I spent the majority of yesterday with flu-like vomiting and I am now covered in some kind of hives or something...and I have no idea why or how. I refuse to see a doctor here because they are completely out of it. One girl who went for her bug bites (that were so numerous, she originally thought she had shingles) was booked for Swine Flu, and another girl who we think has bed bugs was told that her bites were a rash from contact with her clothing...which was obviously not the case. Therefore I am self medicating with the slew of drugs I brought from home and resting plenty. It sucks because I've had to miss class and we just started a new subject: Introduction to the Art World with Tom Flynn who is a British journalist that used to work for an auction house and it is AMAZING! He is so interesting and lively and the subjects are fascinating. We are learning all about different aspects of the art world and how they came to be about and how they interact, like collections and museums and auction houses and that sort of thing. Therefore, I'm quite upset I spent yesterday afternoon yacking into a bucket instead of in class...
On Wednesday night we had a party, this time thrown by John and Jane, a married couple in the program (well, John is. Jane is just tagging along). John is a former CIA agent and they are staying in the Palazzo Farratini, an Italian palace built in 1517 that is run by Count Farratini who is a direct descendant from Cardinal Farratini who was the chancellor of St. Peters! Pretty awesome! The Palazzo was built by the same architect who worked on the Vatican and still has original floors, ceilings, and artwork including portraits and frescoes. Some things were added in the 1700s but for the most part, it's this crazy old awesome palace where they have a lot of weddings and the Count was gracious enough to let us have a party there, including a tour of the first 2 floors (out of 5, and a basement). Because other people are currently staying there as well (it had to be opened to the public as a bed and breakfast to receive restoration funding from the government) that was as far as our tour reached.
Jane and her visiting friends Heidi, her husband, and their ADORABLE 16 year old daughter Alena (spell check?) spent all day making the most outrageously delicious hors d'oeuvres (some of which I got the recipes to, including these stuffed baby tomatoes I almost died for, they were so amazing) and we had a full spread, tons of wine, and great music. After a while, Alena pulled out her ipod and all the women got together and had a dance party in the yard. I took many pictures, so I will definitely put them up when I get a few moments.
Tonight we have a meeting with Noah Charney, the ARCA director, to address the numerous issues that have arisen since we've been here. Then, tomorrow before class at 9, we have a meeting with Madi Gandolfo, our dean, to continue discussing issues. Antonio and Isa will be heading out for a vacation at the sea this weekend, and I plan to do some laundry and figure out how to cook in their absense! It should all be very interesting. More blogs soon!! And keep on the lookout for exciting new pictures!