Buonanotte mi amici! Mi dispiace that it has taken this long to update my blog. In the past three weekends I traveled to Rome, Budapest and Amsterdam. Life has been a whirlwind this month! I’m currently relaxing in Florence over my Thanksgiving break, so I figured this was the perfect time to finally update you all with what’s going on in my life. We will start with Rome……
First off, my best friend from home, Cammie, visited me in Florence for a couple of days. She is studying abroad for the semester in Madrid, Spain. Our time spent together in Florence was wonderful! On Friday morning Cammie, Zach, Jenna and I took the train from Florence to Rome. We even had our own apartment 15 minutes away from the Colosseum! I loved Rome.. we toured the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, the Vatican Museum, the Spanish Steps and the Borghese Gardens. We were definitely were busy during our three days! My favorite sites were the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Borghese Gardens.
The Colosseum is one of the greatest architectural pieces I’ve ever seen. I had a much greater appreciation seeing it in person than I ever have before merely seeing it in textbooks. It was built during the reign of the Roman Empire and was used as a spectacle for games. Essentially, African slaves and lower-class citizens were used as gladiators who fought to the death against animals which included tigers, lions, elephants and giraffes. The games were ones of blood baths and drew enormous crowds. The Colosseum was a representation of how great the Roman Empire was during its height.
The Vatican was absolutely incredible. We went into St. Peter’s Basilica as well as the Vatican Museum. I loved seeing The School of Athens by Rafael, as well as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Exploring the Vatican is more of an experience than something I can describe, I’d say. It was probably the true highlight of my weekend. I also have invested more time in learning about Papa Francesco than any other Pope before, so seeing the change that he is having on the Catholic Church is exciting.
We visited the Borghese Gardens on our last day and ended up staying there for about 5 hours, exploring and hanging out with each other. We wanted to go into the Borghese Museum, but tickets were sold out. It was a little bit rainy, which I loved, and a lot of the trees still had beautiful orange, red and yellow fall leaves. I loved walking around, relaxing and exploring the grounds.
Zach has friends from high school studying abroad in Rome and we met up with them one of the nights for dinner. They made us reservations at “the best pizza place in Rome,” and indeed, the pizza was out of this world. The restaurant was so busy, but luckily we had a reservation. I had a mozzarella, pesto and potato pizza. I still dream about it! 🙂
My first time in Rome was a ton of fun and will always hold a special place in my heart.