I step off the train to a tsunami of technicolor and a blanket of elegance. I breathe in warm air that gives me a taste of spring. Mmmm. I am hopeful for the weekend.
I walk the cobblestone-layered streets with my boots but don’t notice the sound they are making as images that have remained on textbook pages my whole life come alive. I sit on the Spanish Steps and say a prayer in the Pantheon. We hear a group of jazz gypsies play Sinatra on Via del Corso. We eat pasta on a side street and see a modern ballet in the evening. We stand in the cold with the Romans by night and soak up the sun by day. We walk silently through Michelangelo’s master piece and can’t find words to describe the beauty of the moment when we finally see The Creation of Adam before our eyes. We stand inside the Coliseum for an hour and close our eyes, dreaming of what it would be like to stand on that stage. We try speaking Italian with the locals and order gelato nearly everyday. We stare at maps for far too long and somehow we still get lost. We sit. We breathe. We take it in.
Roma. The city of art. A city where you can see or hear art everywhere you go. From artist of the past who you wish you could talk to, to artist of the present who you wonder where life will take them, to artist of the future who you can almost hear in the air. Art is alive in Roma. It is breathtaking and captivating. Roma is a place where art is never dying, but instead is living, coexisting and breeding new artists. I fell in love in Roma, but not romantically…. no. I fell in love with the belief, potential and power that art has, that artists have, that I have.
– Bailie de Lacy
After hours of train ride I found myself in Rome, a city that felt familiar yet strange. I found myself feeling really comfortable with the city soon after, because I was raised a city boy. In some way, in Rome I felt that I was a little closer to home. The city itself was overwhelming, but it was absolutely beautiful. Every building on every block made my jaw drop. I was baffled during most of my time in Rome.
My favorite experience is the famous Sistine Chapel. I know it might sound ‘’common’’ for people to appreciate the Sistine Chapel, but for me it was rather special. On the surface level I fully understand why it is famous, but I felt that there were so much more depth about the Sistine chapel under that fame. The space itself was a giant canvas; it was filled with art pieces that were magical. The spectacles of artistry were phenomenal in many ways, and what struck me the most is that people were capable of making art in such a grand scheme during the years without modern technologies and machinery. It was all done with hands, brushes, hammers and chisels. The only way of making it work without the modern aid was with passion and love for their artistry. Sure, Michelangelo was paid under commission to draw the Creation of Adam, but it really was not about the money. It was honestly about creating something extraordinary that leaves a landmark in history which meant to inspire people. That is what art is about, and that is what I want to achieve as an artist. I want to inspire people with my art, and knowing that thousands of years ago people were capable of achieving something that is at another level which seemed god-like without the resources which the modern world can provide. It made me so much more certain that I could definitely do the same thing in the 21st century, especially after so much more innovations and growth this world has achieved. When in doubt, I go back to the passion and the love I have for being a storyteller. And it is the experience under that ceiling in the Sistine Chapel that taught me: with passion and love, it is not that hard to inspire people with art, and it is most certainly doable.
– Trevor Liu
Rome was one of the best cities I have visited so far since my stay in Italy. Being from the city it reminded me of home. Although it was hectic and chaotic I loved it and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I had many firsts during my visit, including trying new foods, places, and getting lost in a big city in a different country by myself. To be perfectly honest about that last “first” stated, I was scared out of my mind!!!! Mot being use to traveling in a different country by yourself can be a bit overwhelming. Although I was scared it was definitely a learning experience (basically I have no sense of direction). Another first was going to the Vatican Museum. I enjoyed looking at all the beautiful sculptures and paintings.
The dance performance we saw Friday night was incredible! I enjoyed how their movement quality was intense and fluid. Their movement quality was some what similar to mine and had contained a certain dynamic, which made the performance interesting.
I learned a lot in these past few days about myself and hope to learn more in the next few weeks.
– Alaysia Corley
My happiest moment in Rome involved me standing in jaw-dropping awe of the Pantheon whilst eating the largest, most delicious cone of gelato. I feel as though I say the same thing every time Italy presents me with incredible art, architecture or the like – I can’t comprehend that these things exist, let alone the level of skill, discipline and soul it took to create them. Beyond that I can’t get over that they have stood the test of time for centuries, some for millennia, both in terms of how physically well preserved they are and also the long lasting cultural and artistic impacts they continue to have. Every street corner, every piazza has some kind of magnificent detail there, whether its intentionally attention grabbing like the Altare della Patria, or understated and quiet, patiently waiting for some to look up at the right time and rediscover it, like the small homages to the Madonna that hide away on the corners of old houses.
Travelling around Italy, and even just being back home at the Villa, offers to you simple moments of surprising but refreshing beauty. It is as though the air, the landscapes and the buildings are always playfully toying with you. A view that you look out to every day is never the same as it was the day before, and its easy to miss these details and moments if you allow yourself to ignore them.
Rome (and Italy in general) is a place that is constantly reminding you where you are, and who has been there before you. The history is seeped into the city’s walls and roads and you can feel it wherever you go. The details can be overwhelming at times (there were a million things to look at in Rome at any given time) but this just gives you the chance to step back, breath and ground yourself in that moment and in that place. What I’ve learned is that simple pleasures really are everything. Sometimes it can feel most productive to spend hours gawping at priceless art in a museum, but sometimes the most fulfilling moments are when you simplify everything and eat some really great gelato in the shadow of Ancient Rome.
– Jenny Daniels