Today was a bit of a lazy day. Marie and I slept in, which was much needed as we have really been running on fumes for the past week. We woke up around 11, got dressed and went to the school to get the work done, but first we saw that the basilica right across from our apartment was open and very busy. Santa Maria Maggiore, a basilica dedicated to the virgin Mary, I read is one of Rome's oldest churches built in the 300s. It is massive and we have wanted to go inside every since we first got here but never had the time. Well we stopped in quickly today and it was INCREDIBLE. I mean one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen, and at this point I've seen my fair share of Italian/ European churches. The only way I can describe it is kind of like the experience i had when I went to Notre Dame. It isn't like it in style or decoration, it was beautiful, stunning even, but not in the in your face kind of way some churches are. Partially it's a feeling you get when you walk in, a feeling I can't even really describe. Words can't do it justice, but that is the way I feel about most of Rome. But anyways, it was pretty incredible, and we want to go back and explore some more soon, and conveniently, next week out papacy class is meeting there to learn about it.
We took the metro to the school, had a cappuccino at our new favorite place, and did work for a few hours. We had to do Italian homework and a whole bunch of reading for various classes but it really is cool because in this program, other than business ethics, my classes are really focused around Rome itself which is so interesting, and I find myself being so much more engaged in class. I was reading my art history textbook today, which obviously is not super exciting, and as I was reading about the Roman Forum I thought about how I pass it all the time. In the cab home tonight we passed the colosseum and although now I've seen it a bunch of times but I'm still in awe every single time. Every day I fall more and more in love with this city.
Italian today was great. It takes up three hours of my day, every day so it is fairly significant in my day to day life. I actually genuinely enjoy the classes sometimes (not all the time of course, it's a long time to sit still) which is not something I ever thought I'd say about a language class. Out teacher is amazing we all love her and she is so patient with us. Simply being there around only Italian for such a big chunk of time I think helps a lot.
Friday through sunday we are on our own with dinner so tonight we went to a place in Trastevere with some friends because we were going to meet everyone at the bar in that neighborhood later. We were so hungry so we ended up going to what looked like a massive tourist trap but actually it turned our to be fantastic, and pretty cheap. I got spaghetti bolognese which was really good and only 8 euro for a pretty big plate. My friend Emily got gnocchi (which I love) with mussels and clams and tomato sauce. I had a few bites and it was insanely good. Marie got a huge, really good pizza with mushrooms and proscuitto for only 2 euro! We think this place is a keeper.
We all went out tonight which was so fun, it'a great when everyone is together the group meshes really well and everyone looks out for one another, we are so lucky.
Another great day in Roma!