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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Starring in our own Roman Holiday – Florence Pre-College Enrichment

Florence Pre-College Enrichment

Eppur, si muove!

​As we walked along Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Vespas zipped around us from all angles and it felt as through we were in the movie Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn. The Italian capital, which functions as an amalgamation of history, tourism, and local commotion, proved to be the ideal location for us to end our program.  There was calmness in the air, and all of the students were ecstatic to experience the Eternal City of Rome. Many of the students were excited to see all the sites that the city had to offer, and in these last few days, our eyes were truly opened to a myriad of different historical monuments.

​After dropping off our luggage, we jumped back aboard the bus and weaved through the streets toward the Trevi Fountain. Many of the students were excited to see the fountain because of the way it has been welding to Rome in the popular imagination and movies. Once we arrived, we watched each student smile, slowly turn their back to the fountain and close their eyes, before throwing a coin into the Trevi’s water. With each splash of a coin, a new wish was made, and the city of Rome further sealed itself as a highlight of the program for the students.

The Pantheon was next on our schedule, and after a short walk, we stood in front of the church that was completed by the Roman emperor Hadrian. As we stared at the Ancient Roman architecture, many students extolled the fact that these building were still intact.

That night, we navigated our way to the Piazza Navona for dinner and the busy square was a treat for all. The artists painting, drawing, and doing different street shows fixated our eyes, and our evening was full of laughter and amusement. No matter where we looked there was something happening in the square, and the evening was a great taste of Roman life.

Florence Pre-College Enrichment

​The following day we arose from our slumber and started our full day of sightseeing with our private tour guide, Mary Lou. Our first stop: Vatican City! All of the students were excited to see The Sistine Chapel, and we could not wait to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece, “The Creation of Adam.” Everyone stared in amazement as we stepped into The Sistine Chapel and gazed at the intricate art that colored the ceiling. The amazement was only increased when we stepped into St. Peter’s Basilia and viewed the Late Renaissance architecture! As a whole, Vatican City was incredible and the students, especially those intrigued by religious history, were fascinated by what the smallest country had to offer.

​That afternoon our program made its way to the Colosseum, and we all learned about this monument’s history. We took some fun pictures in the Flavian Amphitheatre, and together, we took a group photo in the pinnacle landmark of Rome. The history dazzled us all, and many of us tried to imagine the gladiatorial contests and public spectacles that happened in the arena.

​We had dinner in the Trastevere area of Rome, and enjoyed the evening in around the Piazza di Santa Maria. We enjoyed the music that was playing within the square. In addition, there was a small dance show occurring on a stage within the square, and we all stayed to enjoy the performance.

Florence Pre-College Enrichment
​It was amazing how time flew by, and when we awoke the next morning we all realized it was our last full day in Italy. The day began with everyone in Campo di Fiori, and we all took time to explore the market that was happening within the square. All were excited with the time that they had to explore the surrounding areas and each of them shared with everyone what they did during lunch. ​The day continued with us going to Piazza Popolo, and onward toward the Spanish Steps. Each student left Rome that afternoon filled with happiness and satisfaction!

​The last stop on our itinerary was Papa Rex, which functioned as a toga party and dinner. Everyone used this time to take fun pictures with their friends, and started saying goodbye to the new and old friends that they had made on this program. There were some comical moments in their togas, and we all watched as an opera singer filled the room with her voice. The festivities lasted throughout the dinner, and when it was time to go, none of us were ready to pack. I think it’s fair to say that we all wanted to spend another month in Italy.

​However, all good things must come to an end, and our flights Friday morning departed back home. On behalf of the entire staff of PCE Florence, we want to extend a huge thank you to all the students for joining us on our journey to Italy this summer. Each of you has made this program special and unique, and we hope that each of you has left with fond memories of Florence and beyond. We sincerely hope that you have been changed by your experiences in Italy, and we look forward to seeing you in the future!

For the last time, tutto é bene che riesce bene!

The Westcoast Blogger