Monday, January 25, 2016

Surprise Day in Milan!

Since we've had to spend extra time in Milan due to weather in the US we decided to have some fun in the city! Among the highlights, trying out the water fountains.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Selina's Post

Greetings family and friends, coworkers and peers, fangirls and fanboys, 

I hope you've enjoyed reading about the adventures and misadventures of the freshmen honors fellows in Italy so far. If you're trying to vicariously relive your sweet summers in the Italian  countryside or get some inside dirt on the most popular tourist attractions so you can plan your own trip here, you're in the wrong place. We aren't just a bunch of hooligans who thought it would be funny to wear boots in a country that looks like a boot, but scholars. We've been digging into the deeply rich, complicated, and intersting history of Italy, unearthing the common story of a people who collectively have gone through more identity crises than a freshly graduated college student.  Today it's me, Selina Guevara, telling you all about our excursion to the glorious lil city of Ravenna, which some call the "New Rome."  

Before we get to what Mike and Lynn would consider the "good stuff," I would like to take a moment to appreciate our bus rides. The bus is our main way of getting around, and not gonna lie it has probs been one of my favorite parts of the course. We don't really get a lot of down time, so riding the bus you get to sit there, relax, maybe sleep, maybe have a lifechat with a fellow student, all whilst the beautiful countryside of Italy whizzes by in your window. It's just one of those things that seems so trivial but is actually a huge part of my Italy experience, and people don't seem to take the time to appreciate the small things in life as much nowadays.  

So back to Ravenna. If you've never heard of it until this blog post, thats a shame, because it was a pretty big deal back in the day.  It's located on the north east part of the boot right on the Adriatic Sea but south of Venice, and was at the edge of Christian rule during the time of the Papal States. When we visited, our tour guide took us to see the Basilica San Vitale, a beautiful church in the center of town.  It was a perfect example of architectural "spolia," which is really just an academic way of saying recycling.  The Venetians reused pillars from the original Theodoric church when constructing the new one, because it was symbolic and sacred. You could tell they were legit because they had the crest and Latin inscriptions on the sides. 

The mosaics inside the church were an interesting example of a crossroad of cultures (in a case you haven't caught on yet, that's kind of the theme of our course) because they were created during the same time period, but by two different groups of people.  The Western (Greek and Roman) school uses more bright colors like green, and all of the people are depicted looking at each other, to the side, or gazing off into the distance.  On the other side of the ceiling, the Byzantines made their mark with mostly gold-plated tiles as a background and figures that are staring straight out into the church (and right into your soul. It's kind of intimidating, tbh).   The mosaics aren't just decorations, but a mechanism that helps people worship. There are biblical scenes for those who can't read or write, and  a lot of hidden symbolism in there too.  Like for example, there's a bunch of stuff in huge. Old Testament in threes, that is an allusion to the holy trinity.  In one of the pictures there are twenty seven stars, which is three to the third power. Trippyyyyy. 

Later on in Ravenna, we also went to a Mosileum, which is kind of like a grave for people who are either really important or have a reticule us amount of money (or both).   It was a big room with the tombs of a Byzantine ruler and their sons, along with some more mosaics, including a really schnazzy hallway with stars and the ancient Indian version of a swastika, which was Sanskrit for "all is well" before the Nazis ruined it. 

Last, we went to an Arian baptistery.  This one was different than most of the other ones we visited because the depiction of Jesus getting baptized was, let's just say a little more risqué than the ones we saw in Palermo.  The significance behind this "heroic nudity" comes from the artist wanting patrons of the baptistery to view Jesus as more human than god, so He could be #relatable. Besides, in the ancient days people had more of a public and general knowledge of the human body, and there wasn't this shameful stigma about nude.  That sets #freethenipple back just a few thousand years.  

Anyways, that concluded our little excursion in Ravenna as we finished our day bussing to Venice and (reluctantly) taking a water taxi to our hotel.  Mike keeps promising us freezing rain, but Siri says sun, so we will see who wins that bet (my money's on apple, but Mike already owes us gelato for mentioning Turkey over seventy times now). I hope you are staying warm or cool or dry or whatever weather preference floats your boat, and we will talk you upon our completion of the course in the states, or maybe sooner if ya wanna hit us up on Skype or FaceTime.  

Ciao for now, homies.

Selina Guevara, signing out. 

The Patient Work of Goddesses

Today we headed out bright and early to visit the town of Aquileia, which was founded in the 2nd century BCE as a military base for the Roman Empire. At its peak, because of its strategic location on a river that let out into the Adriatic Sea, Aquileia had over 200,000 residents and was a bustling port city that was vital to trade for the Roman Empire. Today, however, Aquileia is much smaller. It was raided by the Huns and all the surviving inhabitants fled. Some went North and founded Venice, but some came back and restarted their community after the Huns left. 

Our first stop today was the town's basilica, which was originally established in the fourth century and had to be rebuilt in the eleventh century after it was destroyed by the Huns. Although the church had been built upon several times, in the 20th century, archeologists discovered the original mosaic floor from the 4th century. It is the biggest early Christian mosaic in Europe. The floor is divided into sections, and each section and images have special meanings that were intended to teach the illiterate population the gospel. We learned that "mosaic" means "patient work of goddesses" and this certainly was, with roughly 20 million individual pieces making up the floor. We also went into the crypt of the basilica, where we saw frescos from the end of the 12th century. After that, we saw the room where services used to be performed in the original church. Before we left, we saw the baptistry, which has more amazing mosaics in the changing rooms. 

Our next stop was Aquileia's archeological museum. It used to be the villa of Austrians barons, who left it to be turned into a museum after their death. The ground floor has ancient statues from Aquileia's days as one of the golden cities of the Roman Empire, while the first and second floors (because in Europe the ground floor doesn't count) housed ancient and more modern artifacts made from gems, bronze, terra cotta, silver, gold, and amber. 

After our three course group lunch, we strolled (or shuffled) down what used to be the main river in Aquileia and saw the ruins of the Roman port. Then we went to the Sacraio Militare di Redipuglia, which is a Fascist era monument to Italian soldiers killed during World War I. The monument is huge. It has 22 platforms under which 40,000 soldiers are buried. Their names are listed on the walls of each platform. 60,000 more unnamed soldiers are resting under the chapel at the top of the monument. After climbing down the monument, we got to walk through a recreation of a WWI trench, and visit the small museum across the street. After our solemn reflection on the horrors of World War I, we cheered ourselves up again trying to figure out how to use the squat toilets on site, which are basically just holes in the floor. 

Our course in Italy has been jam packed with mind boggling historical sites, beautiful towns and cities, and awesome food. I'm sad to see it end, though I am ready to see my family, especially my sister who I hope is having an awesome time at her dance convention! Ciao, Italia! You've been too good to us! 


Much Venice. Very Wow.

"Venice is an impossible city. It shouldn't exist." This is how Mike introduced us to Venice this morning. While it's probable that he was making a commentary on how the city has survived despite all odds, I'd like to believe he was speaking figuratively; the morning light made this "gateway to the East" shimmer with an improbable kind of magic. 

We started the day by walking to Piazza San Marco. Much to our professors' disappointment, we arrived without getting lost in the labyrinthian Venetian streets. Piazza San Marco is home to Palazzo Ducale and Basilica San Marco, our first two stops for the day. 

Palazzo Ducale, or the Doge's Palace, was once home to Venice's rulers. Inside, we were taken through a series of rooms, some for the Doge and his family, and others for official meetings. The walls and ceilings were covered extensively in elaborate paintings and decorations, most of which are very expensive, imported materials. While the sumptuously decorated rooms boasted Venetian power and sophistication, the exterior was perhaps even more impressive; I felt as if I was being transported to the Arabic world through the architecture, and this raises an interesting question about the influence of the Islamic world on Venice. 

Our second stop of the day was a quick exploration of Basilica di San Marco, which is known for its beautiful synthesis of East and West architectural elements, as well as its striking mosaics depicting biblical scenes and Venetian traditions. One such tradition is the story of the body of St. Mark being smuggled from Alexandria to Venice in a barrel of pork, and this is portrayed on the facade. Unfortunately, many of the attractions of the basilica were closed to the public, but we had many treasures to study nevertheless. 

After a breathtaking vaporetto (water bus) ride down the Grand Canal, we stopped for a quick lunch before touring the Jewish Ghetto. The Ghetto, incidentally the first ghetto and the namesake for the English word "ghetto," was where Jews were compelled to live under the Venetian Republic. In the Jewish Ghetto, where the "Old Ghetto" is, bemusedly, newer than the "New Ghetto," the Jews divided themselves on ethnic lines and established five separate synagogues. We had the opportunity to visit the German Synagogue and French Synagogue in the New Ghetto and the Spanish Synagogue in the Old Ghetto. The synagogues were immensely interesting, especially in their differences from one another. For example, the Spanish synagogue was home to the Sephardic Jews, who were much wealthier than the Ashkenazi Jews of the New Ghetto, and this wealth was reflected in the rich decorations. 

Tomorrow is our bittersweet last day of class before we have an independent day to explore Venice and then get on the plane to head home. I am excited to see all the good things our last two days will bring, and how the course as a whole will continue to impact us when we're home at Elon, and as we continue our world explorations in the future. 

Sogni d'oro,

Lindsey Jordan

Thursday, January 21, 2016

St. Peter's

January 19: Rome as a Religious and Political Center 

After many days in Rome it was time for the grand finale, St. Peter's Basilica, and it only took one smelly, claustrophobic metro ride to get there.

Our journey began in the Plazza San Pietro, the space right outside the Basilica where people often gather to hear the Pope speak. Lynn gave us the lowdown on the history of the Basilica including the importance of St. Peter in the Christian religion as the rock upon which God built his Church; Peter is often represented as the "Keeper of Keys" to the Kingdom of Heaven and is therefore often shown holding two large golden keys in his hands.  

Inside St. Peter's Basilica, we observed a mix of Renaissance and Baroque styles in the architecture and decor, and admired the works of many great artists. One of the most notable was Michelangelo's famous statue, the Pieta. We marveled at the design of the distinctive feature of the Basilica, the Dome of St. Peter - the 551 steps of the dome motivated some of us honors students to accept the challenge to climb to the top.

The rich history of the Basilica was evident as soon as we entered the Vatican Scavi, the necropolis buried underneath the Basilica. Inside we saw what are believed by many to be the remains of St. Peter. In 324 AD, Constantine built the Old Basilica over the tomb of St. Peter, while in the process burying all the other tombs surrounding it. Over the years the Basilica was reconstructed and altered, most drastically in 1506 when Pope Julius II destroyed and rebuilt it during the Reformation, when Catholicism was being threatened. During this process, the remains of an old man were found  in the wall surrounding the shrine of Saint Peter's tomb. There is still debate today as to whether these were actually St. Peter's remains, but regardless, the Basilica and Vatican Scavi remain a sacred place to Christians all over the world.  

Just up the street from the Basilica, we visited the Castel San Angelo, built in 139 AD as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian. This castle was later repurposed as a fortress for the protection of the Pope during times of struggle or invasion.  After getting lost within the many rooms of the castle, we eventually found our way to the very top, which offered what we voted to be the best view of Rome. 

After being motivated to continue with (free) Gelato from Mike and Lynn, we walked to our last destination of the day: the office of Nicole Winfield, a journalist for AP (Associated Press), which is a non-profit news corporation. Nicole spoke to us about her experience covering the news of the Vatican and answered our questions regarding journalism and the Pope. 

Overall today we focused on Rome as a Religious and Political Center, and through these various sites have further witnessed the endless influences and crossroads of Italy through the architecture, art, and history filling the streets of Rome. 

You've been good to us Rome. Now off to Ravenna. :) 

-Maya Aboutanos 


Hope is imprisoned in the Ducal Palace.

En route along the Grand Canal.

See, ferries aren't too bad.

On a tour of the Old Ghetto of Venice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

More Mike Pics

Hope really can't stop thinking about 1849

While the weather reminded us of Scandinavia,
we were actually at the Norwegian Institute in Rome 

Special view of St. Peter's and the Tiber

"Ciao, mi chiamo Joel"

Lindsey ponders Vatican correspondence,
or just wishes there was a chair. 

We may never know what was bothering Betsy

That's more like it.

Mike gets the evil eye from Maya.

Long bus rides produce zany moments like this.

Monte Cassino and Rome ... from a few days ago.

After spending a couple days exploring Naples/re-adjusting to land, we left for Rome early Friday morning. We've seen lots of sites in Naples - from touring the Royal Palace to the Archeological Museum, so I think everyone was ready for a travel day.

A couple hours into our drive, we arrived in Montecassino. The view from the mountains was breathtaking. But the big draw of the town, and our first stop, was the Benedictine Monastery, Monte Cassino. It was founded by St. Benedict in the 6th Century AD. Throughout his life, he instituted a lot of changes. The founder of the "western" monasticism, he wrote the first guide to being a monk. St. Benedict was also responsible for changing the hermit lifestyle of monks to create a religious community within the monastery.

Our tour began with the central garden, which lies on top of the foundation of what was once a Greek temple. This course is all about examining the cross-cultural influences on Italy and their effects. By tracing Monte Cassino's roots to what existed before the monastery, we can understand why structures are built the way they are. We had an amazing tour guide (11/10 would recommend) who took us through each of the rooms.

St. Benedict's personal cell was still intact from its creation, but there were modern Frescoes on the wall. They depicted St. Benedict's various visions, and biblical stories.

We also learned about the monastery's violent past. It has been destroyed 4 times. The first was in 577 by Lombards. The second destruction came roughly 300 years later, by the Muslims/Turks. In 1449, the abbey was destroyed by an earthquake, the only time a natural disaster was the cause. The most recent destruction happened in 1944, during WWII. According to our tour guide, the allied forces thought German soldiers were hidden in the Monte Cassino, so they bombed it. However, the German soldiers were actually scattered in the woods around the monastery. The bombing destroyed 85% of the old abbey, and killed more than 800 civilians, who had hidden in the abbey for safety.
7 days after the bombing, the Germans hid in the ruins. Many battles later, the Polish were the first to free the abbey in 1944. This is why there is also a Polish cemetery by the monastery.

We next went to the old part of Monte Cassino. There are thousands of manuscripts hidden in the library, written by monks, but some of the most telling information came from reading the preserved funeral plaques.

After observing a gorgeous view of the town below, our tour guide took us into the attached Baroque-style Church. This is where St. Thomas of Aquinas studied.

We left the monastery around 12:30pm and headed for Rome. We stopped at an Autogrill (highway food) for lunch. It was a cultural experience - looking around various mini shops, eating Suppli, and having to navigate the language barrier.

2 hours later, once we arrived at our hotel in Rome, Mike decided to take us on an adventure. He pointed out "the wedding cake", and took us to the Trevi fountain. We all threw a coin in, hoping that one day we'll come back to Italy. But for now, we are enjoying the present - cobblestone streets, shops, the rich religious and cultural history and of course, gelato!

-Jen F

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Some Shots from the Vatican

Mike teaching at St. Peter's.

Yes, some folks actually climbed up the dome to the top!
View of the Tiber River.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Kimberly Wilson's Post

"Are We Out of the Woods?"
      A reflection on our course thus far
These lyrics by pop artist Taylor Swift have taken on a new meaning for us students. More than just the literal interpretation of 'are we in the clear?' (Ask your children more about that one), this question now reflects Platos theory of the cave. We, as a cohort, have left the cave. We are leaving yet another cave. And we will leave more caves as we continue our journey of leaving ignorance behind. This journey we are on now is to gain a wiser cultural understanding of a world greater than our own experience.

If you had asked me about my 'cultural awareness' before we left, I would have confidently told you I was aware and open-minded. I wasn't completely right, there is so much more to the world then I had fully grasped. I have traveled around Peru, the Netherlands, and more of Europe. I have attended classes abroad, lived with families in their homes, even grocery shopped, but still it hits me just how great and rich the history of this world is (and hinestly I hope it doesn't stop). 

Italy has an especially rich and dynamic history. It is more than just a timeline, but an intertwined narrative of cultures coming together at a crossroads throughout the ages. The age of the Roman Empire, Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Neoclassical, Etc. Etc. We have already traveled around Sicily and up the coast of Italy to Naples and Rome. And still we have about a week left! Wednesday we are continuing North to Revena and Venice and though we are tired, we look forward to the rest of our course!
Kimberly Wilson


We've become pros at riding the bus in Rome!
We started off the day by visiting a Garibaldi monument (and Mike was very enthusiastic about it, as per usual). The monument is located on Janiculim Hill, which is where we spent a large portion of the day. The Garibaldi monument portrays the glory of capturing Rome in the revolution after Pope Pius the ninth had fled (the first war of independence). However, the pope had called on Austria and France to bail him out. Janiculim hill (which has a beautiful view of the city, by the way, with the Vatican on one side of the hill and Trastevere on the other) was the spot where Garibaldi's republican movement was defeated, and the coinciding battle is commemorated there. 12 years later, the unification movement was revived in the second war of independence. The French army continued to defend the Papal States, but when the Prussians invaded France, French soldiers abandoned the Pope and Rome finally became a part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1870.  

We met up at the monument with a friend of Lynn's, Line Engh from the Norwegian Institute in Rome, who led our tour for the day. We also read an article by Line on the image of Mary due today (so she's sort of a big deal). 

We also saw a statue of Anita Garibaldi, Garibaldi's Brazilian wife, who was on horseback and clutching her child while searching for Garibaldi amongst fallen soldiers in a battle. We found out Anita actually fought alongside Garibaldi in Northern Italy against the Austrians (she was sort of a badass). Mike made a connection that the baby Anita was carrying could be a symbol of Italy.

We continued on Janiculum Hill and came across a fountain called Acqua Paola, which used to be an important acquaduct for the community. The waterfalls were actually functional in filtering the water for drinking. We've learned that the water in Rome is pretty excellent (far superior to the nasty taste in Agrigento). Water was a major source of power for the Romans, which is why those who tried to conquer Rome would also try to knock out their aqueducts. 

Line took us to see the Norwegian Institute next. The Institute is connected to the University of Oslow, but students from other schools in Norway also spend time there. It's purpose is to provide resources and space for students to further their studies in Rome and is largely focused on the humanities. We were definitely all tempted to enroll at the University of Oslow just to enjoy the beautiful view from the Institute. 

Because we all just love Garibaldi, we also saw a war memorial where his bones are kept. We noted the fascist font on the monument and recognized that it was a burial place without one Christian symbol. Focused instead on the power of the Roman Empire, the monument features an eagle, lion, and wolf. 

We briefly saw the church of San Pietro in Montorio, which some think is the site of St Peter's crucifixion (but like most religious history, it's highly debated). The courtyard was tiny but beautiful, and while we couldn't enter, we were able to see a small matryium (a tomb) built by Bramante. The dome is actually older than St. Peter's!

Passing the stations of the cross from the 1950s, we made our way down to Trastevere, which used to have a heavy population of Jews and early Christians (it was hard to distinguish back then). A lot of poor people lived in the neighborhood between 1950 and 1990, but since then, it's been gentrified and is a hip area in Rome to eat and drink, especially in the summer. We ended up having our group lunch at a great pizza place and watched Mellen easily consume six slices (it might even have been more...) 

Well nourished, we headed next to Santa Maria in Trastevere (busy day, right???) The church was founded in 350 AD and was dedicated to Mary, likely making it the oldest Marian church in Rome. In the 12th century, the church was torn down and rebuilt. While most churches in Rome turned into baroque churches, this one stayed pretty medieval looking, which I definitely enjoyed. 

We talked a lot here about Mary (well duh, it's called Santa Maria), but in the 12th century, Maryology really exploded! For the first time, Mary was considered almost as important as Christ, and many parallels are drawn between Mary and Christ, referring to Christ mothering us and giving birth to us. Inside, on the apse, Mary and Christ are actually sharing the same throne (pretty big deal). Line explained to us about medieval marriage and some really weird and confusing but cool ways that the apse and Psalm of Songs depict Mary as the church and the people, being embraced by Christ, the divine. We learned that that same throne image is found in Santa Maria Majore, the church where many of us went to mass since it right near our hotel! 

Line told us a lot about this super cool parable of the foolish and wise virgins, which is likely depicted in the top of the church. Lesson learned from the parable: Always be well-stocked with oil (Jk, be prepared for the coming of Christ). 

We finally made our way out of the cold and onto our lovely warm, smelly bus. But first we ventured through the Jewish ghetto (properly called the Piazza) of Rome. This area was infiltrated with Nazis during Mussolini's time, and many Jews who lived there were taken outside of Rome and eventually, to Auschwitz. Those  from the area who lost their lives in the Holocaust are commemorated with bras cobblestones throughout the area. 

On a more positive note to finish, we all also stepped inside a community bread baking oven (no worries, it isn't functional anymore). 

Signing off,
Molly Kearns

Note to self: Wear even more layers tomorrow. Brrrrrrrrrrr. 

First Day in Rome

While walking through the Palatine in Rome today Lynn informed us that the Romans enjoyed the ability to have a lot of water and controlling it since it portrayed their power. I'm sure all of us would agree that we wish we could have controlled water like the Romans a few nights ago. However, we have continued our course to Rome and today spent our first day exploring the forum and the monument of Victor Emanuel. 

Our first stop was the Forum of Nerva. What sets this ancient structure apart from the others is the fact that only women are depicted on it. This began the theme of women in the Ancient Roman world that developed throughout the day as we saw more of the Roman forum. On the forum of Nerva the women were shown performing the acts a Roman woman was excepted to carry out such as sewing and weaving. This column illustrated what it meant to be a woman in Ancient Rome. Women in Rome became a very important theme throughout the day. Rome is often imagined to be a woman which could symbolize either the prosperity or the decline of the empire (something we see more of in the forum). This was discussed in more detail later.  

We continued to an iconic tourist site in Rome, the Colosseum. The Colosseum is an amphitheater that held gory gladiator and animal fights. The construction of the amphitheater by Emperor Vespasian was a way of displaying power and entertaining citizens. The emperors believed that if people were fed and entertained that they wouldn't revolt (bread and circus phenomenon). A parallel can definitely be drawn to modern times as NFL playoffs begin in the United States and our Sunday nights are consumed by football. Go Panthers!

After the Colosseum we quickly stopped by the Arch of Constantine before making our way to the Palatine. The Palatine was the imperial residence and it is the origin of the word palace. Here we could gaze at engineering marvels such as the aqueduct and observe where impressive water features once stood. Another display of power by the Romans at the Palatine was the proximity to an ancient hut village. It is believed that this village is the origin of Rome built by Ramulus and Remus. Overall the Palatine was a large and impressive area that is yet another example of the power of the Roman Empire. 

After leaving the Palatine we took a short walk to the Roman forum. A forum is the gathering place and the heart of a city. We saw the Curia (senate building), temple of Saturn, and the palace of the Vestal Virgins. The Vestal Virgins were women who tended to the ancient fire and became symbols of the city. If one of the Vestals lost their virginity it was considered to symbolize the downfall of Rome. Although women appeared to be respected since they symbolized Rome, it was common for people to think that women were men who exited the womb too soon. Basically, women were almost good enough to be men, but not quite. Feminism wasn't happening in the forum. 

Our last stop for the day was the Victor Emanuel Monument (also known as the wedding cake) and the Risorgimento Museum that instigated the discussion of nationalism in Italy. Although the incorporation of Rome into Italy didn't occur until 1870, the people needed something more to feel like a unified nation. This monument includes 12 statues that symbolize 12 regions of Italy coming together. It was here that we were able to witness attempts to create nationalism as a secular religion in Italy. By personifying the many groups of people in Italy on one monument along with the creation of the Italian flag, citizens were presented with a physical symbol of their new national identity. 

This jam packed day was just a taste of Rome and I think we're all excited to see what the rest of this amazing city has to offer (including the tiramisu). 



Joel viewing Rome from the
roof of the Norwegian Institute.

We had an amazing view!
Bramante's Tempietto, which is on a site that was
associated with Peter's martyrdom during the Renaissance.

Mary and Christ in the apse at Santa Maria in Trastevere.
Guest speaker, Line Engh from the Norwegian Institute in
Rome, explains the mosaics.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

More pics from Professore Michele

The Colosseum is really interesting

May ponders gladiators, Hope curtails a sneeze

Cheap seats at the Coliseum

Three survivors from the Coliseum

The Roman Forum

Lynn admires Hadrian

Molly thumbs some notes about Hadrian's Villa

The Canopus

More Canopus?

Lynn, Chelsea, and Betsy enjoying the Villa D'Este

Wait! Lindsey saw something interesting.

Did everyone get this shot?

Hope didn't know I shot this

Diani knew I shot this

Three furies of the fountains

Friday, January 15, 2016

Some Recent Shots

Joel at the theater in Taromina, Sicily.

Coming up the stairs at the Royal Palace in Naples. No big deal.

Mike talks with students in the Royal Palace Theater, Naples.

A number of us wondered where we could
get one of these--a rotating reading desk!