This morning, we began our day with a trek across the city to the Villa Giulia Museum. Located as far from our apartment as possible without leaving the city, this museum was once the summer villa of Pope Julius III. Today, it houses one of the best collections of Etruscan antiquities in Italy, including important finds from some of the major Etruscan cities that we will visit during our road trip through ancient Etruria (now modern-day Tuscany) next week.
After an introductory lecture in the gardens (cut short by the oh so lovely noise of metal being cut by a table saw), the group received free time to explore in the museum. During this time, each student was asked to choose an object in the museum that they found interesting and prepare a quick presentation on its importance. The students selected a variety of objects, ranging from Etruscan terracotta sarcophagi to Greek vases to bronze armor. Professor Ulrich also led the group to some of the greatest hits of the museum, including the Marriage Sarcophagus from Cerveteri and the sculptures from the Portonaccio Temple at Veii. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos of the objects ( unless, of course, you wanted a guard to run over yelling “No photo!”). However, I did manage to sneak some pics of the students giving their presentations. Win.
After our museum visit was over, the students had the rest of the afternoon off. Some meandered their way back to the apartment along the Tiber River. Others attempted to visit some churches. But most factored in an afternoon nap before completing the reading for tomorrow's trip to the Roman Forum.
So much excitement for the introductory lecture. Well, at least Teddy is pumped.
Teddy and Lucas contemplate the wonders of Greek red figure pottery.