A Multi-faceted Lasagna

Good day readers, it’s Saturday, June 15th, National Smile Power Day, and boy am I still smiling about CR. 

Back in Rome, our tour guide kept describe the geographical terrain of Rome resembling that of lasagna. So, seeing that the Italian’s now describe the history of their city like pasta, what better way to write a blog than about the ways I’ve seen the word lasagna play out through my time in Rome. 

LITERALLY

I’ve always loved food. The love derives from my Armenian roots, where I was taught that food is the best way for people to get together and for barriers to be broken down. This combined with my Grandma who, to say the least knows her way around the kitchen, has provided me a great baseline for cuisine knowledge. Thus, I was overly ecstatic to have been told that we would take a cooking class here in Rome. We could literally be making lasagna!

We made two types of pasta, which was fun to do considering that making it resembled playing with play-doh, except this time you could eat it, but I did that back then too so… nothing is different. 🙂 The best part about cooking and eating is undoubtedly the community and bonding that develops with it. Spending now 21 days with 15 best friends make me look forward to any meal because it means listening to Brent and Connor dialogue over things like weird history army failures, as well as sharing countless laughs with everyone across the room. 

FIGURATIVELY

Rome was described by our tour guide to our CR group as lasagna. Lasagna has many layers hidden underneath the top as well as many hills, like Rome does. I got to experience the lasagna first hand through Cathedral San Clemente. The name is as transparent as what I witnessed: a cathedral. The cathedral was built in the 12thcentury and it’s a beautiful work of art, like most cathedrals that we went into on the experience. What was special is not the top cathedral, but the cathedral that sits beneath the top one, which was constructed in the 4thcentury. I was able to see the figurative lasagna in action as I saw the reality of what is meant by Rome being “a city built upon a city”.  This 4thcentury cathedral was found by a man blasting through a wall. He then came upon old, yet intact artwork and statues. Imagine being the man to discover that! But the lasagna doesn’t stop there. There is another stairwell that leads to floor beneath the 4thcentury cathedral, which uncovers another layer of lasagna. This bottom layer actually is a house that dates back from the 1stcentury. This house was fitted with many rooms and even a courtyard. The element I found most intriguing about the house was that there was still a working aqueduct that flowed through one of the side rooms, which brings me to my next point. When Rome was constructed, the Romans also built a series of 11 aqueducts to route water from the nearby hills into the city. Today, 8 of them are still in use, talk about Roman engineering instead of German engineering. 

I also was able to see the idea of lasagna again through being in the Roman Forum. In the forum, one could see 4 layers of cobblestones buffered between one another, representing 4 different road heights at one point in time. Additionally, on some buildings, front doors lead to nothing because the walkway that used to exist at “ground level” was now 30 feet below. 

INTROSPECTIVELY

Rome was the last stop on the CR experience. By the time I finished Rome, I will have had 26 days and 6 cities to have hopefully grown and changed. Just like lasagna, there have been ups and downs throughout the days. Some days I would wake up tired feeling quite low, but I could count on the amazing people around me to raise me up to a high. Additionally, throughout this experience I have delved into many people’s layers, truly uncovering how exceptional these people act and how pure their hearts are. I am fortunate to have been in the presence of this group for this amount of time, and I hope to eventually add on another layer of lasagna in the future. 

That’s all for now.  

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