Day 10

Posted by Whit Barringer , Thursday, June 07, 2007 9:43 AM


CT 2:46
IT 9:46

The Most Uneventful Day.

Today has been surprisingly uneventful.

I woke up at 8:00 this morning to work on my journal entry from Ravenna and finally finished it. I had needed to wash my clothes the night before, but we ran out of detergent. I had to wear smelly dirty clothes. I was afraid to get close to anyone. (I’m having my revenge right now, though – all of my clothes are in the washer.)

We met at the school at 10:00 to go to the Convent of San Marco, which is next to the Accademia. We were supposed to look at the cells of the monks especially, to see how “small” they were (I’m not sure about this – my room was roughly the size of one of theirs). There were lots of frescoes by a Fra Bartolomeo character. We kept seeing a skull at Jesus’ feet in the crucifixion paintings and frescoes and had a delightfully discussion over whether the skull was symbolic of death or Golgotha (I said the latter). We went up and saw the cells, saw more paintings, and then got to see a room of illuminated manuscripts, music, song, and liturgy. It was very interesting, with very beautiful manuscripts. Caitlin and I got separated and I escorted her back to the Duomo and toward the university to keep her from getting lost (I’m the navigator around here). I had my laptop with me and went back to Anguilllara to the wi-fi cafĂ© (it’s called Naimi, I think). I got Caspiaccio pizza (artichoke, mozzarella, proscuitto or ham, bell pepper, and something else) and a Fragola (strawberry) juice drink for 9.00 Euro. Not too bad, I guess – especially if I got wi-fi. I sent out my entries, and decided to head back to the university to finish reading. A woman from Miami U. had to let me in. I went up to the classroom, finished reading and a journal entry, and waited for class to start at 2:00.

So everyone doesn’t think we don’t do anything, I’ll go ahead and say class was interesting. We covered chapters 1, 2, and 4 of Virgil’ Aeneid, spending special attention on the affairs of state and the death of Dido. We then covered Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever.” It was good, but it wasn’t the cat’s pajamas like everyone had made it out to be. However, I will say that it had a twist that would make Jerry Springer invite the characters on the show, but the writing was very British – which I’m not used to. At any rate, it was still a good story.

Dr. Bane and Paulette invited us all to go to Gilli, the chocolate store. I’m not a big fan, but it was fun seeing everyone else eat so much chocolate. The cases were refrigerated, so no one could buy a lot because it would all melt the minute it came into the sun. Therefore, they ate it all at once. I might go back and try it if I’m craving some. Dr. Bane and Paulette then headed to the fresh pasta store. This time only four people went, not the entire class. There wasn’t much pasta left at the end of the day, but Dr. Bane and Paulette got enough for themselves, and a few of the others got some too. After that, I was on the Doc’s heels. We had walked about three or four blocks when we realized no one was following us. I knew where they lived, so I said they probably weren’t going to follow. Paulette wanted to go to the bookstore, so we went, discussed Italian book titles, and had a good time just browsing. I walked them to a Tabacchi (tobacco store that sells stamps) and then back to their apartment and bid them adieu, and went and checked my mail again. Then I came up to the apartment, changed, and doctored all of my blasted mosquito bites. Rachel had put my sheets in the washer in case whatever it was actually in my sheets. After they were finally done, I put my other clothes in (see: revenge).

I’ve been sitting here writing and reading for the last four hours – but it’s been nice. I finished Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs finally (a must-read for all American culture freaks – even though that becomes an oxymoron by the end of the book). I’ve finished all of my journal entries, including today’s, and I’m enjoying feeling caught-up – albeit temporarily.

I can only remember one question that’s been asked, but I’ll go ahead and answer it here.

The question (paraphrased): what else besides water, a camera, and a journal have you found to be handy when walking around Italy? – Dylan, Detroit I think (nee Conway)

Answer: Well, little else honestly. I have a phrase book, but I don’t really need it. It’s helpful. Things like
“Che cosa mi consiglia?” (What do you recommend?) have popped up more than once, but otherwise, many people here know enough English to help us tourists out. To this end, I’ve seen the stereotypical ugly American, speaking in rapid English to native Italian speakers. Most have figured out English on their own because they have to use it so frequently, but it’s almost like people feel like they’ve never left the United States.

Anyway, yes, a phrasebook has proven helpful – especially when in non-touristy areas. Otherwise, I carry my backpack around in case I buy souvenirs. Hands get awfully tired when lugging cheap crap you’ve bought all day.

Also, something that I’ve discovered extremely recently: bug spray. Mosquitos are just as large here as in Arkansas, some even bigger. Some of the bites don’t itch, people claim (I’m not one of them). Just use bug spray and keep your windows closed. It’ll be better that way.

Otherwise, a keen eye for a deal and a good map will work wonders. The only reason I’m the navigator is because I pay attention to what street we’re on and how far away that is from where we need to be.

Hope that answers your question. Keep ‘em coming!

1 Response to "Day 10"

Sarah Says:

Rachel seems nice to wash your sheets for you. I never seem to get bitten. Watch me jinx myself now. I'll be a veritable mosquito buffet. ;)

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