Month: May 2012

…mi dispiace…ancora una volta

Ciao a tutti!

Oh my fellow readers…I have been back in the States for a little over a week now.  Unfortunately I caught the Roman flu just one day before my return and I’ve been holed up in my home with no contact with the outside world since then. I am feeling much better now!

However, although I have returned to the bright lights and big city, I still have more Roman stories to tell.  I will continue to post about my Italian adventure, my discoveries, and my revelations — there’s still so much more to share.

Looking forward to your observations and comments!

~ Signorina Bella


…who am I?

Deepak Chopra proposed the following questions to Oprah on her Lifeclass:

Who am I?

What do I want?

What’s my purpose in this life?

What are my unique skills and talents?

What do I expect in a meaningful relationship?

The answer to these questions should not include what one does (for a living, as an example), or the role that one plays (mother, as an example). Roma has opened up my heart space more than it was before, and so now I am going to take a deep breath, sit still and attempt to answer these questions.

I am writing a new story for myself.

…Iyanla is a Genius

“How you treat yourself is how you treat God”…”You are the representation of God in your life so when you put yourself last, you put God last. It’s self-full, not self-less“…”What comes out of the cup is yours to give, but what  is in it is yours”…”When you sacrifice yourself, you make others a thief”.

Ok, I adore Iyanla. She is right on time, and I can’t wait for her show to premiere on OWN. I was so excited to find out that I could view Oprah’s Lifeclasses on her website – the videos aren’t blocked like most other sites. What I like about Iyanla most is that she is not sharing anything new – she just puts it in a new package. Sometimes that’s all one needs – just a little reminder to step up your game and live your life.

This trip to Rome has me stepping up to the plate. I was in p(ay) a(ttention) i(nward) n(ow) mentally, and I needed to look inward. So that’s what I’m doing now! I like the process because I see the progress. With each new step there is a new discovery, a new revelation.

I am living a lovely time in my life.

…D.C. has nothing on this city

Ok, despite all the little inconveniences of living here, I kinda love certain things about this place called Rome. Specifically, the history. It’s a bit overwhelming sometimes that this city has so much history housed in such a small area of a little over a thousand kilometers.  Crap! Am I turning European with all this talk about kilometers?!?!

I traveled (inside!) to I Musei Capitolini today with one of my new classmates — another person from the Estati Uniti! The design of D.C.’s Capitol Hill was influenced by this place.

      I did not take many pics since I’ve visited this museum before. I am still amazed that these stone walls were original to one of the largest temples of the Capitoline Hills.  This little bit you can see, was about 1/32 of the actual building.  There was a model of the original building, but it was made of clear plastic and did not show up well in the photo. We were only able to see this, and several statues in this one museum since we spent the majority of our time viewing the special exhibit, Lux in Arcana. Lux is an exhibition of the secret, private collection of the Vatican — *&^%!!!! — and we spent most of our time ooohing and ahhing over this. I don’t know about you, but seeing documents that were written in the 800’s is pretty damn cool.  These historical artifacts have never been viewed  by the public, and it covers over 12 centuries of history starting at the 8th century.  Yes, the 8th century – and yes, we are currently in the 21st. That the paper is still intact, that the words are still legible – its truly amazing. We saw a transcript of a famous trial – it was a long scroll and reached the height of the ceiling. I would love to show you pics but I’d be in an Italian jail right now. In another section we saw Galileo’s signature within a book that he wrote, in another, we saw Bonaparte’s! GTFOH!!! There was even a section on Abraham Lincoln and how he attempted to secure the services of Guiseppe Girabaldi with regards to the Civil War. I don’t recall learning anything about that in school.  We were global before it became a buzz word. Here is the website for more info:

Here is a pic of an elaborately carved sarcophagus. I’m really not in to recording death, but I find the intricate detail fascinating.

Anyway, this special exhibit and the regular museum is pretty dang amazing, and I’m going back again.

Ciao a tutti!

…just walking around

I really enjoy getting lost in this city. I like finding hidden gems off the beaten path.  Sometimes I don’t find spectacular sights, but I always see something special. The steps whisper a story… someone is/was(?) in love. So strange sometimes to see interesting sites like this as I walk.  I was venturing in the Trastevere area, which is a hugely popular area of Rome. This day was especially nice — warm and sunny and no rain!

I love seeing couples relax on random stairs around the city. It makes me feel like ‘love is all around’ — reminding me of the cold open of the film ‘ Love Actually.

This is an archway leading to who knows where. I was passing and snapped a shot as a car drove through it. Either way, it looks pretty old and now its flanked with modern signage. I wonder how many people have passed through this way since its creation?

Oh! This small, unassuming church is one of the most amazing buildings ever! I did not take pictures inside because I always feel weird and disrespectful taking pictures of deities inside a religious setting. Outside the chiesa, yes, but inside, not so much. However, the archways and ceilings within this structure housed some of the most elaborate sculptures I’ve seen thus far.  It is cavernous; and at each point (maybe eight) at least four or five full sized detailed sculptures — just hanging around. I didn’t even walk inside completely, I just stood near the entrance. The sculptures stopped me suddenly — it was so breathtakingly beautiful!

I love doors. Or maybe just doors in Italy. The door above is not so elaborate, but it has presence. A huge doorknob and raised metal at the bottom.   It says “I might let you in, but we’ll see”.  It has weight, it has foundation – this is a real door. I will have a door similar to this when I build my own home.

Hey…I just liked how this looked. I wish all back alleys had this much character.

Someone forgot their ball…

Change one letter and its literally a new language. In this Italian word there are more similar letters to English than not. Maybe we’re not so different?

Ending with a view of the main piazza…to many more eventful walks ahead!

Ciao a tutti!

…Luca is my favorite guide

My school offers passiggiato‘s for its students throughout the week. I was encouraged to sign up for them when I first started, but I delayed, and now I wish I had done this earlier.

Today we visited I Musei Capitolini, or rather the area all around it.  Walking behind the Capitoline Museums we rested for a few to take some pics.

This wall is what is left of the Tabularium. If you look above the archways, you can see that the Romans built on top of the already existing wall in later centuries. Preserving history!

Here is another view from behind the museums – you can see the Colloseo in the background. All passiggiato‘s are in Italian, and I do my best to understand what our guide’s are saying. I think I get about 25% of it, and then I ask my more fluent classmates if they were able to get more.  So far, I’ve had Luca and Franchesca as guide’s. However, Luca is my favorite.  He speaks solidly and moderately fast, and I always think that if I close my eyes I will understand more. Franchesca is great too — I really enjoy that she asks questions and really engages us in the learning process. However, I don’t understand her as well as Luca! I wish I did. She speaks fast, and unfortunately, a bit too softly for my non-Italian ears.

I continue to attend the passiggiato‘s without comprehending the majority of the tour because I am immersed in the language and culture. And that’s all I want. I’ll look it up later on the net to figure out what Luca or Franchesca were actually saying.

Ciao a tutti!

…FYI…the water here sucks

Ok, not the drinking water you can purchase at the store. The water that comes out of the faucet and shower. What is up with all the minerals? I have to let it run for a bit before I use it so that I don’t smell like a steel factory. I am so happy that I brought a vat of shea butter with me, because without it I’d be another ethnicity. Maybe its the building, because I don’t remember that being the case at the hotel I stayed at a few years ago. Either way, filters are a necessity. On another note, I am grateful that the water runs freely and easily throughout the apartment.

This is just an FYI for you ladies of color who happen to visit the Eternal City…