narni, again!

We took a tour of Narni during the second week, and to be honest, I wish we had taken it on the first or second day. Learning the history and knowing the names of certain places/ structures we had passed every day made me appreciate our temporary home that much more. But, regardless of when it happened, it was still very interesting and a great morning.

The tour began as a history lesson. The teacher, who was also our tour guide, was super fun. The lesson was about an hour, so after the slideshow (which I included some funny transitions and pictures), we headed outside and began to tour the town.

This is one of the painted pillars of Chiesa di San Francesco. I have no idea whose hand that is, but I think it makes the photo a little more interesting 🙂
This is the outside of Palazzo Comunale di Narni which, from what I remember, is the main governmental building within the town. This is also where we met the mayor of Narni a couple of days prior.
Some really intricate detailing on this otherwise generic structure.
Ahhhh. This photo takes me back. We walked this stretch every day to and from the hostel. It was right in the center of town, and it was always filled with people.
Here’s a headshot-like photo of the Pope right near the entrance of the Cathedral of Saint Juvenal. This was the one we went to mass in, and it was my favorite of all the churches.
Incredible floor mosaic.
Here’s Mary in one of the corners of the church.
Excuse this blurry picture. Our tour guide said that this corner near the ceiling was the only piece of mosaic (besides the floor) within the church. I found this science journal that has some cool info on its preservation and history if you’re interested.
This is one of the most beautiful pieces of art I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure what it is about it — maybe it’s the mid-century looking wings around the frame or the glitter star that was added to the woman in the painting — but I couldn’t stop staring at it. And even now looking at the pictures, it takes my breath away! So gorgeous.
Here’s an up-close shot of it. I really want to learn more about this piece of the church but can’t find any info online. If you find anything, please share it with me! I love the mix of styles so much and would really like to know who the artist (or artists) is.
Here’s the side of the same wing. I love the rose design up near the ceiling and those long lines that match the wings on the golden frame.
Here’s another part of the church (sorry for my lack of church geography terminology!). It was really hard to believe that we had mass in here because we didn’t see any of the insane details until we actually took the tour.
This area in the very front of the church is all marble.
This is right above the stairs that lead to the marble. When I attended the mass, this was mainly all that I could see. It’s still incredible, but I am so happy I saw the rest of the church or I would have missed out big time!
Alright, this is from another church: Santa Maria Impensole. It is a lot smaller than the other one, and many of the original, 8th-century frescoes still remain.
This one reminds me of American Gothic.

After touring the churches and learning a bit about the town, we had some lunch and then went to a mosaic-making class! As you know, I love love love mosaics, so I was really looking forward to this.

One of our chaperones took this photo. These are some of the natural materials that they use in the mosaic pieces. Before designing our own, we each learned how to use the chopping tool to break a piece of the stone into tiny pieces.
They gave us some templates to work off of, but we were allowed to choose whatever colors we wanted.
This is mine before placing down the pieces.
I was really excited to do this project since I’ve never made any type of mosaic before, but I’m not too happy with the final outcome. I think it looks a bit like cat puke. But, oh well. If anything, making one myself made me appreciate the process more than I did before.
My friends and I used the back of our mosaics as “yearbooks,” and we all signed them with little notes and messages. Despite not really liking how mine looks, the messages written on the back will make me love it forever!
Surprise, surprise… another gelato. This time I was in dire need of chocolate (hello, period!), so I just got some classic cioccolato and some sort of Oreo flavor.
Hanging out with the neighborhood kitties while we waited for dinner.
Another day, another delightful sunset.

After dinner that night, we had to go back to the hostel to change into nicer clothes for a concert. This was the big gala concert for the Narnia Festival’s grand opening, and since part of the scholarship was attending the festival concerts, we were all invited to attend. It was held at the Chiesa di San Domenico, a church that was elegantly decorated for the event. Despite the modern decor and design, its history was still very much preserved, presenting a lovely contrast as we walked through the doors.

For some reason, our group was not saved any seats in the audience. We were told to move to the side of the church and sit on the steps behind the walls next to the audience. This was a bit unexpected, but it ended up being a perfect surprise. My friends and I lied down on the steps, staring up at the most idyllic ceiling and listening to Vivaldi music. It felt like a dream, and I often wish I could go back in time and relive this moment.

Here’s the phenomenal painted ceiling we admired while taking in the music.

Halfway through the (very long) concert, we noticed people beginning to set up food behind us. It smelled so good, and there was so much of it, so we all got kind of antsy and were dying to eat. Once it ended, we were the first ones to get to it (score!). I can’t remember much of what I ate, but I do recall having some very good pizza and some sort of pesto pasta salad.

Another shot of the ceiling.
This is taken from the stairs we were lying down on; the audience is just past that wall. Once or twice during the concert, we noticed a photographer taking a photo of us all lying down and staring at the ceiling. I really wanna know where that photo is! Maybe we’ll be in the festival’s pamphlet next year 🙂

Believe it or not, that was just one day. The next day was a little less eventful, so I’ll share that tomorrow since it will be a much shorter post. Then, ROME! Ahhh. Buonanotte, i miei amici!

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