On March 11th, the day before my spring break had officially sprung, I said Arrivederci to 4 out 5 of my lovely roommates, whom the next day would go galavanting off to Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s in Dublin. However, my next day, Thursday, March 12th, was a day of happiness because I become recently free from school for 10 days! During this break, I would dabble in Rome’s art life, visit Florence again, and enjoy Paris for the first time. I could barely contain my anxiousness to go to Paris, but I still had until the 18th until I jetted off for the City of Lights. Sooo, this post will discuss my time of being alone in Rome for the most part, including the struggles that entailed. Anyway, back to March 12th when completed my day around 3:30, feeling very worried about writing a strong rough draft for my art theory class.
That night however, I attended my Art Gallery Management professor’s gallery exhibition opening with new friends at the time. This artist they were showing working with carpet, and at first I was very skeptical about how this could look interesting and not turn out tacky. Amazingly that he was able to pull this off brilliantly. Going to this gallery with new people with similar interests and seeing my professor in her element was awesome and reassured me I came to Rome for a good reason. It definitely sparked in interest me to look into interning or working at a gallery at some point. That evening was also nice due to these new friends’ generosity and extending me an invite to join them for a home-cooked dinner at their apartment. Good meal and fun conversation are definitely some of my favorite things.
The next day, that Friday the 13th (I just realized how unlucky this was) was going to be a day of Netflix, music, painting and relaxing day for myself. I was also planning on catching up on this blog too.. but my computer had other plans. It decided to not want to start up, so I left it for a while, did laundry and walked around the city and came back to it still being temperamental…… So after researching this and coming to a dead end, since I really don’t know that much about computers – I began calling Apple and looking for an Apple Store. The nearest one was in another town. Simple upsets like this grow exponentially when abroad because everything that would be easy at home, is SO MUCH more difficult and frustrating abroad. I longed for Dallas, where everything is at my finger tips and it’s not as hard to do anything. As much as I love Rome, I do miss how easier everything is back home. Eventually, I found an Apple approved tech shop and took it there way across town, past the Colosseum. This experience, although very frustrating, also made realize how attached we get to material things, dropping off my computer was so difficult. Even though my mac is expensive, it is just a thing.
So Saturday, my new friends at the time, Bridget and Danny invited me to visit the MAAXI museum and the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art with them. I was ecstatic to see some more new areas of the city I live in. First, we visited the National Gallery and we were all pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming amount of beautiful pieces exhibited here. Stumbling upon a Van Gogh and a Klimt, was absolutely lovely. Then we headed to the MAAXI – I was much more excited for this museum, and the architecture was stunning. The exhibits in the museum were very strange and conceptual, except for the one of vintage Italian couture worn by famous movie stars like Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren. It was refreshing to see this one after viewing bizarre conceptual pieces, like strange films and weird taxidermy sculptures. I really enjoy spending time with Bridget and Danny, both whom have similar interests as me and have a similar sense of humor as me.
On that next Monday, March 16th, I had the joy of discovering that my high school AP Literature teacher was in Rome on a class trip for their spring break. Although I ended up missing my train to Florence the next day, I don’t regret one second of staying up late to talk to Mrs. Walls. Having a teacher who took the time to know me years ago, when I was very ready to graduate high school, was absolutely wonderful. She is always such a joy to talk to and I love knowing she’s so supportive of me. It was so interesting to hear what I seemed like in high school and how she thinks I’ve matured and grown since then.
So like I said, for St. Patty’s day, I was headed to Florence by myself to visit the Uffizi and the Academia, because the last time I was there I didn’t have enough time to see them. However, I did miss my first train and I had to buy another when I got to the Roma Train Station (Termini), but this pesky gypsy, who with others, pretends to work for Termini and wouldn’t leave me alone there. I was annoyed and was rude to her, but she reacted in a very frightening way and was punching the machine. This day seemed to just keep accumulating more and more stressful experiences. After missing two trains to Firenze, I finally made it there. Then, fearing I would be late my scheduled entrance at the Uffizi, I took a cab, but he didn’t my card at the end, so he had to drive me to the bank, then back to the Uffizi. I’m telling you, doing this alone was mighty stressful. Eventually, I made it inside the museum and saw beautiful and iconic medieval and Renaissance art. I definitely teared up at Botticelli’s Primavera. Later I went to the Accademia and saw Davide and more medieval artworks that the museum housed. I ended up spending the rest of the day in Florence at Piazza Michelangelo sketching, shopping in tiny leather shops, and stalling until my late train at 9. I was determined not to miss this one so I found an internet shop and plotted my way there. Arriving early at the station, I feel as though I spent a vast amount of time browsing the Italian bookstore and sketching on the bench. Although I’m glad I was able to visit these world famous museums, in the morning I was too upset and stressed to think rationally. I was more than thankful to be on the train home to Rome that evening, even though I still had to pack for Pari!
The next morning, I was officially off to the city I had dreamed of for years to visit. I woke up early, with my floppy hat on, and took the train to Fiumicino to catch my flight. I was still exhausted from my mentally draining day in Florence alone, but so giddy to land in France. The lady who was in charge of our Airbnb was extremely helpful and helped guide me over the phone on determining how I would find our place through public transportation from the airport. Exiting the metro felt entirely surreal, I was in PARIS!!!
After taking a nap from my Florence and traveling exhaustion, I decided to make the most of Paris and wander around. I walked my way along the Seine and by part of the love lock bridge towards the Louvre. I was already infatuated. Paris is so beautiful – I felt as though I was in a dream or a movie. This couldn’t possibly be my reality. The weather was lovely. As I drew hungry however, I was called to a place only Americans in Italy would understand – Chipotle. It may have been as sin for my first meal in France to be a burrito bowl and a Dr. Pepper (!!!!). This definitely satisfied my craving and made all my other study abroad friends jealous. After being entirely stuffed, I meandered towards the Tuileries gardens with my sights set on attending one museum there – the Musee d’Orangerie. I felt entirely too overwhelmed and blessed once I entered the first oval room with Monet’s stretching around it. Here there are two rooms like this, along with a hall of Renoir, rooms of Picasso, Cezanne, and many other well known painters. This museum is entirely too underrated, if any of you ever go to Paris I recommend it to the highest. I ate a baguette on my walk back and then that evening my other friends arrived from Lisbon. That night, I was anxious to sleep – way too eager to take on the rest of Paris with them.