Monday, February 13, 2012

Snow + Snow + Kebap

Alright here's the part where I admit that keeping a blog up is hard and I need some more willpower. Good thing this past week has been a bit slow. I'm going to put my problems into words. Disclaimer: these are not actual problems.

Overseas Struggles

1: There are no bowls in my apartment. There are like, deep-dished plates, but that's because pasta is eaten here around 7 times a day. I eat cereal out of tupperware. This isn't a real problem, just the one most pressing because I decided to eat cheerios at 1:30 AM.

2: Transportattttiooooon. Ellie and I have booked all of our flights for break but have to get from Dusseldorf to Berlin by train. I was going to reserve tickets but am hesitant in case our plane is late or something. I feel like it would be easy to lose a bunch of money if we get confused. Especially since we speak a cumulative total of 1 word in German. Ya.

3: Snow is bumming me out. I like snow for about 3 days. This whole 'worst snow in 50 years' thing is cool, but also way too literally cool. I'm cold a lot. I need to buy moonboots but I'm too frugal and would have to leave them here. My toes will suffer for my stubbornness.

4: Oil painting is hard. There's all this turpentine involved which means I've already spilled about a cup of it on our living floor + my jeans + everything. And I dipped my cardigan in oil paint. I'm too messy for such a seriously damaging medium.

5: I can't talk to anyone at home until around midnight. So I get stupidly small amounts of sleep. But this can be remedied by me bucking up and just going to bed.

Had to complain a bit, I actually don't have any problems in the grand scheme of anything.

Let's see...our most recent field trip was to a town called Tolentino. It was small and medieval, which seems to be a theme around these parts. The main thing we saw there was the Basilica di St. Nicola. That's right, St. Nicola = Saint Nicholas = Santa! We went to a church dedicated to Santa! Except this was less about pagan tradition and more about how awesome he was as a Christian saint. This guy did a lot of miracle-type stuff! Alright but seriously, this basilica was ridiiiiculous. It had so many different chapels, a gift shop, a museum....a room dedicated to Nativity scenes from around the world! Only in Italy. Filiberto (site director) has spoken to us a lot about how important the nativity scene set-up is in each household, especially the 'special effects'! Let me preface this by saying....Italy has some low standards when it comes to special effects, but somehow manages to make what sort of amounts to expert train modeling look super awesome. I guess expert train modeling is kindof awesome though. Either way, here are some examples of special effects:

- high key purple and green lighting (completely unrealistic I really don't understand)
- loud church music
- flowing water
- primitive movement (the cow bends his neck!)
- thunderstorm sound effects (actually this was pretty cool)

Alright I'm going to stop being cynical. In all honesty seeing nativity scenes from all around the world was super interesting. And I happen to appreciate the art of model-making.

The main attraction for me at Santa's basilica was a large room completely covered almost floor to ceiling in frescos that were crazy well-preserved. The main background color was this bright blue so it was just an amazing this to walk into. I believe it illustrated almost 40 panels documenting the life of Mary, Jesus, and St. Nicola. He even has a white beard and a red robe! Santa is real! Here are photos from that trip.

So this is an awkward cat-thing statue on a really old tomb. I just liked it.

Churches with impressive ceilings: version 324.

They often leave Roman foundations of buildings and put glass over it. Its really awesome.

This fountain was still working, even in the cold!

Ah! I didn't say anything about the coffered ceiling! It was overwhelming. Like my jaw dropped because you enter the church and the ceiling is golden art and this photo doesn't do it justice. 

Crazzzzyyy frescoossss.

Santa blessing the lesser biblical people's. Actually I think its Mary. I'm probably offending the religious.

Oh my gosh. No big deal, we'll just sculpt 500 tiny cherub angels into this ceiling.

Sow when people in the older times wanted to be thankful for what St. Nicola had helped them with, they comissioned painters to do little scenes describing the help they got. There were HUNDREDS of these in the museum, it was completely interesting to see the evolution of societies etc.

Here are nativity figures from different areas of Europe, I don't remember which.

Nativity video! Look for the crazy special effects!

Oh uh...this is the slaughter of first-borns which happened to be depicted on more than one occasion. Its one of those cases where it is so ridiculous that I can help but think its a tad funny that they went to the trouble of detaching babies heads in tiny sculpture. *I do not support the slaughter of first-borns.

Yum pasta.

Yum beer.

Alright and finally to something I find completely adorable. Italians are so good at snowmen! They seriously show us up. We found no less than 5 snowmen while walking around Tolentino. SO here are all of the ones I've documented so far.

Isn't Italy cool?

1 comment:

  1. I feel you on 3 and 4. I'm tired of being cold too, I also ruined a couple of shirts with the oils. Everything else sounds fantasssstic!