My route to Rome went something like this: Denver to Dublin to Rome to Florence to Cinque Terre to Rome. Why the round about route you ask? Because of my fans, of course! I had friends in Dublin and Florence to see, and not so much to do in Rome for the first week or so.
It all started when I found a cheap fair through Dublin to Rome, "Why, I have a friend in Dublin! I should stop there on my way to Rome and see her. That will be fun," I said to myself. Okay, book the ticket. After leaving Denver on Monday the 14th, I get into Dublin Tuesday morning and leave Wednesday afternoon, plenty of time to enjoy an entire country and see Catherine. So this is what I did. After arriving early, we drove off into the Irish countryside to an 6th century monastery called Glendalough. It was a beautiful way to see a bit of Ireland and enjoy some Irish history. After nap time, we went into Dublin for a few pints in Temple Bar. Then it was time to go to Italia where I was greeted by Sr. Pat, the outgoing VOICA director, and Diggy the volunteer who helps at the house.
On Thursday I saw Rome. Diggy took me down to St. Peter's square, a twenty minute walk from the VOICA house, gave me the bus number to get back and then...off you go. She left me in the Eternal City to fend for myself and find my way back home. So I gathered my wits about me and traipsed off into the city to take in such sites as the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps. After my enjoyable ramble about the city, I found the bus and made my way back to home!
Now one might think exploring Rome for a day is far to short, it wasn't built in a day, so how could I possible leave after a day? But I'd had about enough of this Roman thing. So on Friday morning I went to Florence to see my friend Brandi who is studying abroad there this quarter.
We had a lovely visit of Florence on Saturday seeing a gorgeous and wonderfully peaceful monastery on the outskirts of town, as well as a little old statue by the name of David. Actually, I was totally impressed by David, I was not expecting it to be as amazing in person as it is in pictures, but it turns out David in the flesh (or, rather, stone) is WAY better.
By evening I'd had enough of Florence as well, so on Sunday we went to Cinque Terre. We hiked along 4 of the 5 towns and fawned over the amazing views and unbelievably cute towns clinging precariously to cliffs. We also enjoyed some amazing pesto at its birthplace.
Monday morning I said good-bye to Brandi and headed back to Rome, feeling that maybe I had short changed the city and should give it some more time.
So here I am in Rome getting settled. Formation stars soon, although an exact day and time has proven difficult to extract. Mostly I've been puttering about the extensive gardens, thinking about studying French, and venturing out into Rome every now and then. But really, why should I go out into the city when I need only step out onto the terrace to see the Dome of St. Peter's? I am looking forward to a less hectic schedule in which I actually stay in one place for more than a day and get down to the business that I came to Rome for, so hopefully we shall begin soon!