back to rome.

had a great time in rome this weekend... i would just like to give liz and her roomies a shoutout for letting bie and me stay at their apartment. not paying for a hostel and the ability to leave our stuff in a place rather than lug it around is fantastic. that said, we had a very relaxing weekend. went to le fate (translation: the fairies) friday night for dinner. they had a student menu and for a mere 10 euro we had an appetizer, a pasta dish and tiramisu accompanied by the house red wine. baller. since there was a italy vs. scotland rugby match the next day, there were lots of men in kilts all over the city and two of them came into the restaurant with bagpipes. not something i would've ever expected to encounter in italy, but i liked the merging of the two cultures.

in campo that night we met quite a few scottish/irish men. one of the two important things i learned this weekend was how to properly pronounce the name "craig." apparently, i've been saying it wrong my whole life. saturday, the weather was absolutely fantastic and reminiscent of goucher in the spring. we soaked it up the sun in the area outside of the galleria bourghese before we were allowed to go inside. there, i made important discovery number 2: i liked bernini's david so much more than michaelangelo's... just goes to show you that some things get WAY too much hype.

even though we weren't in arezzo this weekend, the days seemed just as relaxed. which is perfect because starting tomorrow, we're about to get our asses kicked by a crash course in the fine art of butoh!


life is full of lessons, i wonder what i'll learn tomorrow.

things i have learned:

1. its hard to keep up with a blog. partly because i start posts in my head but when i sit down to write it, it's all gone.
2. i'm glad i took french... helps with italian.
3. i am capable of carrying on a rudimentary conversation in another language.
4. showing any sort of interest (ie a smile) is considered an invitation. gotta be rude to the boyz i'm not interested in.
5. boys will lie about their age and possibly their name or nationality just to seem more appealing.
6. however, lying about my name isn't that bad an idea because courtney doesn't seem to translate.
7. zara is cheaper here than in america. score.
8. the things i'm learning do not seem very deep.
9. except when it comes to philosophy class.
10. gotta let go of my inner perfectionist if i'm going to learn anything while i'm here. slowly, but surely it is happening.
11. my roommate is an awesome singer/songwriter. she will be famous someday soon.
12. merce was right. this is not for unsteady souls.

bonus points- name the movie my title is from. no cheating.


eyes wide open.

so monday was the festival of the madonna di conforto. basically, there were all these earthquakes in arezzo a couple hundred years ago but then the madonna appeared and made it all better. so they have a festival every year in her honor. monica told us it was "italian culture at it's finest." after modern, my roommate and i made the trek into town to check it out. it was a strange mixture of religion and festival atmosphere. it was hard to capture:

on the walk back from town, we encountered these:

luckily, the trip to venice had helped us avoid all the heavy wet snow for the weekend and by the time we got back it had almost all melted away. i also finally got a picture of the villa from afar. not the best photog skills right thurr, but it gives the general outline:


if the form vanishes its root is eternal.

so, venice. carnevale. absolutely ridiculous. our train arrived around 9, only for us to discover that our hostel was about a 20 min drive away from there. poor planning. anyways, it was pretty nice and not too expensive, so it was def worth the extra money for transportation to and from the city. pre-gamed in the hostel a bit, and then it we were off! friday night wasn't really that crowded, but we also didn't get into the actual city until maybe 11:15, so maybe most of the crowd had returned already. meet some other americans in our travels to the bars. one of the guys was named wolfgang, or so he claimed. his tongue was pierced. i interrogated him for a long time about that.

after only a few hours of sleep, we headed back into venice for the day. one thing i learned after this weekend: if i'm only staying for one night and i'm going to carry my bag around, then i'm not going to pack a heavy bag. i thought i had packed really light... but it turned out that wasn't the case. regardless, i still had a good time traversing the city and experience lots of other tourists, italians included, doing the same. although all 18 of the undergrads made it to venice, it was necessary to split up. i travelled around with a couple of other girls and for the most part, it was a really relaxing day. we bought breakfast, then went in search of masks. after finding them, we donned our festive attire and just took in the sights in sounds, slowly meandering our way towards the guggenheim. on there, i ended up running into my roommate (yay!) and our little group of 3 became 4. by around 5, i was ready to leave. the crowds had really picked up and everyone was just pushing, but there really didn't seem to be a destination in mind. we bought our train tickets, and that's when our real adventure began.

since there wasn't a direct train to arezzo, we decided to ask someone that was selling tickets. he had us go to bologna and then pick a train up there to arezzo. unfortunately, he did not do his job well and we ended up being in bologna for 5 hours. we decided to make the best of it and went to a bar for a caffeine pick-me-up and made some friends back at the train station. we got lucky on the train and found seats, although sleep was nearly impossible. finally made it back to the villa around 5:30 am. it was bound to happen sometime, so like they say in up, adventure is out there!


my thoughts create my world.

so i've been a bad blogger this past week. i kept thinking i would update, but then i'd get swept up in life at the villa or life back home (via skype). but i'm making myself update before going out of contact for 48 hours in venice for carnevale.

last weekend i went to florence on saturday. the main point of the visit was for the chocolate festival (at least it was for me) and that definitely exceeded my expectations. just a tent in the middle of piazza santa croce, it was packed with everyone who had a sweet tooth with an affinity for chocolate. got a lot of free samples just from walking around and i just finished my last piece of chocolate that i purchased there today. there were a lot of funny moments throughout the trip, which isn't really a departure from what it's like in the villa actually, but the best as probably when four of us were waiting for the train back to arezzo. we saw a very short train on the platform, but figured it was just too small and not ours. DUH. it was. luckily there was another 40 minutes later, but really? we were convinced it wasn't our train. of course the next one that came was the same size. lesson learned: take the short train to arezzo.

classes this week are pretty much the same; our schedule constantly shifts, but it's similar enough that i don't feel the need to delve into details. one class did stand out today though: we had tarantella, but it ended up as more of an improv day. francesco came and he, along with gianni, had each of us improv a short solo that expressed our idea of beauty. i was actually more impressed with what i saw today than the solos we did for giorgio last week. after mine, francesco said i had expressed both the pain and the joy of love. for someone who doesn't like to express feelings, i seem to have found the right outlet.


only so many hours in the day.

today was the first day i left the villa in over 72 hours. come si dici "cabin fever"?

its been crazy busy with classes and nighttime events. i guess the first week was to sort of ease us into being here and its only going to pick up from there. i already wrote a little about giorgio, but he is seriously awesome. he's really funny, but also seriously interested in teaching us as much as he can this semester. there are several differences between my teachers at home versus the ones here (obviously), but the biggest one i've noticed is this: they never tell you you've done something wrong. instead "is good, but not what i ask." i think it's a compelling distinction.

one thing that is awesome about this program is the crossover we experience with the students in the theater track. on wednesday, we got to join their voice class. there was some singing, but it was also learning about how to project your voice. we rarely work on that in dance, so it was a fun departure. watch here:

thursday evening, the theater track joined the dancers in tarantella. having a bigger group definitely changed the atmosphere a bit, but it was really a great time being able to show what we do, especially after having experience voice class. we do joint classes several more times throughout the semester, and after my first taste, i can hardly wait until the next one.

despite my excitement, i am completely exhausted from this week. (sono exhausto in italiano.) however, after a little recuperation this evening, i'm sure i'll be ready for tomorrow. the first weekend of every month, arezzo hosts not only the largest antiques fair in italy, but also the oldest. a brief stop there, and then off to firenze again, but this time for the night. there's a chocolate festival. a festival devoted entirely to CHOCOLATE? how could i not go?

fin. (yes, i know that's french. i'm trilingual, nbd.)


can't be anywhere but now.

yes, that's the title of my solo. and also the theme for my semester i think. we've talked a lot in class about how you're here because you're here... not because you're not somewhere else. i love that concept. (articulated by giorgio. i think i'll like him).

anyways, i'm up late and i think it's because i'm having a bit of a hard time letting go of not being at goucher this semester. it's strange because i've loved every minute of my abroad experience so far and i can't imagine being anywhere else this semester, yet i'm still letting myself get pulled into the news from across the ocean. i need to stop that and be here because i'm here. and how could i not love it here?

i mean, look at the view:

so new plan: focus on me for a while. which is a strange concept. it sounds selfish, but i think it's ok. i don't know if i ever really have.