Saturday, September 06, 2014

Catching up - Italy trip

Catching up on my Italy trip from last June

Day 4:
On the fourth day, we took a train to Naples and a bus from Naples to Positano. The drive was so beautiful it made be sick (or that was the switchbacks and my tendency toward carsickness...luckily no longer being on the bus = no longer having a stomachache).

We ditched our stuff at the Hostel Brikette and grabbed lunch at the pizza place across the street (margherita pizza, caprese salad, and white wine). Then we walked down ALL the stairs to the beach and back.

Our feet in the sea

After we walked back up ALL the steps (daunting!), we grabbed dinner at a grocery near the hostel (cheese, bread, salami, salad, and olives). We ate on the hostel's patio and sat there while the sun set. We also made plans for the next day (Sentiero Degli Dei!).

Monday, September 01, 2014

Catching up - Italy trip

I'm continuing to catch up my blog by writing about my trip to Italy from last June.

Day three:

We started the day at a round, originally Pagan, church named San Sebastiano.

This is a model (of something), and there are chairs in case you'd like to sit by it.

If you look closely, you can see that the painting includes a handy key - they've labeled all of the different gruesome deaths with letters that correspond to the descriptions below.

Flowers outside San Sebastiano

Then we went to the Villa Celimontana. I loved the orange trees and the water fountains that looked like wolf heads (which I drank from but didn't get a picture of).

After that, we went to the "church with the layers" (aka Basilica San Clemente) which, to steal some info from a Fodor's Travel review, is a "12th-century church [that] was built on top of a 4th-century church, which in turn was built over a 2nd-century pagan temple to the god Mithras and 1st-century Roman apartments" (Fodor's Travel).

It was so amazing to go from one church down into another and down into another - and to think that rather than eroding with time (which is what I generally think time does), Rome just keeps getting more and more built up.

If I was picking, I'd say this is THE church to go to. It combines the regular church-y stuff (frescoes, religious art, beautiful tiled floors) with underground exploration and getting to feel (a little bit) like Indiana Jones. Seriously, it can't be beat.

My photographs don't do it justice - it's very, very cool.

Then, we spent some more time underground. 

For lunch, we had a prix fixe meal at L'Asino d'Oro, which serves Umbrian food - so delicious. We also stopped in a few shops in the neighborhood.

Next, we took a train to Ostia Antica. If you'd like to be surrounded by ruins (rather than people - especially people trying to sell you stuff), and if you'd like to feel (somewhat) like Indiana Jones (again), Ostia Antica is IT. We were there for hours, saw a handful of other people, and barely got halfway through the place.

Brenna and I also spent a bit of time pretending to be "bogus tour guides" and making up stories about the various buildings, statues, and mosaics.  I'm wishing I could remember the stories (I can't), but I have a feeling that dragons were involved.

They were *serious* about their tiled floors. 

 So many ruins, so few people

More crazy blue sky

This was as far as we got. Ostia Antica is HUGE!

We headed back to Rome and had pizza at Li Rioni for dinner.

Catching up - Italy Trip

Day two:
We went to St. Peter's Square and Basilica.

Inside, we saw the PietĂ , and I failed Brenna's quiz about whether anything seems odd about it (answer: Mary is weirdly big compared to Jesus). We looked at the markers on the floor showing all the not-as-big cathedrals, we talked about Renaissance rivalries, and I rubbed St. Peter's toe to guarantee that I would come back to Rome.

Size does matter?

The doors were pretty. 

After getting sandwiches for lunch and walking over the Angel bridge (which was also pretty, but I'd had it up to HERE with people trying to sell stuff - no splat animals or mini-Popemobiles for me thanks)), we caught a bus to Trastavere - a beautiful medieval neighborhood and home of my first Spritz. 

The outside of the Santa Maria in Trastavere is decorated with chunks of old tombs. This little bird was my favorite.

More pictures from walking around Trastavere

Next, we went to the Colosseum. I couldn't get over how blue the sky was.

Next, we went to MACRO, a gallery located in a former meat packing plant (you can see the hooks and cables along the ceiling). The show in their main building (below) was Soft Work by Sterling Ruby.

The main reason we went to MACRO was to see the Big BambĂș by Doug and Mike Starn. Brenna had written about visiting (and climbing around on it) on her blog, and it was definitely on my TO DO list. Unfortunately, they weren't allowing people to climb on it because it was too windy.

As we left MACRO and walked out onto the sidewalk, there was a musician practicing trumpet in the building next door and the sun was starting to set - one of those perfect moments. 

There was even more prettiness as we walked to dinner

We had delicious, delicious trapizzini at 00100. I had a chicken one - so good that I wished I'd had the stomach/appetite/fortitude to eat more than one. I did manage to save some room for more gelato from Fatamorgana in Monti - orange/chocolate and pistachio this time.

We walked by the Colosseum again, and I spent most of my time there bracing my camera against railings, sign posts, and stone walls, trying to get a steady shot. Success! :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Catching up - Italy trip

This trip happened over a year ago (last June), but I feel like I can't make new posts until I post about here goes...

Day one:

Brenna met me at the airport in Rome. We took a train and a tram back to her apartment (went past the Colosseum on the way), and then we were off.

One of the pretty buildings along the way

We had lunch at the Enteco Provincia Romana - an awesome restaurant across from Trajan's column. 
 I had pasta with fava beans and pig cheek (a delicious welcome to Rome!)

Here's a detail shot of Trajan's Column. We also saw the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument, walked by the Imperial Forum, and then went to the Pantheon. 

Here's my *fancy* bathroom selfie from a bar near the Pantheon.

I was *this* close to a Michelangelo (at Santa Maria sopra Minerva) and a few Caravaggio's and a Bernini.

Next, we went to the Piazza Navona to see the Four Rivers Fountain

I also had my first real gelato (lemon + nutella + hazelnut) and for dinner we had Indian food. To get to the Indian restaurant, we walked through one of the city parks (Roman Capitale (?) is what I have written down...Google isn't helping me much with the correct spelling/name so I may just have to leave it at that).

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Welcome 2014!

My resolutions:
Putting the caps back on my hair product and toothpaste?

What I'm looking forward to:
Life without grad school (already loving it!)
Going back to A-town this summer
Doing my first 5k
Sherlock Season 3 (starting in February)
More photography
More camping
More learning to speak Spanish

What I'd like to try in 2014:
Taking pictures with my Brownie camera
Learning to use under-eye concealer
Painting my kitchen and cabinets
Red lipstick

Firsts from 2013:
Went to Italy (first trip overseas!)
Hiked the Sentiero Degli Dei with Brenna
Sunroof of my Accord blew OFF while I was driving
Bought a Subaru Legacy (see above ;))
Made bread pudding
Had a photo in the Horizontal Grandeur show at the Stevens County Historical Society
Left lung spontaneously collapsed (is totally fine now)
Spent five days in the hospital (see above)
Dad got a kidney from my sister (everyone is doing great)
Went climbing with the Twin Cities Rock Climbing Meetup Group
Camped at Blue Mounds State Park in MN 

Favorite things in 2013:
Turning the Screw - Heather Havrilesky's advice column on The Awl
Alle's columns on XOVain (Thanks for the recommendation, Bren!)
Newman's Own Peach Salsa
My new car
Tom Hiddleston (one celebrity crush to rule them all... :)) 
Italy - specifically the food, GELATO, Ostia Antica, and the Sentiero Degli Dei
Michael Palin's travel shows (streaming on Netflix)