Absolutely! That’s how it felt anxiously awaiting for the time Temple Rome’s darkroom opened for the semester and I could finally develop the four rolls of film I shot over the break. What I especially love about film photography is that I’m more inclined to take adventurous photos—I’m sure that’s not what you’d expect to hear when each roll costs five or six euros and you’re limited to 36 shots! Whereas I take more documentary style photographs with my phone, I love that black and white film encourages me to play with the depth of field, lighting, and texture. So… Let me share some of my favorite shots!
Felice Anno Nuovo (or, in Latin: Annum Novum Felicem)! I was so busy having fun traveling outside of the major cities that I am lumping together my experiences of several small towns outside of Rome with what I saw in the Naples area.
Tivoli. I visited Villa d’Este, a 16th century villa with frescoed rooms reminiscent of Pompeii and an incredible fountain garden.
Subiaco. I braved the winding path up the mountain to the Sacro Speco (Sacred Cave) of St. Benedict. The frescoes were outstanding, ranging from the mid-13th century to the 15th century, and it was amazing to sit and pray in the very cave of St. Benedict’s hermitage. This was by far my favorite destination!
Civita di Bagnoregio. Despite the rain, it was great to see the hilltop village that was the source of inspiration for Laputa in the Studio Ghibli movie Castle in the Sky.
Caserta. During the drive south I visited the Royal Palace, which was the residence of the the Bourbon kings of Naples and Sicily.
Naples. I managed the chaos of the Naples metro system to visit the Naples National Archaeological Museum. It was great to see so many of the frescoes from Pompeii and Herculaneum!
Herculaneum. I visited Herculaneum before Pompeii, and I am so glad I did! It is much smaller and much easier to explore every nook and cranny of the city.
Pompeii. I hardly have the words to describe how exciting it was to wander the streets of Pompeii. The Etruscan Temple of Apollo, the House of the Faun, the Villa dei Misteri, the cave canem mosaic, even the Lupanar… This was one of those visits where I hope I can come back more than once.
Mount Vesuvius. Hiking from the base of the volcano up to the crater was awesome! I was lucky enough to catch the amazing view of the Bay of Naples on a clear day.
The Amalfi Coast. Driving along the Amalfi Coast reminded me of road trips through Big Sur. After seeing Positano and Maiori for myself, I saw why they are such popular destinations. I was lucky to see them on such a beautiful day, even in late December!
Now it’s time to prepare for a new apartment, new classes, and new experiences! With one semester under my belt, I am looking forward to feeling more confident as I seek new places and experiences. If anyone is interested in a more detailed post about any of these visits, I have plenty of photos to share!