Centristi at Sea!

Or.. how we were on a ferry a couple times but mostly traveling around the beautiful island of Sicily for 10 days.

Apologies for how delayed this post is.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get in a Fall Break one before we leave again in 2 weeks for Campania!  Time works a touch differently here, in that we never have any.  The Centro is a mysterious place.

The Sicily trip was October 8th-16th.  We hit Paestum the first day and spent the afternoon wandering around the remains of enormous Doric Temples and the Roman Forum there.  We got to climb on stuff.  It was great.  The best part about that day was the beach by the hotel.  The water was SO warm even though the air was pretty chilly and we were in the water as the sun was setting.  I have never seen anything so gorgeous.  We also got to go back and look at the temples at night all lit up.  That was pretty cool too.

The 9th was mostly spent driving which was a little hard to handle.  It also didn’t help that we were driving through mountains so we kept going through tunnels and then driving over these ridiculous high land bridges.  I do not like bridges.  When we got to Reggio Calabria we stopped to see the Riace Bronzes and that was awesome.  They haven’t been on display in a long time.  We also stayed at a 5 star hotel that night.  It’s really the only way to live.

Monday the 10th was our actually crossing to Sicily.  Ferry boat!  Then we hit the beautiful tourist trap of Taormina.  We saw the Greek (and then Roman) theater there.  Such an amazing view.  After lunch we got back in the bus and drove to Syracuse where we stopped at the fort and got to play/explore the ruins for about an hour and a half.  Probably my second favorite activity of the entire trip.

Tuesday we went to Ortigia and saw some more temples, walked through this really cool open air market, saw the Quarries, Greek theater, and the remains of the Roman amphitheater.   It really is a whole different experience staring at these monuments while hearing about them.  It is impossible to fathom how huge these temples were unless you’re standing in front of the remains.

For the rest of the week we continued to move around Sicily hitting Agrigento where we swam at the mob beach, Selinunte, Motia, and Palermo.  Saturday night-Sunday morning we took a ferry from Palermo to Naples and then drove about 3 hours back to Roma.  All in all it was a fantastic experience.  The living situation was a little intense.  We kept feeling that the Centro staff had specifically chosen hotels that were so far removed from anything that we didn’t have a chance to escape and get away from each other.

Anyway, that’s all for now.  Look for a Fall Break update hopefully coming soon.  “About how all my stuff got stolen….”  True story.

About the polizia, Ravenna, and how we all went a little crazy..

Don’t worry, these are all good stories.

The sad irony of having a blog is the longer I procrastinate writing a post, the longer the post has to be!  We finished a little early at the Forum today so I’m taking full advantage of this precious free time to blog instead of do homework.  You’re welcome!

Firstly, so that you don’t panic, the trip to the police station 10 days ago was not because we did anything wrong.  We need a special permisso to live in Italy as Americans and, even though the administration tried really hard to avoid any complicated procedures of us having to go to the polizia, we did have to make a group trip to get fingerprinted.  Unfortunately this eliminates my plan to steal an ancient artifact since they can trace me.  Darn.  That was kind of a rough way to spend Saturday morning (bus left at 9 am) but it all ended well and we should be getting the formal paperwork in a month or so (IRONIC BECAUSE WE’LL BE LIVING HERE THE WHOLE TIME!) so that’s all taken care of.

The week after that was pretty normal.  Trips around Rome, checked out the Palatine hill, Forum of Caesar, and the  Centrale Montemartini.  I very much enjoy the fact that my ‘average week’ consists of trips to restricted, ancient sites and phenomenal museum.  No big……. 😀

Friday afternoon we took a 5 hour bus ride to the charming town of Ravenna to check out some 5th century AD sites.  Mostly churches which are pretty far from my interest in ancient history but these churches were so incredibly and beautifully designed that I couldn’t help but love them a little bit.  We also went in a couple Baptistries and Mausoleums.  It is really amazing how creative people were (and are) and the beautiful craftsmanship they put into everything they created.  I could have stared at one mosaic in one church for hours and still not have been satisfied.  The pictures of these don’t even come close to doing the colors, shapes, and designs justice.  On Saturday night I went out to a very nice dinner in Ravenna with some of my friends – luckily ordering food and wine in Italian is pretty straightforward!

Sunday morning we got on the busses at 8:30 with the intention of driving make to Rome along the same route that Caesar marched when he started his famous civil war with Pompey.  That day was cool, for the most part.  We only got off the bus 4 times, including when we stopped at the Italian equivalent of a Rest Area for food.  By the time we got close to Rome we were all pretty much done of being so close to each other (and trying to do piles of homework on a bus) and then we hit the traffic.  Let me tell you, Roman traffic is like no traffic you have ever seen.  The problem here was that our bus did not have the Italian EZ Pass so we were stuck in the cash only lane for about an hour and a half.  It got pretty desperate at one point.  I won’t divulge the frightening details but let’s just say none of us are looking forward to the impending trip to Sicily…..

This week was Augustus Week!  Hooray!  Yesterday we got to go into the Forum of Augustus which was FREAKING AWESOME.  We also so the Ara Pacis, Augustus’ Mausoleum (what’s left), and a bunch of invisible monuments.  Those aren’t so exciting but it’s fun trying to use your imagination to picture what it would have looked like.  I got a friend of mine to take pictures in the Forum of Augustus so those are a surprise for you AND for me!

We leave for Sicily on Saturday morning.  I’m very much looking forward to going to the beach!  And it’s supposed to be cooler there (75 instead of 85 during the day).  I’m just rejecting the heat now and I insist on wearing pants everywhere.  Pants also help with the disgusting amount of mosquitos here.  They swarm around exposed flesh.  It’s terrifying.

Yesterday was also the first day of my internship with the American Academy in Rome!  There are 14 of us and we’re going to help put together and exhibition of ancient artifacts (for which we’ll get credit in the catalogue!!) and help them organize some of their ancient samples to make room for new (still ancient) samples!  I’m very very excited about that.

ALSO (jeez so much to say) I solidified my Fall Break plans so the week after Sicily I’ll be adventuring up through Italy to Paris, France for a couple of days.  Should have internet there so hopefully I can motivate myself to blog in real-time!

Shout out to Matt and Molly Trappe!  Congratulations on your beautiful daughter, Taylor.  Good luck and I’m hoping to meet her this summer!

Also shout out to Emily Holland.  Because she asked ;( Hope you’re enjoying real fall @ UNH ❤