ITALY – Rome
roma with friends
Since the restaurant is closed for cleaning today, Aida and I along with my two roommates, Helle and Liam are going to Rome. Traveling mostly by myself this trip, it’s fun to explore a city with friends again.
Unlike Pisa, which is a one trick pony with its Leaning Tower, Rome is packed with famous monuments. Every corner you turn, you see a different piazza, fountain, or church that is amazing. Even steps are famous in Rome.
As we pass through the giant columns into the center of the Pantheon, Helle puts me on the spot, “Joey, you studied architecture for four years. What did you learn about the Pantheon?”
“Uhh, it’s about a play of light and shadows…” I say.
“I think I can figure that much out on my own,” she replies sarcastically.
“There’s an oculus in the center,” I add.
“Are you sure you have a degree in architecture?”
“There’s a reason I went to culinary school,” I tell her. And then I try to remember more from Professor Morton’s History of Architecture class. “Umm, I know the facade is disjunct. The pediments don’t line up at the top of the columns because they used shorter columns than originally planned for the porch. What else? The columns are Corinthian? And uhh, at some point it was converted to a Christian church…”
trust the roman barber
My hair is getting a little shaggy, so I stop in a barbershop near the Pantheon for a cut. The barber spends about an hour and a half on my hair, partly because he’s a perfectionist, and partly because we start BS-ing about food when he finds out I’m an extern in Tuscany. I ask if there are any good restaurants around here, and he says flatly, “No. Too touristy.” He writes down, “via carlo mirabello 8. ristorante scaloni” on a scrap of paper and hands it to me and then fusses with my hair a little more before letting me go.