoping I can A my way through them all, and if not, A- and A's if I can. I feel pretty good about them all, and here's to hoping that it'll be my parting gift from Roma: a good set of grades to go home to.
Yesterday, I had my Science and Religion final from 3-6, and it took most of the time he gave us. I shook his hand as I turned in my 19 pages of work and thanked him for everything I'd learned. This class gave me so much perspective on the Catholic faith from a dogmatic and a historical perspective, and when coupled with my knowledge from my Medieval Art and Architecture course, I feel like an expert on the subject. I'm far from it, but damn, I've sure learned a lot, that's for sure.
On my way home, I passed by St. Peter's and the big Christmas tree, which I took quite a few pictures of a few days ago and I'll post here now. But yes, it was quite the scene, and it felt really Christmas-like, but also kind of emotional. I was walking through here on this wet evening, finished with all of the work I have, and now it was just me and the city, no other obligations to work or study.
I got home and a few other people had finished their exams as well, and we decided that after the Champions League game between Roma and Bordeaux, we'd go see Trevi fountain at night, a quintessential act in Roma that I really hadn't done yet. Roma ended up winning (ROMA HA VINTO! VIOLA ! VIOLA! The fans let you know it too) and we rolled out a little after 10:30 to go and see Trevi and really anything else we saw along the way. Rome is filled with so many things, you are always shocked by something new every time you venture out, and last night was no exception.
We stopped off at Old Bridge for gelato and it started to rain, but it wasn't too bad just yet, and we made it over to Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps first, which are always such at hot spot off Via del Corso, with all the designers (Fendi, Versace, Gucci, Prada, Armani, etc) lining the street windows with the Christmas fare. The steps looked awesome too, and we just hung out as it began to rain a bit harder, but taking pictures all the way. Beautiful at night, that's for sure.
From Spagna, we headed towards where we thought Trevi was, but we got a little turned around and hung out in and around Via del Corso a bit, taking photos of everything. There was this Fendi shop that had a huge Christmas belt around it, and it was really pretty funny to see, but the girls didn't think funny was the word, but awesome. I think I know someone who would've really appreciated it too . . .
Anyway, from there, we eventually made our way past the column of Marcus Aurelius, something I had managed not to see yet, which was a nice little addition to our journey, but the best parts were still to come, as we had Trevi dead ahead, and we rounded a corner and there she was, in all her night-time glory.
There's a reason it's called the most beautiful fountain in the world: because it is.
The night light set up was gorgeous, and even better, we were the only people there, due to a combination of rain, time, and date. We spent at least half an hour there, and Bert even had a celebratory cigar as we took pictures and took it in all by ourselves. One benefit of living in a city for a long period of time: eventually, you'll get something to yourself, and you can appreciate it anew and in a new light, and Trevi last night was exactly like that.
We tossed the coins over the shoulder, and I took it in: last time here for a while? Absolutely. But was it memorable? Yes, yes it was. I took a ton of pictures, but just one more and I'll move on, I promise.
From there, we walked over towards Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, and both were just awesome. All by ourselves again, and taking it all in with no rush and no company in the least other than our own. The Pantheon is always so impressive as it's about 2,000 years old and the writing is still so impressive, and the mystery around it and its original intent makes it even cooler. We hung out underneath for a while and enjoyed the sights before picking up stakes and heading towards Navona and the direction of home.
Another goodbye to make, another fantastic sight at hand. Pretty awesome stuff once again, and another great parting memory.
Piazza Navona is huge and I've been there numerous times, but the most famous fountain there (yes, featured in Angels and Demons) is the Quatto Fiumi, or the Four Rivers fountain, and it's had scaffolding on it for the past four months to the extent that we couldn't even see it. But just yesterday, they took it off, and we were able to see it in all of its glory for the first time, and it's pretty awesome too. My camera battery was on the low, but I got a few pictures, and I highly suggest looking at it if you can't get a picture of it from mine, as it's pretty cool in its own right.
From there, it was towards home. Another 30 minute walk in the rain, but it took us by the study center, Castel Sant'Angelo, and the always impressive St. Peter's, and we made it back to our street, Via Candia, lit with Christmas lights and tons of splendor all the merrier. Being damp, cold, and having sore feet melted away pretty quickly, and I crashed hard, but it was really just a beautiful night. Loved it all, and I will remember it for many, many years to come.
Today's activities will be discussed later, and the sentimental one is yet to come, but know that I am going through a bit of the sorrows of realizing I'm saying goodbye, but I'm seeing it in a totally different way than I thought I would. Am I sad about leaving? Yeah, a bit. I've loved my time here for many reasons. But this, while it has been my home, is not home, and I am looking forward to being with friends, family, and those I care about in the place that has always been home in just a few more days.
I leave you with a few more pictures of me and the night, and while they're blurry, I always get requests for me in them, so enjoy.
Until next time,