The GoGlobal Blog

“Maybe Europe agrees with you.”

“Maybe Europe agrees with you.”

Pretty much every time I’ve Skyped my dad within the past week, he’s commented on how good I look, and I must admit, I FEEL good.  Maybe it’s the Mediterranean sun, or maybe it’s the strength of the caffeine I’ve inhaled most mornings, or maybe it’s something even unknown to me, but Rome has worked wonders so far, and we’ve only been here about two weeks!  I can’t wait to see what other spectacles this visit has in store for me.

Concerning Classes: Can I just take a moment to comment on the curriculum?  [Pssh, it’s my blog, of course I can!]  Now that syllabus week has passed, students will officially begin to crack open their books and pop out their pens this week.  While classes like Italian Renaissance Philosophy, Roman Aesthetics, and the European Novel may sound intimidating, the professors here at the Rome Center encourage students to engage in their coursework through an active approach to learning.  For instance, two of my classes this semester, the Writing of Fiction and Art in Rome, are on-site classes that take my peers and me to different locations throughout the city each week, instead of keeping us locked inside a hot classroom.  Does the amount of work involved seem extreme?  Yes, admittedly, but the professors are all so approachable and the assignments appear interesting enough that I’m actually excited to work.

Concerning Tuscany: This past weekend, as part of our orientation into the John Felice Rome Center, the faculty took us on a three-day trip to Tuscany and Umbria.  After three long days of guided tours, sloping roads, and hours upon hours of eating what may be the greatest food I have ever tasted, I finally have time to talk about my experience.  The more I saw of the three medieval villages we visited, the more I wanted to live in them.  Cortona, protected by Saint Margaret, is rich in history and culture.  Some of the most breathtaking shots of the Italian countryside were captured next to it’s beautiful chapel, and I was thrilled to learn that I walked along the same paths as Roberto Benigni in “La Vita E Bella” – “Life Is Beautiful.”  Arezzo looked like something out of fairytale.  Probably because not much has changed since the Middle Ages, at least the buildings haven’t.  Neither have the festivals; the townsfolk celebrated their annual jousting competition in the town square just a week ago, where the crowd roared with excitement at the world-renowned flag bearers, who are pretty much the Cirque-di-Solei performers of medieval reenactments.  My personal favorite place was Anghiari.    I felt like I was walking through an ancient labyrinth of ornate lamps, winding stairs, and doors.  Many, many, outrageously awesome doors (most of which have found a new home on my camera).  In Sansepolcro, we were lucky enough to actually witness some of the town’s annual festival, where crossbowmen take to the town square to compete against each other with medieval arms, and parades are led by men in tights sounding trumpets and drums to signal the beginning of the games.

Oh, and one more thing: No matter how full you think you are, no matter how long you’ve been sitting at a table under the Tuscan sun (even if it’s been going on three hours), no matter how foreign the edibles look, when a servor puts food in front of you, you eat it and you like it.

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