Archive for January, 2000


29 January 2000 at 9:11 am
by Berck

My second weekend in Roma… I finally gave in and bought a 10 hour net account from this place on Cavour south of Termini (for those of you that know Rome). It’s easier to get to than the other place… Well, it requires less walking. It does require switching metro lines which is time consuming….

This morning started FAR too early for me at about 7:00…. The water this morning in the shower was actually hot, which is a nice change. Only, there wasn’t much of it at all. Just as little trickle. So, it was still COLD as heck in the shower… On to a good European breakfast of a measly little pastry, super-strong-super-burned-super-cold coffee (I’m not sure how they manage it, but as the the kitchen staff speaks exclusively Italian, I don’t think I’ll ever find out), decent milk, and stuff that looks like orange juice but isn’t. On to a bus with the rest of the class for the Mandatory tour of the the Forum Romanum. James Joyce described his experience at the forum as “so exciting it put me to sleep”, and I agree whole-heartedly. I did learn a lot, but there is so little left in the form area that it really isn’t much to look at. Just a bunch of column stumps. Hover, if you hike up the Capitoline Hill and look back down on it, you can tell where Caesar’s Basilica Julia was, there are some columns left of the temple to Saturn, the Curia is still standing, though I doubt it much resembles that of ancient times. Further up the Capitoline, and down into the saddle is piazza that was completely reshaped by Michael Angelo with a bronze statue of the Marcus Aurelias in the center. (Actually, it’s a copy of the original statue, which is in the building next to it. It still exists because the Christians didn’t smash/melt/pillage it with the rest of the old statues… Why? Because they thought it was a statue of Constantine, but it’s not. Whoops.) The piazza is really neat because the pavement has been done in such a way that it LOOKS round, but it’s really elliptical, and the buildings around it appear deceptively rectangular, when in truth they’re trapezoidal. After the mandatory tours ended, I wondered into a pizzaria for lunch where, to my horror, an Italian microwaved an Italian pizza for me in order to reheat it. It was still good, just the crust was soggy. Italian Pizza is so much better than american pizza. It has real flavor. And the gelati. Man. I had coffee flavoured ice cream today, and it was very good. On top of that, it was served with real, whole, coffee beans on top.

Classes are tough, but I’m learning. And I’ve got a job… I’m the official Rome campus librarian. The Rome Library, however, is very very small.. But, its also a disaster, and its my job to fix it. Still min. wage, but I should be able to make $200 or so in the course of the semester…. working a few hours a week.

I went to the Piazza Spagna in spite of various recommendations about how pointless it is, but I needed to see it anyway. I didn’t bother climb the steps. The whole area is just a big junk of tourism. There is, however, the largest, most grandeous McDonald’s in the world completely outfitted in marble, inside and out. Quite a spectacle. It’s also PACKED. And HUGE. A monstrosity. The McDonald’s here serve McBeer–which I hear is quite nasty, but still amusing…

Last night the student life people showed Casablanca, which was neat, I’d never seen it. I can understand why its so popular.

The water on campus is nasty, it’s treated with sulfur based stuff as opposed to american water which is usually treated with chlorine… However, there are fountains all over Rome with REALLY good groundwater, so I tend to carry a bottle to Rome and fill it up when I’m here.

My feet are constantly tired, I’ll probably loose a good bit of weight with all this walking I’m doing…. Anyway, that’s the update for now, I’ll probably write more next week.