by
on September 15, 2017 on 9/15/17

Mi chiamo Robert

Mi chiamo Robert. Somo americano di Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ho venti anni. Studio inglese e teatro All’ Universita’ Americana. 

Translation: My name is Robert. I’m American from Colorado Springs, Colorado. I’m twenty years old. I study English and Theatre at the American University.

This has been my introduction to locals during my time so far here in Rome. I wish I would have studied a little bit of the basic Italian words and phrases before arriving. The only Italian word I knew three weeks ago was Ciao! (Now, I know way more than one Italian word, which means: PROGRESS! Whoot! Whoot!)

Learning Italian has been an adventurous and daunting experience. Having a few years of experience with Spanish definitely helps but sometimes comparing the languages does more harm than good. It is very easy to mix the two languages and basic grammatical rules between the two can be tricky.

During my preparation to study abroad, learning the language didn’t seem like a priority for my experience. But I will never forget the realization of its importance the moment I stepped off of the plane after arriving in Rome. Majority of the signs were in Italian. In retrospect, I don’t know why it surprised me as much as it did but it was one of the most culture shocking experiences of my time abroad so far. I navigated my way out of the airport on word inferences and lots of hoping.

Many of the locals in restaurants and stores do speak English and others are understanding and kind enough to work with me. Universal expressions like numbers, yes, and no have also helped me out a lot. Phrases that I wish I had known before arriving in Rome are; thank you (grazi), you’re welcome (prego), do you speak english (parli inglese), how much does it cost (quanto costa), please (per favore) and goodbye (ciao/arrivederci for the formal). It is much easier to navigate day to day life knowing these words. My Italian language course is also helping a great deal.

Also this week, I explored the first destinations for my two on-site art classes. In Italian Sketchbook, we went to Circus Massimo which used to be a horse racing arena with chariots. It is now used for musical events throughout the year and many of the locals use the open space to enjoy being outside on good weathered days. Across the space, ancient ruins stretch, telling of years old history. Our sketchbook assignment was to articulate what we saw of the view, starting with the horizon. Below was my interpretation.

 

Circus Massimo facing ruins.

 

My beginner interpretation of Circus Massimo.

In my Art of Rome course, we went to the Capitoline Museum which told of the foundational years of Rome’s history. Rome was founded in approximately 753 BC with the age of the 7 kings. And before the Roman empire was the Roman republic existing from 500-0 BC. The museum had plenty of art covering years of Rome’s history. With statues of Homer’s head, visual depictions of the historical Rape of the Sabines, and more, the Capitoline Museum had a grand amount of art representing important historical moments of Rome and the world. So excited to see where next week takes me!

Until next time,

Robert