Archive for the ‘ misc experience Roma ’ Category

Vatican Trip in Awe

With the rest of the day off on Wednesday, a bunch of us set off towards Saint Peters and Vatican City.  The Piazza is enormous and has a lot of things to see from many angles.  Besides the hordes of tourists that were pushing and shoving into the basilica, the views were great and captivating.  We set off first up to the Cupola in order to get a view of Roma like no other.  We also decided to take the stairs in its entirety; I mean that extra 2 euro can get myself a gelato (ice cream).  After about 300 steps, we were inside the dome and got a close glimpse of the detail work in the dome portion of the basilica.  The quality and shear detail was a sight to see.  No wonder Saint Peters is regarded as a masterpiece and great feat of architecture.

What came next were what literally felt like the walls caving on me.  The trip was exhausting yet the little glimpse of views from windows along the way just fueled me to keep going.  I loved every second of it because I knew I would remember this for the rest of my life.

After this portion and already dripping with sweat, we set off to the top of the Cupola and what a sight it was.  Beautiful views of Roma and also it was exciting that I could spot out by name many domes and tops of buildings.  I could take hundreds of photos and even sit there for hours and sketch the views of Roma.  We also took a little cheesy group picture which definitely worthy of Person Pic of the Day.  Also, take a look at the view I had at the top.  I couldn’t have asked for a better view of Roma.

After the breath taking views and having fun absorbing the breezes, we headed back down to the interior of the basilica.  The space was amazing and really a great feat of the Renaissance and also showed how much power the church had to commission and fund such a project.  Bring Christianity into the city and having pilgrims follow the pilgrimage road by following obelisks to end up inside Saint Peters.  It almost felt like I could never take a bad photo inside the church.  Just have a look at the pictures and you will know exactly what I mean.  Additionally, I shun the Architectural History photos that do not capture the shear vastness and volume of the space.  Many pictures make these feats of Architecture seem smaller and not as daunting.  To the architecture history professors of NJIT and possibly other schools, GET BETTER PHOTOS! In term of scale and volume, the course never conveyed this importance.

To end it all, a shot of the front of Saint Peters and the Obelisk in the middle of the piazza.  Today was truly breath taking and well worth coming.  I can only hope that I get a chance to see this again in my lifetime.



Bracciano + Dinner in the Campo + Jubilee Church = Amazing Weekend

First things first, Santa Maria della Pieta is coming along very slowly and I’m frustrated as hell that nothing is getting done and more complaining is happening than actual work being done.  I bet if half the effort for the complaining was put towards working to help make this place feel like home and function as well, we would be long done.  But I guess this kind of shock is new to people, I have been on camping trips before where conditions were worse and I had to live there for 2 weeks… Whatever a nice weekend away from Pieta was a beautiful experience.

First was the trip to Bracciano and the volcanic lake.  I regret not taking my camera because the views from the train and train station were breath taking, although it revealed a harsh truth.  Lorenzo said that it’s only a short walk to the water from the station.  We forgot about the fact that Lorenzo is a true Stalker and a “short walk” for him is about a 30-40 minute walk.  Additionally, it was all downhill so that means that after the relaxing trip down to get to the lake, we would have to hall ass all the way back up.  But we all were too determined to see this amazing lake and of course swim in it so we traveled down.

The water and the lake were beautiful.  Additionally, there was a bar nearby so I got myself a vodka and pineapple cocktail and laid out on the shore after we swam.  Then I went back in the water to play some volleyball.  Everything was fine until after I got out of the water, I noticed that my ring was no longer on my finger! I freaked out and searched frantically and my worse nightmare was coming true, I had lost my ring in the water… In addition to that I stepped on my sunglasses while trying to find the ring.  Could things get any worse… I ran back into the water and started searching for what seemed like an eternity but no luck.  Eventually, an Italian man approached me and lent me a pair of water goggles that fit perfectly.  I then dove back into the water and searched relentlessly not giving up.  I was getting exhausted at this point and starting making my way back to shore to lie down and catch a breath when all of a sudden a gleam of reflection hit my eyes, IT WAS MY RING! It was wedged between 2 rocks and was sticking straight up as if being put on display at a jewelry store.  I grabbed it as fast as I can, shot up out of the water, and yelled with joy.  My fellow studio mates were amazed but also happy I found my ring.  The walk back up the hill wasn’t as bad because I knew that the ring was on my finger and not lost in the volcanic lake.

That evening a few of us went to dinner at the Campo de Fiori and I had a great time.  Dinner was amazing; the restaurant was the Magnolia at the east end of Campo de Fiori.  It came out to 30 euro a person with wine and 3 courses (we all shared appetizers and deserts).  The food was very good and very Italiano.

Also, I got a great shot of RJ and Joann so they both get Person Pic of the Day.

Person Pic of the Day - RJ and Joann at Campo

The next day RJ was hell bent on seeing the Jubilee church because he had done a case study on it for studio I’m assuming last semester.  I’m glad I tagged along to witness the building.  On our long journey and quite a walk over, we made a left on a street and it was like a slap in the face. BAM! The Jubilee church by Richard Meier was perched on top of a slight incline right at the end of the street.  The frontal view was amazing, yet the context of the building was completely out of context.  Right across the street are 7-9 story apartment buildings and a park across a large parking lot.  The typical views and pictures of the church seem to set the building in a serene park and landscape.  Whether that was the previous condition when it was first built, that condition no longer exists.  Although a-contextual, the church was still beautiful architecturally; especially the white stone that stays bright white due to some kind of paint or sealant that is self-cleaning.  My knowledge on the building is not great, but even without extensive knowledge the building was still a great site to see.  It is hard to believe that 1st year 1st semester graphics I was trying just to sketch the building and now I got to see it first hand.

Me in front of the Jubilee Church by Richard Meier


Roma + Stalker

After meeting Stalker last night at a dinner and exhibit in the Villa Massimo/German Academai, it was time to take a trip through Roma ala Stalker style.  But first, we (the students) were given some free time to roam around Rome.  Things that I did not see the day before were the Spanish Steps and we did not get into the Santa Maria del Pache cloister which Jim was raving about, and correctly so.

Spanish Stairs

By taking the Metropolitana line A to the Piazza de Spagna stop, I arrived at the Spanish Steps and proceeded to take the trip to the top.  To my amazement, there was a great view of Roma and also perched at the top was another Obelisk and also another church the Trinita del Monti.  Both sights were great to see, although the gypsies were storming around trying to sell cheap little toys, umbrellas, and being quite annoying.  I saw many tourists get sucked in by the schemes of the gypsies but I tried to stay away from the hordes of tourist and gypsies.

Trinita Del Monti - Church at the top of Spanish Steps

My next step was to derive my way through Rome until I got to a familiar spot.  I ventured through tight little ally ways away from the storefront and tourist ridden shops.  Although I am a tourist, I certainly do not want to be engulfed by the mentality of see something, go shopping, see something, sit down for hours, and repeat.  I want to see everything Roma has to offer and this involves many hours of walking and really keeping the pace up.  Nevertheless, I made my way to the Piazza Navona (with the help of a sign or 2) and then made my way to the Santa Maria Del Pache cloister.  The cloister was a perfect square that contained a great procession of columns and an up-close vision of a double barrel vault.  It was very well preserved and the small frescos were also beautiful.  Very quite and peaceful, with a nice but pricey little café on the upper portion, the sketching environment was great.  I proceeded to sketch a plan and section and it came out pretty good.  No sketches have been uploaded, but I will once a scanner becomes readily available.

Santa Maria del Pache Cloister

Santa Maria del Pache Vaulting

After spending some more time in Rome and eventually getting to art store to buy watercolor supplies, which was a pain in the ass I might add, it was time to head back to the Derby and get ready for our first walk with Stalker.  Jim explained that we would be walking along the old aqueducts, but we were in for a different culture shock than we thought.

After meeting at a location far from downtown Roma, we started a journey with our new found friends of Stalker.  We traveled along the edge of the aqueducts and we saw areas that back when many aspects were built for a modern Roma, many cheap labor works lived under the arches of the aqueducts by building concrete walls on one end and keeping the other end open but draped with cloth to make small tented areas.  Many people lived this way because the payment they received monthly could not even sustain a monthly rent bill.  So in terms of living, the homeless were employed and supplied services for the greater city, yet they couldn’t even afford to be a part of a community that they are creating.  Fair? Just? I think not… Now the area that was once a refuge for these struggling blue-collar workers is now a growing area with beautiful homes and also homes for other immigrants.

Aqueducts of Roma

In the midst of this, a Person Pic of the Day popped into view of my camera.  It was of Tim and our newfound friends from Stalker, Lorenzo and Julia.

Tim, Lorenzo, and Julia

Throughout the rest of the day we walked around many different areas of this portion of Roma that was inhabited by many people of many different races.  People from Bangladesh, China, and other European countries were living in the area while trying to make a living in Roma.  We even crossed over from a developed park into an open field that was flattened down, as if a civilization had picked up and moved, which is exactly what had happened.  Gypsy camps along with other refugees from other countries constantly change locations in order to avoid being thrown around by authorities.  Many of these people are doing jobs around Roma for little to nothing, similar to the situation with the aqueducts approx. 35 years ago.  Seeing a trend? Very disappointing in my eyes.

That night we eventually ended up in a district that was developed and a school on the corner was virtually unused.  This was true because a law in Rome says a certain percentage of students need to be truly Italian.  What that means is that the child needs to be born in Italy and have parents that are both Italian.  Most of the area’s populations are immigrants so many of the children that were born in Italy are not Italian citizens.  So because the percentage is not to par, the school year cannot progress.  In an area so diverse with 3 completely different religions residing on one street without conflict, the community will only suffer with the lack of proper education.  I can only hope that legislation with change, and that Stalker will help change these ridiculous notions that are decades old and will no longer work in a world so globally diverse.


The Trip In

The flight was long, the sleeping was short, the troubles were filled, but it all payed off; we were in Rome.

To recap the flight to Paris, the flight was long, but the food on the plane along with the great selection of movies really helped the flight whiz by, so to speak.  Flights are never fun, in addition to the inability to sleep on the plane does not help.  Regardless, we finally landed in Paris and had a great time relaxing in the really open and modern Airport.

Ive also started a series of images everyday of the best photos of one of us from our group.  The first day goes to #mce_temp_url#.

Person Pic of the Day - Ian at the Paris Airport Looking through the Curved Concrete Wall in Awe

Paris Airport - End side of the Structure of the Terminal which connects to a Large Spanning Structural Spine

Soon enough after most of us were baking in the “Greenhouse” that was Paris Airport, we headed off to Rome.  Unfortunately I missed the sight of seeing the Eiffel Tower because I somehow managed to prop my seat back and pass right out… I guess that will just have to be another trip to another country, Paris I will be seeing you next.

Jen and Jill at the Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport

Once we landed in the Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport on the outskirts Rome, tragedy struck, Jim’s bag got lost and he was cellphone-less.  In addition the bus that was supposed to pick us up never showed.  So the next journey was all of us trying to find our way to the train station and hoping on a train to the station close to the center of Rome, Termini Station.  We valiantly found our way and eventually got on a taxi at Termini and got to our hotel, the Derby.  The taxi ride was great and although exhausted from the traveling, I was eager to see Roma.  Along the ride I was able to snag a shot of the Colosseum.

Passing by the Colosseum on my first Taxi ride through Roma.

Until next time, Ciao i Arrivederci