January 20, 2009, 11:06pm
On Sunday, the entire school (there are about 200 of us) traveled by bus to the medieval hill town of Todi, and from there to the estate of Titignano. This is apparently a traditional trip for the Temple Rome program. Todi is located in Umbria, a region with rolling hills and farmland. The town was surrounded by a medieval wall and is up on the top of a hill; we had to take a lift to get up to it. The town was very quiet on this Sunday morning; we got a cappuccino and a cornetto con crema (an Italian version of the croissant with cream filling) then walked around the town for a couple hours. The views of the countryside from the town were very nice, and the little squares and churches were very pretty.
After leaving Todi we got back on the bus and went to Titignano, a former noble estate that's now an agriturismo, a working farm estate with the mansion converted into a bed and breakfast. There we had a traditional Italian "wedding feast," a multi-course meal that started with crostini (toasted bread with various toppings) and foccaccio; next various cold cuts of meat, like salami and prosciutto; then risotto with asparagus and pasta with wild boar sauce; then meat with broccoli rabe and very salty salad; and finally tiramisu and espresso. Most of the food I didn't really like that much, unfortunately, but it was fun to get to try everything. After lunch, which lasted until nearly 4pm, we got back on the bus and headed back to Rome.
Today and yesterday were my first days of classes! Monday and today was Baroque Art in Rome -- it should be good because Rome is the home of Baroque. We'll be studying all the major squares of Rome and artists like Caravaggio and Bernini. Today in the morning we went to the Vatican Museums and saw the Sistine Chapel, paintings by Caravaggio, Guercino, Raphael, and others, and some ancient sculptures that influenced the Baroque. This afternoon I had Italian 2, which seems like it will be a perfect continuation of my Italian 1 class, and then Printmaking, which I think will be a lot of fun. The professor, Mario, is Italian and really funny. We'll be covering all the major printmaking processes: woodblock, intaglio (drypoint engraving, etching, and aquatint), screenprinting, and lithography.
One more new class tomorrow!