Each Monday the language school provides a list of optional activities. Some are free, some cost the price of a train ride, and some the cost of a meal.
Monday was pranzo (lunch) at a trattoria in the inside area (we’d likely call it an atrium) in what was a grand palazzo back in the day. Followed by an orientation tour of the city for those new arrivals.
Tuesday was a visit to the Chiesa (church) di Santa Maria della Vita. the church has many great frescoes and the baroque interior has been restored but it is overshawdowed by Lamentation over the Dead Christ (1463) by Niccolo’ dell’Arca. It is a remarkable piece (actually pieces) in terracotta portraying life-size grieving mourners at the death of Christ. The story goes that the church was part of a religious hospital complex and it is thought that the artist may have studied the faces of the sick and suffering to have made such intensive expressions of grief.
On Thursday afternoon some of the class attended an Italian film presented by the school and then afterwards a discussion was held in Italian about the movie. Tytti from Finland and I opted to attend a cooking class (more about that in another post).
Friday was pranzo al ristorante “La Scalinatella” where they specialize in pizza napoletana. Since I will miss out on the pleasure of eating pizza a Napoli when Eric heads south, I decided to treat myself to one on Friday. Great stuff. Highly recommend this ristorante with really reasonable prices and a wide variety of options, including a buffet! After pranzo a group of us (basically myself, one of the instructors and about 10 Norwegian students) went to view the Roman ruins under the floor in the library. Amazing.
The library (Biblioteca Sala Borsa) is part of the large Palazzo Comunale complex and was build within the shell of the form stock exchange (borsa). A glass floor in the center area reveals excavations of the medieval and Roman settlements including part of the forum and Roman pavement. You can access the ruins from the lower basement level when it is open. That is the best way to view.