Buongiorno from Perugia, Italy! Our trip had an incredible start in Rome the past three days. We started the first night at Papa Rex restaurant, enjoying our first authentic Italian meal. The group fashioned traditional Roman togas as we sang and danced around the restaurant with the talented opera performers tableside. While many of the trip members knew little or no Italian when they arrived, all of them can now greet and thank any Italian they encounter! I love to hear them walk into a shop and say “buongiorno” (hello) or “grazie” (thank you). We were all in awe of the beautiful architecture and enjoyed walking through the winding streets of Rome, the famous Spanish Steps and the Pantheon. We spent the evening following our exciting day by relaxing at a casual dinner in smaller groups, which allowed everyone to have wonderful conversations and delicious food with their new friends.
The following morning, we set out for the Vatican City, where we met up with our wonderful tour guide who led us through the unique displays around the Vatican museums with ease. Everybody loved being able to walk quietly through the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Cathedral, where – although pictures were limited – we were able to capture the beauty and essence of the Roman Catholic traditions.
After, we walked along the Tiber River to the Colosseum where the boys made their best gladiator poses in the middle of the ancient structure and imitated some fight scenes! The Colosseum was a major highlight of the day, where many of our trip members claimed it was the “coolest” place they had ever been to. They were discussing their knowledge of the history of the Colosseum and the Roman Empire as we walked through the structure, and it was truly enlightening to hear the conversations that went on! We walked to the Ancient Roman Forum directly after, where they engaged in some invigorating dialogue with our tour guide about the famous Julius Caesar.
After an incredible day full of history, and rome-ing the city, we took some time to reflect on the incredible sights from the day, and discussed our favorite parts of Rome. The Colosseum was the clear favorite, with the Vatican a close second.
Later, we ventured to Piazza Novana where we met in the square and smaller groups went to different spots off the square for dinner. Several of them revealed that they had tried the best pizza and pasta of their lives and were very excited to have shared a meal with new people they had just met! We ended our final night in Rome at the infamous Trevi Fountain, where each of us made three wishes and enjoyed some delicious gelato!
Overall, we had an amazing time in La Chita Eterna (the Eternal City)! Everybody loved exploring the streets of Rome, learning about the history and culture of the Roman people, as well as trying their first authentic Italian cuisine.
Until Next Time,
The Westcoast Blogger