We began our trip with a stroll through the historical and beautiful Villa Borghese gardens where we took the opportunity to get to know each other through some fun (and funny) icebreakers. After stepping out of our comfort zones, we continued on our walk and entered into the famous Piazza del Popolo where we got a chance to see a concert series called The Wind Summer Festival.
With stomachs grumbling for some tasty Italian food, we headed to an ancient Roman-themed dinner filled with authentic Italian music, which included a piano, accordion and an opera singer who serenaded us throughout our meal. Between courses, we gathered for photos in our togas and one of us even went to play the piano.
The second day started with a trip to the Spanish Steps, the longest and widest steps in Europe. We were in awe of the unique architecture throughout Rome and explored the piazza with all of its cafes, restaurants, and shops. From there, we continued on through the small cobblestone streets, stopping at the Capitol Building and the Pantheon, which was originally a Roman temple that was later converted to a Christian church. We took a break for lunch at Campo di Fiori where some trip members had their first authentic Italian panini and pizza.
That evening, we experienced how grandiose the Roman Empire was with a guided tour of the Colosseum, where we heard tales of battle and bloodshed and saw where the emperor overlooked his slaves-turned-gladiators. With a view of the Roman Forum, our guide explained to us how the city functioned and pointed out the hilltop where the emperor used to live.
We ended our day at Piazza Novano, one of the world’s most famous squares decorated with three elegant fountains. We indulged in delicious Italian cuisine and entertainment, with street performances of Michael Jackson and Brazilian Capoeira. One trip member even got the chance to attempt her own impersonation of MJ with a moon walk, and we closed the night with a double scoop of Gelato.
On the third day, we left the country of Italy…and entered the Vatican City. With our audio headset in hand, we began our guided tour through the lavish Vatican Museum where we admired the vast collection of tapestries, sculptures, and paintings on the walls and ceilings. The hallways led us to the jaw-dropping Sistine Chapel and then to the plaza outside of St. Peter’s Basilica. Sitting outside the walls of the Vatican City, we enjoyed a tasty lunch. Our next stop was Travestere, where we navigated through the narrow streets and alleys while looking at the unique shops and finding a fun place to eat. A few of our group members entertained the tourists and the locals with their impressive street performance of a handshake dance. We enjoyed the cool night breeze and threw coins in the sparkling Trevi Fountain, wishing for our return back to Rome. This beautiful city has brought us great food, new friendships, and left us excited to see what else Italy has to offer.
And so we packed our bags and headed to the mountainous town of Perugia.
Until Next Time,
The Westcoast Blogger