Monday, July 28, 2008

"Il Cavaliere Oscuro" & Pizza con Gelato

July 25, 2008

This week wasn't too exciting, but it certainly had a few highlights as the title might suggest : ) Monday and Tuesday I took pretty easy and just relaxed after school since the weekend had kind of burnt me out. Tuesday we went as a class to an Italian bookstore and had to answer stupid questions about various Italian authors. The best part, however was finding a book called Questo Libro Ti Salverà La Vita (This Book Will Save Your Life), with a picture of a horse jumping throught a donut on the cover : ) If only it wouldn't be so hard to read... Wednesday was great though! During our afternoon session of class, we had to give these stupid "student-guided tours", in groups, of various places near the study center. Gabi, Carly, and I chose Largo Argentina, aka the cat park, as did two other groups, so our teacher made one group change last-minute and then combined my group with the other. It was actually really easy, we just translated bits of info we found online and read it to the rest of the class. Since they didn't take long, we got out of class almost an hour early!
My roommates and I had decided to be true Americans and go see the new Batman film that night, The Dark Knight, as it opened in Italy a week later than in the States (by the way, over here it's called Il Cavaliere Oscuro, haha). We found a theater nearby that was playing it in English (but with Italian subtitles as we later found out!) and bought our tickets online. Although we were pretty hyped up about the movie, we might have been equally excited to eat popcorn, something we had all been craving for a while. It was definetely typical movie theater popcorn, but we brought garlic powder from home to jazz it up. Carly and I also got M&Ms to balance the salty with something sweet, and needless to say, we went home with quite the stomach ache, but happy nonetheless. As most feedback as said, the movie was INCREDIBLE. I've rarely been kept on the edge of my seat quite like this by a film, to the point that I was literally squirming. The plot was seriously twisted but geniously written. The action was great, of course, but the real scene stealer was Heath Ledger as the Joker, perhaps the best movie villain ever. Heath went so deep into his character that at no point did I even remember it was him who was the actor. I was absolutely impressed, and cannot recommend this movie enough. If you haven't seen it, go! And if you have, go see it again!!
Thursday morning and afternoon were kind of boring as we had yet another long day of class. Instead of class in the morning, we had a tour at the national library, the Biblioteca Nazionale. It wasn't very interesting, but our tour guide was super sweet and spoke really clearly so that I actually understood practically everything she said! Such a small thing actually made me feel really good. Afterward, we had a short break before we had to head back to the study center for the afternoon part of class, so I took the metro to Termini to get my train ticket for the weekend then hurried home for a quick lunch. That evening we had been invited by Carlo to dinner at his place followed by live music at some outdoor hipster venue. We were all tired, but Carly and I decided not to waste one of our few nights left in Rome so just the two of us went, and we were so glad we did! As usual, Carlo prepared us quite a culinary experience. Before that evening, Gabi had mentioned something about him making fried pizza, which sounded kind of strange, but I'm always open to trying new things. But we were in for a surprise, as the meal turned out to be balls of fried pizza dough, served with fresh tomatoes, hot chili peppers....and herb flavored gelato!!! I kid you not, we stacked the gelato (basil, parsley, or celery) and tomatoes on the dough, and then finished it with grated parmesan. The gelato was oddly refreshing and tasted just like the real thing, and the dough was ymmy (as most fried things unfortunately are), but I;m not sure if I was a fan of the combination. Next, Carlo brought out a different flavor to try with smaller dough balls...GORGONZOLA!! It was actually a little disconcerting how realisticaly it tasted like the cheese, but again, not a huge fan. Once again, I found myself munching on the hot peppers in between courses, trying to keep up with the guys who were eating them without flinching. The final course was a larger hunk of fried dough stuffed with cheese and ham. Carlo forgot to leave the ham out of one for me, but I was able to pick it out quite easily and still enjoy it. We finished the meal with limoncello and rum cocktails, which lead to Carly and I showing the Italians how we drink in America: shots!
Then Carlo drove us to this outdoor venue where the young hipster scene of Rome hangs out at night listening to live bands. Carly and I were a little peeved that there was a cover charge that Carlo hadn't told us about, but luckily Carlo ended up paying for most of it. We hung out for about an hour, listening to the music of a band from England (not very impressive though) and people watching. It was really cool to see and experience such a hidden part of Italian youth culture. It didn't take long before the wee hours and the drinks made us exhausted, and once we were able to pry Federico from his lady friend of the night, Carlo drove us home.
This morning (Friday) was hectic as we leave for Capri today and I had to finish packing and doing the homework I didn't do from the night before. We had our final oral exams today, too, but I actually think mine went pretty well. And I found out I got 4/5 on the oral midterm, which I felt I did terribly on, so that was good news! It was nice to do some different things this week and take it relatively easy, especially since this weekend should be wonderful and exhausting... I can't wait for Capri!!


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