Over the first weekend, my roommates Ainsley, Cassie, and I went to Rome! We spent all of Friday training from Siena to Rome and took the Metro to our bed and breakfast. After a quick break, we traveled to the Vatican and observed the art and the Sistine Chapel. The art was absolutely breathtaking; personally, my favorite room of the museum was the statues, and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was truly a core memory made.
Saturday was dedicated to 12 miles of walking and true touring. We saw the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps. The Trevi fountain was very much my favorite place to visit as the statues and fountain itself were gorgeous. My inner Heroes of Olympus screamed to see all the places I read about as a kid.
The Colosseum was amazing and so much bigger than I expected. Cassie, Ainsley, and I participated in a guided tour. We learned about the wild events that were hosted and found out that the Romans tailgated before the games (in true UVA fashion). The games were brutal, but the planning and science behind making and executing the games within the Colosseum were marvelous— the underground levels were intricate.
We ended the day by watching the sunset in the gorgeous park with more intricate busts and statues. We took a break to enjoy nature and take a breather before a wonderful dinner. Dinner was amazing, I had the cacio y pepe, a Roman classic, and it truly was one of the best meals I have had here in Italy so far!
Our last day, Sunday, was dedicated to St. Peter Basilica and the Pantheon. It is important to wear long pants and have your shoulders covered, as both places are places of worship. The Pantheon was a large room with intricate paintings and drawings, and although the line was extremely long, we were at the front within 10 minutes. After both places, we trained back to Siena to prepare for our classes to resume on Monday.
In class on Monday, we celebrated Ainsley’s 19th birthday, which was on Friday! Our Italian Professor brought in a classic Italian chocolate, and we sang happy birthday to her in Italian before continuing our studying of irregular conjugations of verbs.
Back in class, learning about Sienese Art History, we took a trip to the Duomo di Siena to talk about wood paneling and see the works of art in person. We looked at some pieces by Duccio di Buoninsegna and his work regarding Virgin Mary and Christ.
Before starting my day with Italian class at 9 am, I hit up the local bakery right down the street from my apartment. A chocolate croissant with a cappuccino is my classic go-to—and oh my—it is the best breakfast for such a reasonable price.