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Lexi Burns

Immersing Myself in the Art, History and Religion of Rome

by Lexi Burns Friday, October 20, 2017

After one month of living in Rome, I am happy to say that I feel acclimated with my surroundings and adjusted to the Roman lifestyle. I am so impressed with the art, history, and religion of this city which is why I really enjoy my art history class. Every Thursday, my teacher takes us on a walking tour of Rome and we explore churches, museums, and outdoor exhibits. The churches are magnificent as Romans truly believe that the church is the jewel of the community; they are full of paintings, statues, gold, marble, and other precious stones that decorate the floor, walls, and ceiling. During class, we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and studied famous statues like the “Boxer at Rest.” I learned that the bronze Boxer statue is from the first century BCE, from the classical antiquity period, and is Hellenistic art; the statue conveys a boxer that has bruises and cuts over his body, just finished a fight, and he is so tired that he hasn’t taken off his gloves. In ancient Rome, athletes were praised because they were the strongest and bravest men with perfect bodies – I would say that this concept of praising athletes is still true today around the world! Overall, I am fascinated by this class because it allows me to critically analyze the art to study the facial expressions, body language, clothing, time period, and messages that the art conveys. To me, this is the best way to take an art history class!

                                                                           two statues of a man bowling in classical roman styleOver time, I’ve learned that Italy has a slow-paced culture that values leisure, food, and family. Italians spend their mornings at a local bar (which is a café here) enjoying a cappuccino and croissant with friends before heading to work or school. When I walk down the street, I notice that Italians walk very slowly. Also, business and customer service is conducted at a much slower pace here. This made me realize that America has a culture full of demanding tasks and is a very fast-paced society. As a future business woman, it is great for me to recognize the differences in cultures to be able to appeal to global businesses and customers.

                                                                      Painted ceiling of a church

I’ve learned how to use the public transportation systems in Rome. It is very easy to hop on the subway, bus, or train and travel within the city or across the country. I do not have class on Fridays so every weekend is a fun adventure. One weekend I visited Tuscany and was impressed with the buildings that date back to the Medieval Ages. Specifically, I was in Montepulciano which is where a scene from the Twilight series – New Moon - was filmed; it’s when Edward and Bella run into trouble with the Volturi. It was so cool to be at the sight where a major movie – that I used to love in middle school - was filmed. I am really enjoying all of the sightseeing and I am excited to keep exploring Italy. Ciao! 

            Lexi overlooking rolling countryside