Monday, December 11, 2006

November 2006 - Rome, Italy - The House Party

This week we had a small party in our apartment to say good-bye to our classmates. Pictured here with us from left to right are Giuliana, John, Ana, Klara and Irina.
"You can't imagine . . . ," Irina tells Ana, describing her love for vodka, lots and lots of "vooodka".
Everyone started off just chatting but then Kenny started playing DJ. First, Irina showed us a little Russian dancing.
Then Dante started playing hip-hop. It was so much fun to watch these girls from all over Europe rap to 50 Cent and do the booty dance.
Russian booty meets Cuban booty. I'm afraid the Russian doesn't stand a chance.
But once the salsa music started, Kenny stole the show. He spun all of the girls around the dance floor.
The evening finally wound down and we sat around and talked with all of the great friends we've made. We're really going to miss everyone, but hopefully we'll be able to visit them all in their home countries.
Here is a great group shot expertly taken by Kenny.
We also toured a couple of small art galleries this weekend. Here we are at the Doria-Pamphili Gallery, once home to the son of Pope Innocent X. This gallery has an amazing collection of Renaissance art including a very famous portrait of Pope Innocent X done by Velasquez, which the Pope declared was "too real".
We also visited the Spada Gallery which belonged to 2 rather eccentric "brothers" who were both Cardinals (apparently it was weird even back then for these 2 brothers to live together in this large overly decorated palazzo). They lived here together and collected primarily Renaissance art.
The palazzo has an amazing courtyard designed by Boromini, which shows off his mastery of perspective. It appears to be four times as long as it really is. Very cool!

Finally, we visited the Palazzo Barberini, the most famous of these Renaissance galleries. This palazzo once the home of the Barberini family has been named the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antico and is a state run museum. The Galleria is said to contain the best collection of Renaissance art in Italy.

In addition, the ceiling of the main hall contains a fresco by Cortona which pays homage to the Barberini family and exhibits their "great virtue." Regardless of the pompous attitude leading to the painting of the fresco, it is one of the most magnificent frescoes we have seen and this gallery is a must see.

No comments: