I am so excited, so excited that I did not sleep at all last night. I had this butterfly feeling in my stomach for a while now, a feeling I get every time I am about to leave the country. I love traveling but yet I get so nervous the day before. Today I had to wake up at 7 am just so I could finish packing. Last minute packing is a whole mood, I laugh at myself because I always save my packing for the day of the trip. After I finished packing I started to head over to Marymount to meet with the rest of the class. Both my parents decided to come with me to drop me off. This trip was so special for me because this was in some way a birthday gift to myself as my birthday was just a few days before going Rome. After all it was my birthday weekend and my best friend had told me she would meet me up in Rome to come and visit me. Although I have been to Rome once before, I have very high exceptions from Rome. From what I can remember I loved the views in Rome especially the views in Siena which is about 2hrs away from Rome. When I went I didn’t like it as much since it was prime tourist time and so packed I had lost my group many times. Although I went with a group of people I did not know, I met some of my closest friends while traveling. I am hoping this time around it won’t be as crowded so I could enjoy the museums, the Vatican and the Colosseum which are the most touristy things to do in Rome.However I will be traveling with my people I do know, people I see around campus all the time and in a smaller group. I don’t know much about Shakespeare in Rome since my last time in Rome was a complete different focus, however I am very excited to see how this trip can tie in to what we discuss in class. I think I am most excited to see the play of Rome and Juliet in Italian. I love hearing/ watching movies and plays in different languages however in this case there will be no subtitles!! I pray using Duolingo and my attempt of learning Italian in 3 weeks will pay off when trying to follow along what they are saying. I wonder if it would be similar to the plays I have seen here in VA of Rome and Juliet at all or will they have a different interpretation.
Durning the trip:
I love the lifestyle here in Italy. Walking everyday, more healthier food options, the people are nicer and the climate here feels great. Some thing that I really appreciate in Rome that is hard to find is just how safe I felt walking in the streets of Rome as a woman late at night with my friends. I travel pretty frequently and have been to many countries. And I have never felt so comfortable walking in the streets at night before. I didn’t see many people approaching people for some drinks or to go partying (which happens pretty often in places like Spain which I had just went to weeks before coming to Rome). Just a few nights ago, I went to the Spanish Steps with my best friend who came to visit me and another friend of mine and we just sat down and talked for hours. I think so far that has been my favorite thing I have done so far on this trip. It is so impressive to see Rome so vibrant at night filled with people (not many tourist that I saw) but rather people who came to have a good time with love ones. I didn’t see many people on their phones taking pictures, but rather people were just talking, laughing and having the time of their lives. That’s what I had hope to see more often but in such a touristy location that is just so hard to find.
Another thing I really like is all the places we have visited so far on this trip. So far we have visited some amazing museums and seen some amazing views like for example we visited so far: the piazza Cavour, visited the Colosseum and the Forum, in which Julius Caesar is buried which we saw just before we left, some Vatican art museums with Professor Kevin, the globe theater in Rome, the crypt of bones and the Italian play “Romeo & Giulietta”. I have been to the colosseum once before, however I was not able to appreciate the beauty of the ruins since it was packed durning the prime summer time. I noticed it looked a bit different from the last time I went, there was more walking space ( thats a bit odd to say, however I noticed that they where building a new ground that covers a bit of the ruins to allow tourist to walk on the ground floor. Its a bit upsetting that it looks different however they are making it so it will last another couple of 100+ years for tourist to see. After that, we went to see the Forum which was my favorite “park” we went to see during the trip. It was so nice, relaxing and breath taking. There was many different levels of side walks, which allows one to envision what the older Rome was like. Because of the many flooding they had in Rome, it forced them to build things elevated and far from the ground which would explain why there are many ruins underground. Rome is build on top of the older Rome which can be found underground. While in the Forum I was able to see Julius Cesar “grave” or rather a big rock that is thought to be where Cesar lays. But one can never been certain that is where he truly lays. I say that because while we walked around, I don’t remember seeing other grave tombs around. Cesar was the only one I recall seeing. My favorite thing I have seen is the play of Rome and Juliet. Mainly because it was something new and something I have not experience before. I have been to the Vatican, been to the colosseum and the crypt of bones. But a play in Italian? Never! & funny enough I told myself I was last here that I will go see a play in Italy. I was just impressed just how well the play was. When we met the cast before the show, they had the curtains open and saw only ropes coming from the roof that made it look like a bird cage. It was not what I expected at all. I was confused on how they would incorporate this cage to their story. And truly it was impressive how well they pulled it off. My three weeks of Duolingo did come through as it did help me follow along the play. Although we did read the play in class, it’s not the same just basing it off with the readings. When translating in a different language, there is always something that gets lost in translation. It helped that I also can read a bit of latin and speak Spanish because I noticed some words in Italian are very similar to Spanish. I loved the makeup the actors had on their faces (dark black winds that covered their eyes like a face mask) and the impact this makeup had on Juliet in particular. For example, the story starts with the coming of Juliet birthday. In the beginning of the play, Juliet is the only one without the mask. As she prepares for her birthday, her mask starts to become visible, however she does not receive her “wings” until she meets Romeo and falls in love. It’s as if the makeup resembles these important milestones Juliet faces in her life. It’s hard to envision that transformation as the audience, yet they were able to show that by using just makeup which is really smart on their part. I loved the outfits of the actors and loved the energy they left on stage. I felt engaged and intrigue by their interpretation of Romeo and Juliet.
This trip was nothing compare to the trip I have made before years ago. The main difference was that we this time around I had more time to look at just the museums and look around. It was not as crowded and the weather was great to walk around. This trip also allowed me to reconnect with my former roommate and classmates within my cohort because ever since I moved out of campus it’s been harder to see them and hang out with them. I got to know more of my other classmates who are not in my cohort and allowed me to meet new people who I never had the opportunity to talk to in class. This trip was a great birthday gift to myself and would love to go again. One scene I would love to stage in Rome is Julius Cease death scene. I would stage it in the cat park we visited which is believed to be where his death originally occurred and not in the Forum which is where he was buried. It was interesting to see so many stray cats in that “park” that is located in the middle of the city. Just imagine if one was reenacting that scene and everyone who was walking would just watch. It would be a fish bowl scenario where the audience would be looking down to watch since this part is “underground”. Honestly coming back to States made me miss traveling even more. The older I have gotten the harder it has been for me to travel since I have so many responsibilities. But traveling for just a week as part of a global class room series was perfect and is something I would recommend to anyone.