Took way too long to get this post up. But anyway, I went to Venice last week to visit Sarah Kark! Venice is really beautiful and totally bizarre. There are no cars in the city, everything is serviced by a network of canals and footpaths. The architecture was a refreshing change from Rome because it incorporates many eastern influences, specifically Istanbul, the former Constantinople which at one time was the capital of the Roman Empire.
The following is something I wrote in my journal the morning I arrived and I think it describes it well:
The streets wind like a maze meant to be navigated only by locals. Paths onto alleys onto canals and dead-ends. I sit on a platform. To the left, a canal. In front, one of hundreds of foot-bridges. Locals pass by about their Saturday business. Tourists stop for photo-ops. Gondolas drift by at their leisurely pace. Lovers sit, side by each, heads on a swivel. The music of a piano floats down from an unknown place. Ragtime? In the distance a single church bell. I imagine the windows above hearing its call every morning for innumerable years. Clothes flutter on their line. Whites. I’m reclined reading Calvino. This is something new. Everything is turned to music.
Tumblr was annoying me by resizing my pictures so I have posted them in a series of posts below.
We went on a great day trip last weekend to the Village of Tivoli about 30 miles outside of Rome. It’s located on the edge of a plateau below which, you can see the Italian country side rolling for miles and miles. While there we visited the Villa D’Este, a beautiful estate that was at one time Catholic property (no surprise there as most everything in Italy at some point). The main attractions of Villa D’Este are the fountains which start at the top of a terraced garden and work there way down to a series of Koi filled pools. It started to rain and get late so we did not end up viewing Hadrian’s Villa which is an ancient estate built by the Emperor, but I hear it’s equally impressive.
(One word of warning though DO NOT eat at a place called the Roof Garden. The owner is a swindler who thinks he can overcharge American tourists…)
The Italians sure like to demonstrate. This is probably the third protest I’ve seen while here, but the first that I had my camera for. We were coming back from Ostia Antica when I spotted these fine folks on the steps of the Ministry of Education. From what I could ascertain the Ministry was trying to cut public school funding. Apparently lack of money for public education isn’t isolated to America…
I really like the spirit in the eyes of the leader. He was charging the protesters up with his emotion. From what I could tell his message was only positive, focusing on the benefits of a quality public school education.
While in Italy our main focus is creating short documentary pieces. We are primarily filming at the ruins of Ostia Antica. Ostia was an ancient port city of Rome, situated at the mouth of the Tiber river. It handled a majority of the import/exports for the empire.
It’s an often made comparison, but the parallels between Ancient Rome and modern America are striking. In my research on Ostia I came across an interesting event…
Around the time of Cicero’s rise to power, a group of pirates led a raid on Ostia Antica. These attackers set such a fire to the port city that the flames were visible from Rome. An outcry is sent through the capital. People are terrified and outraged that a group of bandits could strike so close to home. The citizenry begin to feel that there isn’t anywhere safe…
In the following days some ambitious politicians used this fear to stir people into a panic. They then used this panic to force Roman’s to give up many of their civil liberties and control over the government. Sound famliar?
When In Rome: Blog about it for all your friends (or Pat Marshall)
Whats up everyone? For those of you who are unaware I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Rome three days after graduation. We are making documentary film shorts for the American Institute of Roman Culture. Its been a crazy two weeks so far. Life is slowing down a little now and at the urging of Pat Marshall I have created this blog as an outlet for pictures of all my favorite memories. I will update everyone on what has happened so far soon. But first some pictures!