It has been a week in beautiful Roma! I can't believe it! It truly feels like we've been here for months. I absolutely love this city. Today, Marie and I got up and met our Papacy class (which counts as our upper level theology class) at San Giovanni in Laterano a major basilica. This was the first time we have had a class "on site", thought according to our syllabi this is quite a frequent occurrence which I think is so cool. I had no idea what San Giovanni was upon my arrival, however, I came to find out that I was actually quite significant. the Emperor Constantine had this church built in the early 300s as he was the first to declare Christianity legal. This is actually the official basilica of Rome, NOT St. Peters. The Pope who's title is actually the bishop of Rome, Pope is actually a tern deriving from affectionate nicknames such as papa technically presides over that diocese. San Giovanni also served as the official papal residence until the Renaissance when the Pope moved to St. Peters. There is an obelisk in the square (on of the 13 in Rome) which is apparently the oldest thing (for lack of a better word) in Rome as it was made in around 1500 BC by the Egyptians and only brought over to italy by the Romans later on. The church itself was gorgeous, the decorations were in the Baroque style, but a mosaic one one of the back walls was from the medieval period. There were also a number of relics, the most notable being the bones of Pope Innocent X, the heads of Saint Peter and Saint Paul above the alter, and supposedly the table from the last supper. While that is most likely speculation the heads probably are from Peter and Paul apparently so thats pretty cool.
We were there about an hour and a half and then had a lecture in the classroom for the other hour of class (total of three hours). We fond a place across from school that offers "to go" cups for coffee which may be the most exciting thing I've seen since I got here. The Italians drink their coffee at the coffee bar and almost never to go so this is incredibly rare. Ma sono studente e ho bisogno di caffe! So Marie and I got cappuccinos to go before this last hour of class.
Then we got lunch, I had an eggplant wrap and pesto wrap for 4 euros which was incredible, and went to Italian class. It is so long but I learn so much there and our teacher is fantastic. She is so young, probably mid twenties and doesn't speak great English but she's great at explaining things in Italian. We look forward to Maria Grazia's dinners the whole time!
Tonight she made us a special pasta, a very typical Roman dish she said. Pasta with tomato sauce and this bacon made from the pig's cheek that isn't even allowed in the US. It was INCREDIBLE. I had thirds. So insanely good. She also had salad and bruschetta with beans and hard boiled egg which was fantastic.
I went out to a few bars in Campo di Fiori where I believe they normally have a huge farmers market in the mornings which we really want to check out at some point. It was so fun and we got to practice out Italian a lot which was great!
Tomorrow we don't have class until Italian but we will do homework so that we can explore the city over the weekend! More to come!