This week of school was pretty normal. Nothing too exciting, but I am really enjoying my Art History class. And being really slow at painting. Oh here's something! There are students from other European countries who come to study at the Academia de Belle Arte in Macerata through a program that's called 'Erasmus'. So right now, since the regular students have finals until the end of February, its mostly me and people from Eastern Europe. Thursday my professor introduced me to a guy named Raul (Rah-ool) who is from Romania who was also working on painting things. He spoke a little bit of English and we talked a bit about our different programs. It was kindof hard to explain the AHA program, especially to someone who didn't really understand what words I was using anyway. But still, it was really nice to talk to someone outside of the AHA program. I also met a guy from Bulgaria who said I was the first American he had ever met. I'm not sure if he was joking or not, but it would be really strange if that were true. And really cool. Regardless, he made sure to shake my hand.
We watched 'Roman Holiday' for film class. I'd seen it before but I loove it. Audrey Hepburn rules the world.
Two Thursday meals:
1) 2/19: The group went out to eat for a second time at Tratorria da Ezio (look it up on Facebook, so ridiculously Italian) and they let us see how they handmake their pasta. Here is behind-the-scenes footage (that is ONE HUNDRED eggs):
2) This past Thursday, we also seconded a restaurant called Palace, where I got this tortellini and was more full than I have ever been in my life. Like, full the next morning full.
Friday was our second official excursion. We visited two towns in the area: San Ginesio and Urbs Salvia. At San Ginesio we saw the Ospedaletto di San Paolo dei Pellegrini. A mouthful to say the least, but it actually just served as a shelter for those who needed one (ospedal = hospitality). I was built in 1295! I'm never going to get over how old things are and the fact that they still exist and I'm looking at them. The main attraction was our visit to Chiesa Collegiata dela SS. Annunziata = the cathedral of the town.
I took my film camera on this trip and haven't had anything developed yet, so these are all shots from my iPhone. Which actually works really well for this kind of thing. Ridiculous amounts of decoration, art, painting. Everywhere.
We got to visit an architecture studio in the town because our site director was friends with the owner. It was such a gorgeous little office building; small but efficient and with this stupidly amazing view of the mountains. Monti Sibillini to be exact. Here's a picture of the view and then one that I love of the whole group in front of the craziness that is Italian landscape (credits to Dragona Polimac, fellow student):
Next was my favorite part of San Ginesio, the Abbazia di S. Maria di Chiaravalle di Fiastra. Aka the Abbey of St. Maria. We've been talking about abbey's in art history and their function as well as what they're made up of/technically are. It was great to get to apply things right after talking about them in class, Filiberto is a wonderful professor. There were so many details, I'm just going to show pictures instead of ramble.
I've kindof been trying to document weird plants over here, this is Cork Oak. So corky.
Food from the trip! Lunch and a cappuccino. I'm going to be/already am addicted to cappuccinos + one pack of sugar.
URBS SALVIA! My favorite part of the trip! We got to visit an archaeological dig site where they have been unearthing the remains of a Roman temple, but my favorite part was an amphitheater that survived because a bunch of oak trees grew on it and held it together with their roots. It was increediibllleeee.
These are like...2000 year old dog prints. Bah!
Last and lovely was a short tour of a local winery and a bit of a wine tasting. Filiberto showed us the proper way to taste wine, which is kindof ridiculous, but I suppose it would make more sense to me if I knew more about wine. Regardless, I sampled a red and white. I usually have to try hard to like red, but it was good and tasted a little like berries. Here is the winery/wine:
So that was a full day. This morning I got up early and went to the Saturday market in Chivitanova (30 minute train ride) and ended up buying a good amount of clothes. Oops! I did get some awesome pants. I feel like showing off Italy clothes so here they are:
Okay last thing! Tonight we went to Macerata's men's volleyball game. They don't do sports quite the same way here in terms of college teams, by which I mean there aren't college sports teams. Its more like there are teams for the city and the people on them go to the university in that city. Either way, Italians are BIG volleyball fans. We got to the stadium place a bit late and it was PACKED. Packed to the point that we had to sit on the stairs. It was so loud and crazy and I loved it. The game was really good to see too, it made me yearn for some ole fashion volleyball playing. I took a video of the first point of the game. Its really loud because, in this case especially, Italians are really loud.