Today was a pretty light day, not entirely busy. We went to the Accademia and The Peggy Guggenhein Museum. The Accademia would not allow us to take photos and we had to leave our bags with the front desk. The artwork inside was entirely Renaissance which we have seen a lot of on this trip. Honestly, I am not a big fan of Renaissance and religious art but I still get intrigued on how the artist expresses what he thinks a certain biblical scene looks like. For example, on July 5th we went to go see David. This statue was what the artist, Michelangelo thought the character David from the biblical story David and Goliath resembled. This is not the ONLY way David was portrayed but one of the famous and well-known ones. There were several different types and styles David was created in by many different artists. This is just like the many different types of expressions in Renaissance Style artwork. So many different artists, the same inspiration but a TOTALLY different outcome. Amazing. Well after leaving the Accademia we walked to another Museum that contained more contemporary artwork. There was a lot of interesting pieces there. Most of the pieces made you look twice. After leaving the Gallery we headed back to the hotel and went to the beach!! Yes the beach in Italy.. I had a ball with my friends and had an even greater night.
First night in our lovely room was wonderful but I guess you can say were a little spoiled in the last two hotels when it came to the complementary breakfast. This one didn't have as much variety or big portions but they did treat us like royalty. It's Sunday and it doesn't even feel like it here, beginning to miss my family and friends a whole lot. Today we went to the three museums- the Piazza San Marco, Basilica San Marco, and the world famous Venice Biennale. These museums were extremely different than the other hotels that we viewed before because they showcased contemporary art. Things that were out of the box, unexpected, unique, etc. Some of the work was interesting and some not so. We could take our cameras in so I tried to take as many pictures as possible. The Biennale has a lot of artwork that is breath-taking and will blow your mind away. Before leaving to go to Italy we were given a list of some of the artists that were showcased in the Biennale. I got the opportunity to see one of my favorite artists, Sarah Lucas, from the list in the exhibit. I didn't expect to see so MANY of her pieces in the the gallery but I got a pic of every one. Her work was so intriguing to look at- the weird twists, turns and texture her pieces exemplified made you wonder. Is this REALLY just abstract, or is it sex appeal, pain or even strength. I gained so many "what could be's" from viewing her pieces and can't wait to research her even more. The different forms colliding into such funky positions is kind of what captured me the most. Each room showcased a different artist's work or artwork that was similar. It is so much to see, we couldn't even finish in one day so we will return on the day before we leave. Getting exposed to so much INCREDIBLE artwork has left me at a stage of shock for the the past three days. Being an artist myself and observing the work we see day to day; it in fact pushes you to want to do MORE, work HARDER, be GREATER, etc. Of course some of the time frames all the artist did was art. BREATE SLEEP, EAT art or they wouldn't have been able to eat any meals. Of course, art was still their passion but it wouldn't as much of an option as it is now to create masterpieces. Now we have a life--social, work, school, etc. Art was their life, school, work, etc. My After completing only like 30%-50% of the Biennale, we left and grabbed a bite to eat. The architecture and design of the restaurant- so astonishing, very fun, quirky and vibrant. After eating, we caught the water bus and headed back to the stop where our hotel was located. It wasn't really early so Mia and I decided to explore the nightlife of Venice. Some shops were still open and some we haven't even seen before. It was nice to just take everything in and enjoy the city-life of Venice.
Today we left Florence and headed to Venice!! Our last stop in Italy. No more changing hotels. The fact that 50% of my trip is almost over!! I cannot believe it. We had a little extra time before leaving Florence so we shopped all morning. For some reason the last day we were in Florence, every store yes EVERY store had a big sale- maybe something similar to summer blowout sale. Well we caught a train and it took about the same amount it did from Rome to Florence. Once we caught the train to Venice we had to ride a boat to our hotel. Venice is sooo gorgeous!!! I thought I was going to be terrified because Venice is surrounded by so much water but it is not scary at all. The city itself overlooks water and the way the sun bounces from building to building against the water is amazing. When we arrived in Venice we all got split up into different hotels because the hotel couldn't hold us all. But all of our hotels were all on the same street, In fact we were all neighbors. I cannot brag enough on our room. I guess they saved the best for last but our room was so beautiful and big. The hotel is mocked after an antique theme similar to our first one in Rome but not as modern. It looked like a princess suite! I was so happy that the room we were going to be staying in the longest was in fact the best out of them all. The rest of our night was free so my friends and I decided to freshen up and roam the town, bump a nap. We ate a little restaurant for dinner and the waiter was extremely friendly and patient with us.
Today was the most intriguing day of them all in my opinion. We went to the Galleria dell'Accademia. This is where the well known famous statue of David that Michelangelo created is- not the copies but the original one! The entire 17 feet tall statue. I was blown away-- every detail, every crease, wrinkle, defined part of the body is all there--Incredible. The diligence that it would take to create such a beautiful work of art is what intrigued me the most. It was much bigger in person than what I expected. Being able to see the proportions of David was the most mesmerizing of them all because when it comes to creating bodies of work in large scale sizes I tend to struggle- something may be too small, too big or not even. Creating an anatomy of bodies where you want it to look realistic can be a challenge. We couldn't take any pics inside but some people were still sneaking and taking pics anyway. After being mesmerized by David, we went to the Galleria degli Uffizi. My favorite piece was The 6 Virtues by Paillou. It really drew me in solely because of the fabric, yes something as small as the fabric caught my attention. There was series of 6 different paintings; each painting showed a female who basically portrayed each virtue. I can't quite remember each one but I will update it when I do. Each painting had similar poses but the each told a different story!- gave a different message. I fell in love with the fact that each type of fabric that the female wore you could tell just by the way that it was painted that it was a different texture- just by the way the wrinkles formed, fell and the way the shadows and highlights were captured. AMAZINGGGG... SILK, COTTON, VELVET, ETC. Capturing texture that distinctly in one series is extremely difficult but this artist, Paillou definitely succeeded. It was so recognizable and easy to differentiate it from the others. After literally staring at it for quite some time, I began to try and pick out this characteristic in detail I found in Paillou's in other artwork I came across the rest of the gallery. The Galleria degli Uffizi was sooooo B I G. It took us forever to find the exit. We didn't even finish looking at all of the artwork because we missed lunch looking at the artwork and lost track of time. After finally getting out, we grabbed a quick bit to eat and waited on the rest of the group and headed to an Art Store in Italy. I was so excited! Rumors say that the famous Michelangelo bought some of his materials he used to create his masterpieces from this exact Art Store. That's how long it has been in business. I bought a few things that I will keep forever. The rest of the night we just relaxed because it had been kind of a long day. I didn't take many pics today because every museum made us put our cameras away and the rest of the day was spent shopping, who needs a camera for that?
Sorry it's taking me so long to post but the wi-fi in these hotels are just not good at all..HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!! and where am I? Italy!! but I still found a way to express myself for my country. We left Rome today and went to Florence. We caught a train from Rome to Florence and the scenery was absolutely amazing..like pictures out of a book. It didn't even seem real. We got to see landscapes from Lazio, Umbria, and Tuscany. Well after arriving in Florence, guess what was happening: DARK CLOUDS & RAIN. ugh. But I didn't let that take away my excitement, dragging our suitcases and bags through the streets of Florence was enough to keep me happy. The scene was so much different than Rome; because Florence is by the water, very strong odors lingered every now & then. As soon as we arrived at the hotel we were going to be staying in, the rain stopped and bright beaming sunshine came out. After checking into our hotel, we immediately set out to our first site to tour: Santa Maria Del Fiore ("The Duomo"). After seeing The Duomo we went to the Duomo Baptistry. The rest of the day we had the opportunity and freedom to explore Florence for the rest of the day/night. Well first Mia and I set out for lunch, we ate at a restaurant called Za Za. I ordered some seafood that was so delicious. It was basically shrimp, some type of gravy mixture and rice. VERY filling as well. After eating and getting up enough energy to get up from the table, we ventured out and looked at the several different booths and stores. One thing I can say about Florence is that it is much cheaper than Rome! I think I like it a little bit better actually-the scenery, it's more country-like, and of course the prices ! Well we stayed out the entire day and some of the night with some of our friends. Later that night, we set out to celebrate the 4th of July Italy Style at a local party. It was a lot of fun and i had a great time! Will try to upload more pics but the wireless is TERRIBLE!
Sorry I am a little late, the wi-fi is sooo slow here and I discovered that I bought the wrong kind of adapter for my charger so my laptop was dead and I couldn't post. But here I am- live from the hotel's lobby using my teacher's adapter. 2nd Day! Of course I paid for the lack of sleep this early but my night was well worth it. Ate breakfast at the hotel and I ate a crescent, some delicious pancakes with some foreign syrup, and some fruit. It was the best pancakes I ever had..way better than IHOP. The first thing we did today was go to the Vatican City and went to the Vatican Museum. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Some famous works we saw was the grand Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and a lot of Raphael's works. I stayed in the Sistine Chapel for at least 45 minutes literally looking up at the ceiling drooling! It is beautiful, google images do not do its justice. The colors are much more vibrant in person, details are more obvious, the figures look so 3 dimensional because of shadows and careful detail. You actually get to appreciate the work SO MUCH MORE. Because it was a chapel we could not wear our arms out, or short bottoms. Your shoulders had to be covered and any bottoms had to be past the knee in respect. We could not take pictures or even talk. I am still in shock that I was standing right under this famous artist's work that I had been taught ever since I was a younger artist in middle school. We toured the Vatican's Museum for a few hours and I still didn't get to see every single piece in there. After this, we all headed out with some friends to get a quick bite to eat, I had 2 clubs with potato chips. It was good-some of the bread was toasted, and the ham was freshly cut in front of my face. After eating we walked to the train and went to the Borghese Park. The longest walk of my life. It was so many hills steps and cobblestone roads. But it was well worth it. The view from the park over the city was amazing. It was definitely breath-taking. After relaxing and un-winding for a little we walked to another Gallery (the Galleria Borghese). Some friends and I lagged behind and took out time enjoying the scenery. We stopped and put our feet in a fountain and the water was so cold but it felt good because of all the walking we had been doing. The museum was much smaller but still had some beautiful pieces. Again, we couldn't take pictures. We had to leave our bags with the staff up front but this museum allowed us to take our sketchbooks inside so we could sketch and write about some of the things we encountered. After this we had a free afternoon and evening. Mia and I went to the Trevi Fountain and made a wish. Along the way we met some really nice local Italians. It was so packed but the fountain is a very popular attraction. It is good luck to throw a coin in over your shoulder & make a wish. I think if you throw one coin you will fall in love and if you throw two you will return to Italy again in the future. After making our wishes and taking pictures we ate at a nearby restaurant. I had spaghetti. After eating a delicious meal, we walked to the Spanish Steps. A lot of people were out there and it was fun meeting some many people and browsing through the booths that were set up out there. Well tomorrow we leave Rome to go to Florence so I stayed to catch up on my rest for the train ride we have. Until next time...Chao!
Yesterday was the big day! ITALYYY!!! *exaggerated screaming* It was my very first flight and I was scared to death. I have never flown on a plane before, nevertheless out of the country!! The amount of excitement I have is indescribable. Well we caught our flight to Rome yesterday at around 6:00 pm from Charlotte. Boarding the plane, checking luggage.. all of this was just nothing but constant anticipation. As far as the flight it was 8 HOURSS NON -STOP. I was excited at first, the plane had individual televisions per seat and we were all seated together as one big group.When we took off I was so nervous I must have been chewing like 4 pieces of gum; it was a lil shaky at first but the entire flight was smooth sailing. However, I didn't get to sit by a window to enjoy the amazing view. Sleep of course was uncomfortable but I didn't really mind at the moment. I made it work nevertheless. When we finally arrived (July 2nd), it was like lunchtime here in Rome but 2 am in SC . The minute we got here I thought about my family and how thankful I am for them making it possible for me to take part in such a great opportunity! After we got here it was nothing but constant running around. No time to sleep. Rome is breathtaking, it's so beautiful--the atmosphere, the city, everything. I took as many pictures as I could. We checked into the hotel- it is beautiful. It has an old-fashioned, modern look. Well no time to nap-we freshened up, and boarded on the train to head to our first amazing site. The Colloseum. Before boarding the train, me and some friends ate a small little restaurant that was near the hotel. We ordered pizza, I forgot the name of the pizza I had but it was something new. I have pics-- a lil on the dry side but who has time to complain? I'm in Rome, Italy! How many people can say that? Being in the presence of such powerful and extraordinary architecture is really a moving experience especially being an artist myself. Learning about these things is one thing but actually being able to physically touch and see it in person is an entire different level of experience. Lots and lots of walking continued the rest of the day...miles i will say HAHA. We viewed the Arch of Constantine, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, the church of San Luigi dei Francesi to view Caravaggio’s famous St. Matthew painting series, the Pantheon, and finally the Bernini's Fountain of 4 Rivers. I FINALLY HAD GELATO!! The most amazing ice cream in the world- Ben & Jerry, PET or Bryers has nothing on this. I will be getting some more before I return to the US. KA'SIA I'M SO SORRY I didn't get a picture haha, I know you would have LOVED it. I really hope these pictures can do justice of these memorable experiences I have captured but I sincerely doubt they will. After an EXTREMELY busy first day in Rome of trains buses and LOTS of walking, we had the rest of the night to do as we please. Most people headed to the hotel to call it a night but I don't want to ever forget this experience so SLEEP can come later. Rome here I come! Some of my friends and I went to a lili restaurant and ordered some Chinese food (I know typical right?) but it was really good..and different. Afterwards we walked some of the strips just viewing nightlife in Italy and went to a bar. Really fun! I'm overwhelmed with excitement for tomorrow, I had so much fun on my first day & night in Italy. I can imagine what the rest of these days have in store. Well I have to call it a night it is currently 1:50 am over here and I have an even busier day tomorrow starting at 8 am. I have to upload more pics later. For some reason the uploading pics process is taking so long, maybe because I have so many. I will upload them ASAP and when I have free time! Love you all!