Henry Minot ’17
Having studied Classics and Music in Hartford, a fall semester in Rome has been breathtaking so far. I’m spending my Senior Fall studying abroad on the Trinity College in Rome program. The program boasts an amazing campus in terms of staff, location and programing. The campus sits on the Aventine Hill, overlooking the Circus Maximus and the neighboring Palatine, which houses Imperial Palace Ruins. Consisting of a convent (residential space, classrooms and dining hall), a hotel (further housing), and the office (classrooms, library and office space), the campus is conveniently located in a tranquil residential neighborhood.
Still, there is plenty to draw you into the city –– many classes consist of walking tours. My Art Conservation course is taught by Professor Persegeti, a restorer for the Vatican Museum. Professor Persegeti was the first female restorer, hired in 1990, and has led us on behind-the-scenes tours to the myriad museum laboratories, Pope Pious IV’s casino (closed to the public), and a weekend tour of the Venetian Lagoon and city. In Ancient Art of Rome, 9 a.m. walking tours have us chasing after a cynical Belgian archaeologist, who claims to have blood on his hands from time in the Belgian armed forces. He’s brought us to a variety of museums and ruins, including walking tours of Pompeii and Emperor Tiberius’ Villa on Capri.
Beyond the academic offerings, Rome offers so many rewards in exchange for a little exploration and curiosity. Visiting monuments lit at nighttime with a cone of gelato is a nice break after a week of classes, and even American-style student bars provide a great first stop before live music venues with more local culture. Stepping outside of my comfort zone in search of a haircut, I entered a barbershop which seemed suitable given the waiting space was filled with old Italian men. My basic Italian skills supported by a lot of Latin let me tell Salvatore, the barber, what I wanted.
Lou Reed sang “You can never tell anybody anything,” and that line resonated with me during my first weeks in Rome. You can hear countless lessons, but even the most attentive of us don’t pay attention to everything. Being in a different environment can be such a jarring change that a brand new culture can tell you everything.
Henry Minot ’17