I went to Rome with Mum from September 26th and a week forward. We found our hotel pretty quickly and then rested a bit after a surprisingly draining flight. Another surprise came when we found out that we lived super central to everyting! I had just wanted a place close to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, where the Story Design Conference was held (my reason for going).
We walked to the Spanish Steps and had our first gelato. We were stunned to see how incredibly crowded that and every other hot spot in the city was, despite it being outside of the tourist season.
We found dessert first and then ate dinner later. Totally normal.
Before we knew it, we'd walked all the way to Piazza del Popolo which was quite a way aways. On our way back we stumbled across some Disney and even Fontana di Trevi. Feet tired, we fell asleep to a movie on my laptop.
Monday morning in Roma. We found the fanciest fabric store I've ever been in and went back to the fountain in daylight.
It was interesting to see that Rome doesn't just have a lot of churches and the Vatican. Faith is such a big pat of Rome and it was present all around.
My favourite church that we saw: Basilica di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. Also known as the only "gothic" church in a country that prefers baroque. And it was not a pure gothic piece, which made it all the more exciting for me to behold. Even more surreal: the outside looked completely ordinary.
The Pantheon is a stone throw away from Minerva, so we went there next.
It was weird thinking about just how old it is. And the pillars in the entrance are not stacked, but one piece that was raised at the same time. Old civilizations amaze me. Also, it always amuses me to see the Danish flag in religious places (Holy flag that fell from the skies).
I sketched some stuff around town.
We got tired of the buzz of tourists and went past Piazza Navona in our search for some tranquillity. We found it.
We then got something to drink at the rooftop bar at the Grand Hotel right by Minerva. Our timing was perfect as we just made it for the golden light of twilight. It was super fancy and they even had a pianist play for the guests.
Tuesday morning we went to meet up with some of the Story Design people in front of the Vatican Museum. We then met our guide and started our tour, skipping past the line. I'm weird and almost enjoyed seeing that twisted archway more than the most original Laocoon and His Sons.
Of course the Pope was present.
More paintings. 2D ones made to look 3D, tapestries with optical illusions, beautifully saturated women - and the map room, which was absolutely gorgeous and filled with odd creatures. And then everyone else took photos in the Sistine Chapel, so....
Onwards to the biggest church in the world. It was pretty big.
The amount of mosaic made me dizzy. And there was so much holy light which was fairly breathtaking.
We then bid adieu to the others, some of which wanted to go up into the dome. I wanted to as well, but I was super hungry. So Mum and I went looking for food instead. We found this little place with delicious panini - Duecento Gradi.
Then we took the bus to Trastevere for a more laid back Rome.
We caught the last beams of sunlight on this piazza as I sketched.
The sun was setting, but we decided to hurry to Giancolo to get views of the city. We just made it! On our way home we passed this church that somehow felt super familiar to me.
Wednesday arrived and with it the first day of the conference.
I went out to eat with Mum afterwards and then met up with Julia at the Spanish Steps for some late-night sketching. There were less people which was nice - and most were couples hand in hand or families.
I walked through this park on my way to "class". And after a slightly failed restaurant lunch on the first day, a lot of people got something to eat on the steps of the palazzo.
Afterwards we went sketching close by the Colosseu at the Senate. After getting gelato, of course.
Kasper guided us to a restaurant in Trastevere where they found room for us all. The food was cheap and delicious at Ristorante Il Ponentino - and the company was nice.
Another day of lectures and roaming around Roma.
Live demo with Jenn Ely and Claire Keane.
And then noone wanted to leave so we went to the coffee shop across the street to draw and talk.
We got dinner from this street food spot where Mum met us and walked to Piazza di San Pietro to eat and get a quick look inside the church and Michelangelo's sculpture.
There was even a church concert, which my Mum had wanted to see. We then walked to Colosseo but decided to leave when it started to rain.
Everyone wanted gelato though. So even with rain attacking from above, we all got ice cream.
We ended up drenched. But it was a really fun experience eating ice cream that was being rained away by the second. I got dried off back at the hotel and then went to a bar for a few hours with some of the others.
I managed to get a portfolio review Sunday morning and then headed out vintage shopping with Mum. There wasn't a lot of people at the conference that morning because of the reviews, which was a little sad on the last day. Would have been nice with a full day together - this wound up a little anticlimactic.
I ended up having to leave the conference a day early to make our flight back which sucked. But we were a huge group and it would have been hard to say bye to everyone anyway. And it was gorgeous to see the sun set on an aircraft.