Italian Art Class 2017
This culture is different in many ways. However, for myself, being from Southern Appalachia, it is quite different. The pace is much faster, the cars have little courtesy, and the crowds are huge. Even with all of the crazy hustle and bustle, THIS IS STILL ROME! A place where Paul the Apostle walked, a place where Constantine legalized Christianity, and is now home to The Vatican. This is Rome!
The next thing that widely differs from Southern Appalachia, is the amount of history within the area. Southern Appalachia is extremely proud of its history. They preserve it, turn it into a state park, or rope it off so people can see if forever. However, the amount of things that could be considered historical is quite small compared to Rome. Here in Rome it seems that everything you touch is historical. There will just be piles of rocks laying in the middle of a court yard, and it is the foundation of an ancient structure. These structures, buildings, and roads are all ones that have tiny bits of history that go back hundreds and thousands of years. Something that I am unaccustomed to.
Yet another thing that has been different from Southern Appalachia is the crowds. There are so many people here! However, these crowds do not mind to get in your personal space. My group and I stopped for Gelato at a tiny shop. However, that shop was completely full of people. When I say completely full, I mean every single person in the shop was being touched by another person, simply because there was not enough room for everyone to stand. Now I understand why in America we have fire codes, and only so many people are allowed within certain spaces.
The last cultural difference is not so different at all from Southern Appalachia. That is it seems as if there is a church on every street corner. However, these churches are huge and very elaborate compared to all of our small Protestant churches. There are many Baroque style churches within Rome. These churches are completely filled with wonderful art on every inch of the structures. It is magnificent. With myself being a protestant Christian, studying these churches during the class, I thought that these churches would seem distracting. I now believe I was wrong. Walking through these churches is spiritual experience. Seeing the biblical iconography everywhere in such beautiful light is just amazing. Even though there are so many differences from Southern Appalachia, these are just the primary differences that seemed to catch my eye while in my first day of Rome.