Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Coming Home

It's been a great ten days, but I think everyone is looking forward to the trip home tomorrow, although not the 4:30 wakeup call.   We spent the day on Capri and like every other day of the trip, the weather was perfect.  I did require one last hike to a Roman ruin, the Villa Jovis of the emperor Tiberius.  The walk was hard but the views of the bay were spectacular.  After a long lunch in a restaurant with windows looking down over the island and the sea, we all had some last time for shopping and gelato.
The ride home reminded us of the difficulty of everyday life in Naples.  We took nearly two hours in traffic for a 45 minute trip.  We arrived home tired, but the Sgariglia family had a feast prepared for our final meal in Italy (not counting airline food).  Now everyone is packed and off to an early bed for the long day ahead.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Epic Continues...

As Helios, the sun god, drove his chariot across the infinite heavens, we again ventured on our cosmic journey to Paestum where we set our gaze upon a trio of sybaritic, colossal, Hellenistic temples.  We divided and conquered our grumbling stomachs with a vast array of edibles.  With full bellies and tired limbs, we reboarded the bus and headed for the illustrious city of Naples.  As our bus driver elegantly wove his way through the labrynth of tumultuous traffic, we anticipated our long-awaited arrival at the National Archaeological Museum.  There we took our fill of mammoth statues, intricate mosaics and myriad artifacts.  We are now back at the villa enjoying some well-deserved relaxation before another home-cooked dinner of the finest Italian cuisine.  Stay tuned for a continuation of the epic tomorrow after we cross the wine-colored sea to Capri.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


When Dawn with her rosy red fingers crept upon the villa, we set out on
an epic odyssey to the lost city of Pompeii where the ancient ruins of
a civilization once submerged under volcanic ash mesmerized our
inquiring minds. Dr. Hartnett satiated our curiosity about the Pompeian
forum, while Ms. Bryant enlightened us with an intensely vivid
description of the bustling theater life and Mr. O'Donnell captivated
us with his entertaining depiction of gladiatorial combat in the oldest
and most well-preserved amphitheater in the known world. Mr. Conti
shared with us his omniscient wisdom about the triangular forum-a
rarity in Rome. After a fabulous morning in Pompeii, we quenched our
thirst and satisfied our hunger at a charming pizzeria. While we were
waiting for our meal, a float fully equipped with wild beasts (plastic)
graced us with its presence. With full stomachs, we journeyed to
Herculaneum where we saw the remains of a city buried in 60 ft of
volcanic debris. On the return voyage back to the villa, we were
surprised by an impromptu visit to a sulfuric volcanic crater which
overwhelmed our olfactory senses with an aroma of rotten eggs. Having
retired back to the villa, we are now resting our weary limbs as we
reflect upon the scintillating experiences of the day.

The epic continues tomorrow...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

from alex

We just arrived at the villa in Naples after climbing Mt. Vesuvius this morning. Right now we are sitting in the library playing different games, like Uno and chess.  Everyone is having a great time and is excited to spend the day in Pompeii tomorrow. Ciao.

On top of Vesuvius

I'm writing as we stand along the crater of Mt. Vesuvius. It's a beautiful, clear day, so we can see all across the Bay of Naples. Dr. Hartnett is explaining the eruption of 79, reminding the students about the description we read in Pliny.
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Packing again

It has been an exciting visit to Rome but it's time to get ready for the second part of the trip. We visited two museums earlier today. We started the day at the Vatican where for the first time in many years we were able to see the Augustus Prima Porta.

After one last Roman pizza for lunch and a final visit to the Spanish Steps, we made our way through the park to the Borghese Museum.

Hopefully everyone has used the late afternoon to pack so we can be ready for an early start tomorrow.
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Thursday, March 12, 2009


The day started with a tour of some impressive churches, S. Maria Maggiore and St. John Lateran. We then walked back through Rome's history at San Clemente which has four levels, from an eleventh-century church to a first-century home.

After a stop at Keats' grave, we took a train to Ostia. I'm sitting in the sun as the students take some time to explore following the formal tour.

Tomorrow is our last day in Rome, just as everyone is becoming comfortable in the city. I expect they'll be excited for a break from the crowds.
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