Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Out on the Town Rome'n

WHEN i was IN ROME, I was loving life.  My class took over a Hotel located near the Campo De Fiore.  I ended up getting the only single room in my entire class so I was stoked on that! We were a 1 min walk to a bunch of cool American bars at the Campo De Fiore.  Ship Wrecked was my favorite because we got to dominate at Beer Pong.  So this creepy man featured above stared down on us as my classmates and I crawled around the bars at night.  First stop in Rome was the Villa D'Este Gardens.  This place had some ridiculous fountains.  A lot of them looked natural instead of constructed, there were Grotto's that kinda reminded me of the Play Boy Mansion.  This place used to be the summer retreat for the king and his castle.  And I guess he would bring some gals here and have some wild parties and orgies, not a bad life.

After the Orgy Pond we went to Hadrian's Villa.  This was a bunch of old Roman Ruins.  It was pretty bad ass, definitely the coolest destroyed thing I have ever seen, L. J. told me to take a lot of pictures of cracks for her in the ruins.


After a night of Beer Pong domination with some English friend that payed for the beer, we woke up and begun our 8 mile walk around Rome.  First stop was the baddest bitch in Rome. The father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife.  AKA Marcus Aurelius

Next we saw a spot where the prison use to be.  And then we saw where they use to hang people... I felt like evey where we went we heard some ridiculous scandal.  The Romans new how to party, I guess thats why we have toga parties.
Then we saw the legendary Colosseum where Marcus Aurelius did work.  Its pretty amazing that this ancient structure is what a lot of modern sports arenas are modeled after.  Yet we still can't create a structure as good as the Romans did because the stadium could fill in with 20,000 people in 15 minutes.  A trip to staples center takes forever.
One interesting thing about Rome was their drinking fountains.  Instead of having a basic one that you hang your head over and look at people's butt ends of cigarettes and multi colored pieces of gum, your standing on a ledge that leads to a boat that is constantly shooting water out of its cannons.  

After another long walk we came upon the Trevi Fountains, this is the point where the Romans first established their water source.  It was pretty cool to see Poseidon and his homies all riding horses through water falls looking all bad ass.  I honestly love Roman Mythology, they were like the super heroes of the past. 
Then we went through some more famous Campo's, watched some weird street performers that would try and look up girls skirts as they walked by?  Definitely not in the U.S. anymore.
We ended our long journey at the Pantheon.  I love the Pantheon, the hole at the top of the Dome gave the room a very interesting filtration of light.  More importantly if you stared at the hole at the top and spun in circles it made you really dizzy, way more intense than the Gravitron at the Saint Angeles Fair. Check the video at the very bottom, felt like a space ship.
The next morning Jonny, Coral, Honeybourne, and I woke up and headed out to go chill with the Pope.  This Chapel was ridiculous.  All of the statues outside were 20 feet tall, with huge columns, and these huge water fountains.  The inside of the Vatican was even more ridiculous.  Beautiful stained glass, gold sculptures, mosaics with over 400,000 different hues of color.  I was so inspired by the Vatican that I bought a cross blessed by priest, then walked outside and bought a ring blessed by Buddhist monks that symbolizes the artist.  Go figure?

The Sistine Chapel is connected to Vatican and is basically a huge museum.  It was the coolest museum I have ever been to, inside they had an Egyptian exhibit, Roman sculpture and paintings, great landscape pieces, and even contemporary art exhibit.  Two ninja turtles works are also featured at the museum, Rafael and Michaelangelo.  Michaelangelo's fresco paintings in the Sistine Chapel were probably the best paintings I have ever seen.  I was completely amazed on how three dimensional he could make the figures on the wall look.  I was so geeked out over the paintings that I completely lost my group and ended up walking around Rome by myself the rest the day.
I was actually enjoying walking around by myself. I sat down at the Colosseum and watercolored while I watched the sunset, took some night shots and headed to the Trevi fountain for some nights shots.  Then shit hit the fan, and I thought I knew the way back but ended up walking down the wrong road for like an hour.  Getting lost isn't that bad because it always becomes an adventure.  I stumbled upon an anti-gay parade.  It was a pretty cool sight actually.  In no way do I respect their anti-gay movement, but I thought the huge flaming torches they were all carrying were pretty cool.  They almost lit my afro on fire while i was taking pictures of them so I got out of there.
Finally somewhere compared to Paris.  Rome was so much fun, I really liked how you could walk around and see all these different monuments from different periods of time.  The people there were nice too, I would have never made it back to my hotel without them.  After 3 days in Rome me and a couple of my friends headed to the ghetto of Italy, Naples.
Now we heard a lot of bad things about Naples, but honestly it was my favorite Italian city I have been in thus far.  Artistically Naples was beautiful, all of the buildings were painted in these bright reds, turquoises, and yellows.  There was also very cool Graffiti Art and Contemporary sculpture pieces.
My boy Jonny hooked us up on this trip.  He found us this modern designed, brightly colored hostel that was a lot of fun(it was directly to the left of that centered Naples picture).  He planned a trip better than most my teachers could.  He didn't even charge a bull shit teaching fee.  I owe that big man.  First place we stopped on the itinerary was the Duomo of Naples, which was the second best Church I have ever seen next to the Vatican.  One peculiar thing that was going on in there, a bunch of people lined up to kiss this heart shaped vile of blood?
After that we went to Naples underground.  Basically Naples is a new city built on top of an old city.  It was a weird feeling walking around though because if felt like I was outside yet I was 20 feet below the ground.
After that we went to a Contemporary(modern) art museum called MADRE.  This was the best Contemporary art museum ever.  I was expecting to see only paintings and sketches and was shocked to see a bunch of famous Land Art pieces, exactly the area of Landscape that I want to get into.  A bunch of huge names like Richard Serra, Richard Long, Andy Warhol, Anish Kapoor, so many famous designers were featured there.  I was stoked.
After that we went to a hookah lounge.  It was pretty fun, I just wish the food was better.
Next morning we headed to the Volcano that preserved the entire city of Pompeii and its inhabitants, Mt. Vesuvius.  The journey up the Volcano was really intense, we got into these huge lifted Mercedes buses and drove up this 10 foot wide road.  This was no relaxing road either, it was like the Indiana Jones ride at Disney Land, or as crazy as Ace Ventura drives, Like Aaa GloOve!

Then we went to the preserved city of Pompeii.  The only current inhabitants of this city are now a pack of wild dogs.  It was pretty cool to see dogs completely on their own.  We saw some preserved dead people, It was weird seeing peoples body positions as they died, some were curled in a ball, some were kneeling, and some looked like they were just hanging out accepting it.  Makes you think what you would do, I think I would bust a quick hand stand.
 Get some
All in all Naples was a really cool place.  Ya we saw some needles on the ground in the city and a lot of trash piled up in the streets, but it had a very unique artistic atmosphere to it.   Definitely a diamond in the ruff.