Our group is off to an amazing start in Rome! From the moment everyone met at the airport, the bond between us has grown by the day, allowing for a great group dynamic! We got to know one another as we explored the magnificent city of Roma and all it has to offer. Everyone wore togas to our first dinner at Papa Rex and enjoyed listening to traditional opera music while digging into the delicious pizza and pasta.
During our tour of the Colosseum, our guide provided us with invaluable knowledge about the history of Rome. In the Vatican, we learned about the importance of the Catholic Church as we toured the museum complex, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. We also had the incredible opportunity to walk through the old city center and see many ruins of the buildings from the traditional Roman Empire. Our group’s interest in learning about the city was evident by how well they listened and the detailed questions they asked throughout the tour. Trip members also had the chance to tour the Pantheon and take great pictures at the famed Trevi Fountain-a landmark known for tossing coins in using the right hand over the left shoulder while making a wish! Roma’s beauty reminded us of how different the architectural structures are back home.
Next stop, Perugia! We headed straight to the chocolate factory where trip members were keen to watch an educational video about the production line and what happens, starting from the moment a cocoa bean is picked off the tree. We toured the museum and factory, which concluded with a yummy tasting of all the various chocolates. The baci (a hazelnut paste with a hazelnut covered in chocolate), is their best seller and is absolutely irresistible! We left with our bellies full and some snacks for later. Everyone enjoyed their time at the hotel before heading out for dinner. We feasted on fine Italian cuisine and concluded the night listening to music on our hotel’s rooftop terrace.
The love for Italian cuisine continued with our cooking class in Umbria, which will forever be associated with the cutest dog Pepe and our step-in Nonna Raphaella, who began by teaching us how to make three different kinds of strudel! As the smell slowly began to fill the room, we moved on to preparing chocolate cake for dessert. Finally, we made tagliatelle pasta and tomato sauce for our main course, while classic Italian music played quietly in the background. However, the smell of the chocolate cake baking in the oven was a bit distracting as we all tried to properly learn how to roll out our pasta! From the looks of it, we knew it was going to be, by far, the absolute best meal of the trip!
Bonding by the pool all afternoon was the perfect end to the day- whether the trip members chose to listen to DJs, soak in the rays, play games or read a good book!
Until next week, in Greece! Arrivederci!
The Westcoast Blogger
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