Before this opportunity I had never been to Europe, and I always wanted the chance to explore it’s many countries and their rich collections of art. I wanted above all other places, while abroad last spring, to visit Rome, which posesses works and pieces by some of my favorite artists throughout history. Thanks to the generous travel grant offered to me, I found myself visiting the Vatican Museums and the Borghese Gallery, while also wandering the streets walking into churches and coming across famous landmarks. The experience of being alone in a new city, and seeing places with art dating back to ancient Rome, is incomparable, and served as a starting point for a semester filled with new cities and experiences.
The Vatican museums were my first stop, and inside of them I circled floors and rooms filled with art from all over the world, with visitors from all over as well. Seeing the amount of people, who set out to see these places in Rome, showed me the importance of maintaining all art from throughout history and how it unifies different cultures and countries. In the final part of the museum, all these people stare up at the ceiling and walls of the Sistine Chapel, admiring the world famous work of Michelangelo. You can hear dozens of languages being spoken, and the continuous fascination with work done hundreds of years prior. It was incredible see the influence of a single man’s work still today.
In the Borghese museum the following day I had the opportunity to see art pieces I studied in my survey courses, and was able to fully appreciate them in person knowing information and specific attributes. Circling Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne, I enjoyed every detail because for the first time I could take my classroom knowledge and apply it to real life. Often people wonder about what part of their education carries with them, and I finally had my own answer.
Between these museums I explored places like: the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, the Capitol Building, the Borghese Park, and the Colosseum. I had so much time to be on my own and try out really having independence. The grant offered me the chance to push my own boundaries and place myself outside my comfort zone. Seeing the incredible art and locations all around the city was just a bonus to my own individual growth. I could see a new culture and population that will be engrained in my memory, and a piece of my life through every experience to come. I am so grateful I was given this opportunity, and will continue to approach my life with the perspective and knowledge I gained in Rome.