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Its hard to believe that one week has already passed since we began our study adventures in Rome. The past seven days have been a whirlwind of cobblestoned streets, sketchbooks, slices of pizza and of course, stunning architecture. We began our course on Tuesday (Monday was a public holiday) by visiting the IED Roma (European Institute of Design) and meeting our teachers. I'm sure that all of my classmates would agree that we were immediately charmed by our lovely teacher, Barbara. She is a very talented artist who has illustrated many books and drawn designs for famous jewellery brand, Bvlgari. Throughout the week, while we sat in front of famous monuments, beautiful churches and unique Roman scenes, Barbara has been flitting around, watching us sketch and giving valuable advice on technique, as well as telling us all about this amazing city.

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Our first assignment began at the university, which has its very own aqueduct running through the garden behind the building. We found a spot in the shade (did I mention how hot it is in Rome at the moment? Around 35 degrees everyday!), and sketched what we saw in front of us.

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On day two, after an interesting and somewhat confronting experience with the Roman metro, we began right in front of the Colosseum. Talk about getting right into it! As someone who has never been to Rome before, I will tell you that nothing prepared me for seeing the Colosseum in real life. It is so strange to see something you have seen so many times in photographs or on television right in front of you for the first time. It is crazy to think about all the battles that went on inside those very walls. From there we walked down to the Roman forum and visited the museum, which was a lovely place to just sit and draw, without crowds of people walking around you.

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We saw a lot on our third day of the course. Barbara took us to see the Borghese Gardens, The Capuchin Crypt, where we saw the real skulls and bones of over 3,000 Capuchin Monks arranged into scenes depicting different aspects of their lives - very creepy but also fascinating, The Spanish Steps, as well as San Carlino Church and The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs. Sketching parts of these places allowed us to really appreciate all the fine details and elements of the architecture.

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All in all, it has been a great week, with so much already seen, yet still so much more to explore. I can't wait to see what is in store for us this week!