Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Flashback: Rome Update 6

Flashback: Rome Update 6

October 4, 2004

Hey Y'all -
Well, this week seemed to have a musical theme as I attended three music concerts.  The first was last Wednesday and was required for my Italian class.  Our professor canceled one of our classes and said she would rather we take an 'Itallian outing' and attend this concert.  (I'm not sure what she thinks this whole study abroad experience is, but I
would call the whole thing an 'Itallian outing' but whatever...)  We had seats right behind the orchestra and it was a lot of fun.  The performance was a part of a Mozart festival and the musicians were wonderful.

Then on Friday I went to the church where I originally saw LA TRAVIATA and went to another performance the organization was doing, a collection of operatic arias.  I think the performance was better than LA TRAVIATA and I really enjoyed the selection.  Then, on the way home, I stopped by an Irish Pub that shows American sports, and they were televising a CUBS game.  So it was nice to be able to see some of that (although I wish the CUBS could have won).

On Sunday I wanted to attend church at a place my John Cabot Student handbook said was a Baptist Church, English speaking, and services began at 10:30.  I arrived at 10:00 because I didn't know how long it would take me to get there, and they were in the middle of a service, it was a Catholic service and it was NOT in English.  So, I think I will have to inform student services that their church list needs to be updated.

After church I walked over to the Vatican district to scope out my parent's hotel (as they are coming to visit in two weeks and their hotel is in the Vatican area) and when I got to Piazza San Pietro, I heard a beautiful choir singing.  I went through the little international
boundary line to get a closer look, and it turned out that the Pope was conducting a church service out in the square and the choir I heard was the church choir of the Pope.  Needless to say, I stuck around for a little while.  The whole scene was just beautiful.  There was a large stage area and flowers all over, and a lot of people, but they had big
screen monitors showing the Pope and he was in his regal garments.  I have heard people say how sick he is, but I didn't really know much about it.  I can now honestly say he LOOKS sick -- please keep him in your prayers because during the times he wasn't speaking, he just had this look on his face that I didn't know if he usually looked that way, or if he was having a heart attack.

** Editor's Note: I later found out that the ceremony I accidentally found was the ceremony anointing the beatification of several Priests

Sunday night, I returned to the church where all the music performances have been (St. Pauls within the Walls) and attended another concert, this one not opera-oriented.  They played the Vivaldi GLORIA and Handels work for Organ and Orchestra among other pieces.  It was very enjoyable and I picked up the schedule of future performances.  Then, on the way home, I was walking through Piazza Venezia (kind of the busy center of
Rome) and I saw a man and woman trying to hail a Taxi.  Well, here in Rome, you can't hail a cab like you can in New York.  You have to find a 'Taxi Stand' which is kind of like a bus stop.  They are orange signs various places on the side walk and taxis line up there and won't stop if you're trying to flag them.  So I stopped and explained that to this
couple (who, as it turned out were from Pittsburgh).  They were really nice and very appreciative and it felt so good to be able to help them. It made me feel more like a native and less like a tourist and I walked on air the rest of the way home.  :)

I have my first Italian quiz today so I've been studying for that, and I get my first paper for the lit class assigned today, so I guess school will start to get serious this week.  I suppose that was bound to happen at some point.

Hope all is well where you are.  I'm trying to keep up with some American updates... the important ones, like the fact that Michigan won again (4-1).  Hope W&L's homecoming went well.

I keep you in my prayers and send my love!

- B

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