A correction: I can wear my sandals and my boots. I cannot wear the blue tennis shoes Mom bought for me. They still hurt my ankle. I’m considering figuring out my European shoe size and going shoe shopping. (I’m a 37-37.5, apparently)
Anyway, the last 24 hours have been interesting. At around this time last night, we heard a whole bunch of popping outside our windows. It lasted for what felt like a really long time. Finally I stood up, walked into the living room, and asked Sarah and Deanna, “Is that gunfire?”
“We were wondering the same thing,” Sarah said.
Deanna and I speculated while Sarah was proactive and did research. Meanwhile, the popping sounds continued.
“It’s their independence day,” she reported. “It’s fireworks.”
We all rushed to get our shoes on. Sarah and I were rushing to the door while Deanna struggled with her shoes. Just as the door opened and Deanna finally had her shoes on, the noises
Disappointed, we all went back to doing what we had been doing before.
I got an email around midnight that said that public transportation workers would be holding a strike on the 3rd, so I should plan to leave early. This became: I arrived right on time. Although that’s more because I got lost. The tram was working, so I was able to get to the Largo di Argentino (the cat shelter) no problem. Then I turned right rather than walking straight. I almost got to the Palantine Hill before I realized my mistake.
I turned around and went back to the square, and then figured out the right way to get to the Piazza Navona, where I was supposed to meet my drawing class. Fortunately, it wasn’t far from where the train had dropped us off.
I’ve decided that Rome is prettiest in the early morning.
The Piazza Novona, according to my professor, used to be a racetrack for pre-Roman civilizations. The Piazza still has the same shape, but various popes and other city leaders have had it filled it and have had fountains put in there. Now it’s a place where artists go and hang out, much the same way that writers hang out in Starbucks.
It’s also a place where immigrants sell mass-produced artwork to tourists.
Our assignment for the day was to make gesture drawings with sanguine pencils.
There were rings around all of the fountains. While we drew the fountains, several of us sat on the rings. It wasn’t comfortable, but it was easier than having to hold all of our stuff as we drew. While I was drawing the foot, some police officers came by and kicked everyone off of the rings. There were people sitting on the edge of the fountains, having their pictures taken. They were asked to leave the fountains, even without the pictures taken. They shooed a two-year-old away.
The girl I was next to told me that last week some drunk Americans had bathed in the fountain and even tried to climb the fountain. They were probably just trying to crack down on tourists messing around the fountains.
I got better at the gesture drawing as time wore on. Probably my best gesture drawing was the one that the teacher pointed out in front of the class, the picture of Elly from behind. It’s in the second picture, second from the right. Although the teacher described my technique as “chalky”, she said that I “make it work” and that it “has my unique handwriting.” I dunno I just do gesture drawings like this and so far no one has bothered to correct me. Last time I took a drawing class, I struggled with it until finally I started doing this, and then that teacher stopped complaining, so I just did it again for this class.
After I did the picture of the foot, I was able to leave, and I really needed to because I needed to finish my presentation for my Rome to Augustus class. So with some sadness I left the Piazza Navona.
Keep it classy, Piazza Novona.
On my walk to school from the Piazza:
I was nowhere near as prepared for my presentation as I thought I was, but after class I ran home, changed into more suuitable exercise gear, and then ran back to school for exercise class. I ran up to the fourth-floor terrace, and look what I found.
I never did find my exercise class, but this was worth it.