It’s Been Awhile

Hello my friends!

I have been so bad about updating the blog on weekends. I am sure that literally no one is anxiously awaiting for me to post something, therefore I don’t feel too bad about my delayed entries. Since my last post, I’ve seen my parents and gone to Acuto (the town where my grandparents were from), had SLU friends visit from Madrid, and traveled to Morocco. So yeah, it’s been fairly boring lately….

Tomorrow I plan on posting some photos from Acuto, and writing about my wonderful weekend in Morocco. It was easily the coolest culture I’ve ever been exposed to. Ah, I miss it already.

I apologize for how scattered this brief update is, I am currently taking a break from trying to memorize my lines for my oral Italian presentation (sometimes I forget I’m here to go to school…kidding Mario!)

In other news, I registered for the San Francisco half marathon today. Basically that means that I will (hopefully) not come back from the land of carbs that is Italy 15+ pounds heavier. In all seriousness, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I figure now is as good a time as any. It will be this July. I’m very excited!

Also, one of the families that I nanny for had a beautiful baby girl a few days ago! Congratulations to the Polly family on the birth of the adorable Eve Marion. Wish I was home to visit and drool over those cheeks! I am so excited to see Eve, and the rest of the gang this summer!

Well, I think that’s about it. Tomorrow after my presentation (unless I wither away in shame after forgetting all of my lines), I will share with you all (aka Kathy Pompili) my glorious time in Morocco. I’ll also give the details of the beautiful wedding I had there with Ahmed, my camel’s keeper. It was like a dream, or was it a dream? You’ll soon find out.

May you all have a wonderful Monday evening while this vagabond curses her parents for not speaking to her in Italian as a child.

Ciao!

XO,
FP

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A sneak peak into the wedding album.

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Free Toilet Paper

ATTENTION ALL:

In just 30 short minutes THE Kathy and Mario Pompili will be touching down in Rome. Mario has informed me that he has many activities planned (fingers crossed that they all include food), and Kathy is hand delivering me a fresh bottle of Siracha. Subsequently, we will venture out to the grocery store where my beloved givers of life will generously provide me with endless amounts of toilet paper. Who knew that stuff was so darn pricey when you’re paying for it yourself! I’m telling you friends, it’s the little things in life.

Oh of course I’m also excited to spend quality time with two of the best people in a beautiful country. It will be quite strange though, being in Italy with my parents but not my brothers. But something tells me that I’ll get over it, seeing as how Stephen and Edward are working and Joseph is being buried in snow. Yeah, come to think of it, I’m fine.

Now it’s 26 minutes people! 26! YAYAYAY!!!!!

I’m so giddy that the two tests I have this evening aren’t even on my mind….
Kidding Mom&Dad, my study break is over.

Happy Hump Day,
FP

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I Do Not Belong in Art Class

Hello, friends!

Since traveling to Rome I, surprisingly, have had many people (Mom&Dad) ask me how classes are going. I respond with the usual, “they’re good it’s too early to tell” response. However there is one class that I am struggling with quite a bit. My figure drawing class.

I, unartistic Francesca Pompili, am in a figure drawing class. Why? Well because I attend a liberal arts university, and therefore am required to take a fine arts course. I specifically saved this requirement for my semester abroad. I figured, what better place than Rome to study art. Right? Wrong. Oh so wrong. I signed up a little too late for classes. The only art course left which fit into my schedule was, yes you guessed it, figure drawing.

For those of you who don’t understand why I am making such a big deal about this, I will explain in quite simple terms. Every Monday, for 3 long hours and 15 tedious minutes, I have to draw a nude model.

Despite sometimes having the maturity level of a 13 year old boy (I blame Stephen Pompili), it is not the nudity that I have the issue with. I mean, do I want to stare at a naked stranger for 3 hours? No. But, can I sit in class without snickering for 90+ minutes? Obviously. So then what is the issue?

The issue is that I cannot draw. I would like to think that I am creative and quite crafty, but I am not artistic. I wish I were, but I’m not.

The first day of class the teacher went around the room, asking us what level of experience we have with art. I am one of 2 non-art majors in the class, and I responded by saying, “I’m a nanny, so I am very familiar with stick figure art”. The teacher was incredibly amused, but my peers all looked at me with pity. It’s hard being the non-artsy kid in the very artsy, art class.

I digress. I am sharing this because, 1.) I’m waiting for my laundry to be done (3 hour cycles, seriously Rome?!?) and, 2.) to hopefully provide you all with a good laugh.

With that said, let me finally get to the actual story.

It was on the second class that the nude model was present. We had to sketch her in two different positions. I struggled for all 3 hours and 15 minutes. Ferociously erasing, trying to figure out how to draw an arm that didn’t look like a flag pole, my angst made me stick out like a non-hipster sore thumb.

At the end of the class, the teacher asked us all to turn our giant sketch books around so he could critique, and so the model could look at our work. And that’s when it happened. The laugh. The model was approaching my easel when I, already cringing with shame due to my lack of talent, hear it. A soft, but distinct sound: a giggle. And then it grew a little bit louder, until it was obvious to just about everyone that the model, who I had just seen every nook and cranny of, was laughing…AT ME. I was too mortified at this point to get upset (and in retrospect, the situation was fairly comical), so I said, “Don’t worry you’re much prettier in person!”  And then she abruptly stopped laughing, because apparently now she didn’t find me oh so amusing, and walked away. Talk about awkward.

Oh the art world, a place where I will never have a place.

I would post my sketches, but I wouldn’t want to be laughed at, AGAIN.

I hope you all have a blessed day filled with people laughing with you, not at you.

Peace, Love, Art,
FP

Firenze e Pisa

Note: This post was written last Thursday – I did not get a chance to post it over the weekend.

Hi All!

As I sit at my gate, waiting to board my flight to Stockholm, I realize it’s been quite some time since my last post.

The weekend before last, I traveled to Florence and Pisa with my roommates and some other friends. Despite having already visited both of these cities before, I was eager to rediscover the beauty and history both cities had to offer.

Florence was quite fun. The leather market was sprawling with 10 versions of roughly the same 100 purses and scarves, mostly being sold by men who thought the line, “discount for the beautiful girl” would work. Nevertheless, my friends and I have some fun bartering for gifts and goodies to bring home. I walked away empty handed for a few reasons. The first being that nothing really stuck out to me. There were many beautiful bags and wallets, but nothing that I felt was worth the money. The second, I refuse to give any vender the satisfaction of turning a profit after being disrespectful (which sadly, most were). And third, I’m fairly certain that 99% of the purses were stolen, and as someone who feels too guilty to even download music illegally, I just couldn’t do it. So yes, (Mario Pompili), I did not spend a single Euro shopping in Florence. Miracles really do happen.

Of course we also went to see the inspiring pieces of art, sculptures, and churches that Florence has to offer. Similar to almost every other person who has ever visited the city, both David and the Duomo were two of my favorites.

While in the leather market on the second day of our trip, we met some people from Georgetown. They had arrived a few days before, and were studying in Florence for the semester. One thing led to another, and we ended up relaxing at John D. Rockefeller’s (where these kids live/go to school) villa later that night before going out. To say the place was unbelievably beautiful, is quite an understatement. Cheers to Standard Oil!

Later that night we had a little too much fun, and then hoped on a 4:30 a.m. train from Florence to Pisa. Oh, I probably should mention that my roommates and I decided to break away from the pack (the other 6 girls we were traveling with), and stayed in Florence for an extra night. We feel as though we hadn’t quite experienced enough of the city yet. OK, I lied. We didn’t get a chance the go a specific bar the night before, and we really, REALLY, wanted to. When in Florence, right?

We arrived in Pisa at around 6 a.m. and sleepily made our way to our B&B to sleep for about 3 hours before having to wake up, and check out.  A few hours later we (unwillingly) got up to start what would be a peculiar day. If you ask any Italian, you don’t go to Pisa. You just don’t. All that’s there is the leaning tower. You can see that in about .5 seconds. Add that to the 15 seconds it takes to snap an embarrassing and cliche photo of you “holding” the tower up, and you’ve conquered Pisa. With that said, as someone who had already seen the tower before, I could’ve done without going back. It was POURING rain all day, everything was over priced, the food was lousy, and I was nursing one bad hangover. I am very aware of how much of a brat I sound like, complaining about getting to travel all over Italy. However, I cannot lie. It just was not the most exciting thing I’ll experience this semester. Side note: I sincerely apologize if anyone reading this is from Pisa and if I offended them. Despite being Pisa’s biggest critic, the roomies and I were so sleep deprived that just about every single thing was hilarious and we were in fits of laughter nonstop. Albeit, mostly at the expense of Pisa, but smiles nonetheless. I am a horrible, overly privileged, snot…I know.

The day (Sunday) felt like it was dragging on, taking forever for our 3:45 p.m. train tome to roll around. Again, I’m very aware of how dramatic I sound. We happily hopped on our 4 hour train back to Rome, sleeping for almost all of it.

All in all, Florence was a trip that I will always look back on with even more admiration for Rockefeller. And Michaelagelo, I guess. (I’m totally kidding, Mom&Dad). Pisa will most likely be that story that every parent tries to avoid sharing with their child, because then they have to explain why they felt like a boulder was sitting on their head.

All joking aside, I had a wonderful weekend and continue to be amazed by how very lucky I am to be having these experiences!

Cheers,

FP

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Facade of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.

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The Duomo.

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 Meggy and I looking insignificant at the doors of the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella.

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 David – or as I call this one, “Davy got back”.

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 My special intentions (inside the Duomo).

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 Rockefeller’s study.

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Inside the villa.

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Pisa.