Monday, April 16, 2012

Liz visits Italy!

Approximately 1 year ago, Liz and I were in Italy together, along with Andrea, Casey and Sarah. If you recall, we attempted to go to the Vatican museum and ended up walking around the ENTIRE COUNTRY. Liz and I, knowing we would be returning, made a vow to somehow see the Vatican Museum (most importantly the Sistine Chapel) during our second round of studying abroad. 

We barely accomplished this task, but we did it!!! After 2 plane delays and my hour-late bus, as well as the massive line around 2:30, I was certain we would never make it into the museum. I waited for quite a long time around the vatican, ready to hop in line when necessary. It was kind of fun. Sick of being accosted by tourist traps, a guy walked up to me and started asking about some skip the line deal or something to that effect. I stared at him for a while with a slightly confused look and he said "English?" to which is tilted my head and frowned and he said "no? ok..." and walked away. Sometimes it is fun to pretend you don't understand, just so they'll stop bugging you!

 And, despite the horrible weather (downpouring all day; my pants were soaked) Liz made it to the Vatican at about 3:40. The line had disappeared, and in we strolled. The ticket office closes at 4 (so we really cut it close) but the actual museum doesn't close until 6. There were tons of people inside, making our pace slow but steady as we headed to the Cappella Sistina.

You of course have to walk through like 3 courtyards
before the museum. But the statues are cool!


Thinking man

Huge staircase to the exit
I took lots more pictures but they're all of artsy stuff that you can see on my Facebook if you're interested. No photos are allowed of the chapel, but Liz and I are sneaky and daring: if you're one of our friends on FB I think you can see it here.

 After getting Nutella crepes ("That's probably like 500 calories of nutella..."-Liz) we hopped on the bus home and ate dinner with my host mom.

Another dismally rainy day in Siena didn't show off it's beauty, but we did see some cool stuff.

The panorama from the duomo

Finally made it up here

Liz was too scared to climb this high up
I showed her Piazza del Campo (much cooler in the sunshine) as well as some of the contrada fountains and the duomo. We also made a trip to a museum I'd wanted to visit for a while: the Torture Museum. Let me say, I have no idea how people came up with these devices, but my god are they brutal!

Liz reading a probably horrifying caption of some instrument
of pain and torture

We then hung out a lot with my Siena friends in their apartment. Liz's program is mostly homestays so she doesn't get to hang out at friends' apartments a lot, plus she and Emily got along great because they both LOVE Harry Potter. It was a great weekend, despite the rain. We fulfilled our goal and had a blast! 

I was even productive after she left! Despite my hatred for art history, I'm mostly done with the paper. Hurray for productivity! (sadly, the only reason I had so much time to be productive was because a soccer player from the Livorno team died and all the games were cancelled in order to mourn him- gotta love the massive respect Italians have for each other in that regard. America never would have cancelled all the games for a fallen player). On a lighter note, I'm going to a cooking class tonight! Gonna make some homemade pasta!!!

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