Published on October 7th, 2013 | by Rachel Budke1
My trip to Rome, Italy was the first of two school trips that I chose to go on. There was a group of about 30 students lead by two professors from my school. The trips that are organized by my school are on Saturdays and Sundays. All of my other weekend trips I have been on leave on Thursday nights, so it was nice to have Friday in Florence to get homework done. My roommates Regan and Victoria went on this trip as well. I was definitely glad that I went with an organized tour because it would have been overwhelming to do it on my own. We arrived to Rome at about 9:30 in the morning and went straight from the bus to the Colosseum.
It was raining while we were there, and the Colosseum was actually probably my least favorite part of the whole trip. However, when you’re in Rome, it’s definitely a must-see. There was scaffolding all around the “pretty” outside section, and it was raining, so none of our pictures turned out how we were expecting them to. After the Colosseum, we went to the Roman Forum. The Roman Forum is basically a plaza surrounded by all of the ancient ruins of Rome.
The next part of our day was a visit to Vatican City. Even though Vatican City is located inside of Rome, it is not a part of the city of Rome. The line to get in was unusually long, probably because it was a rainy day, and we had to wait for two and a half hours to get in. Our visit to Vatican City was lead by a professional tour guide. We wore a headphone set for the tour, which was funny because when we see those people around Florence we call them “zombies”. I actually really liked having the set of headphones because it was packed with people, and we wouldn’t have been able to hear otherwise. Plus, now I have a pair of headphones with only one earbud which is funny.
Towards the end of our tour, we visited the Sistine Chapel. Photography is not allowed inside, but luckily I was able to sneak a really stunning photo!
Hahaha! I obviously need to work a bit more on my sneaky-photo technique! After the Sistine Chapel, we visited St. Peter’s Basilica.
After visiting Vatican City, we finally checked in to our hotel. One of the benefits of booking a trip with my school is that they scheduler nicer hotels. Regan, Victoria and I went to dinner at a place called La Gallina Bianca (The White Hen). It was a cute farm-style restaurant. I ordered pumpkin ravioli with sage and butter, it was very good. The only bad thing was that the bill had a fairly large coperta (service fee).
Day two of visiting Rome was amazing! Most of the day was spent on a walking tour lead by our professors. There was a chance of rain, but it ended up being beautiful and sunny! Some of the highlights we visited were the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and a building which symbolizes the Unification of Italy, Vittorio.
After our walking tour, we went to a restaurant and had a four-course lunch. We had carbonara, pasta with peas and mushrooms, an eggplant lasagna type of dish, and tiramisu. After lunch we visited the Catacombs. The catacombs are ancient, underground, Christian burial grounds. Only a few tombs are still closed, but they are all empty because the burial grounds are so old that everything would have disintegrated by now. There are about 11 miles of winding tombs, but only a small portion of them are open to the public. To enter, you have to go on a guided tour because it would be so easy to get lost. It was very dark, so none of my pictures turned out. Our tour guide kept emphasizing that the Catacombs were a place of faith and hope, but regardless, it was definitely an eerie place to see. After the Catacombs, we got on the bus to head back to Florence. On our way home there was a rainbow.
I hope that you enjoyed reading a little bit about Rome! It was a fun weekend in a beautiful city! Ciao!