Quick History lesson:
Assisi is the home of St. Francis, who is the patron saint of animals and the environment. He was a part of the military until in he had a dream (around 1205/06) in which God was calling him to return to Assisi and care for the sick. Francis called for simplicity in life, poverty and humility before God. He believed that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffered for a need of redemption because of the primordial sin of man. (some of this information is from Wikipedia - go there for more). If you google or ever see an image of St. Francis, he is typically portrayed with animals or in nature.
So on June 9th we spent the day in Assisi. It really was one of the most beautiful places I think I have ever been.
Last week, June 14th -17th, I was in Rome. I don't really have words to describe how excited I was to be there. We got there early afternoon on Monday and we headed to our hotel to check-in. After, we decided to get started on our sight seeing! The first thing we did was go to the Roman Colosseum. We literally spent 2 and half hours there. All four of us were just in awe of this place. It is amazing to think that it has been standing in the same place for so long. We also kept stopping to take pictures - probably why it took so long.
Since we were all seniors (oh goodness - I finally said it), we took some time to spell out a special message in the rocks:
After we took our time walking back to the hotel, Barbs and I went and met Ari and Linley for dinner and to watch the soccer game. There is no place better to watch an Italian soccer game than Italy!Barbs and I may have gotten a little lost on the way to meet the other girls but it made for a pretty picture:
After the game, we walked around a bit and headed by the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. Barbs and I both got a little teary-eyed when we got to the Trevi Fountain. This is probably the one thing that I have always wanted to see. And now I have. Crazy.
Tuesday morning we got up early and headed over to the Vatican City. We had schdeduled a tour and we thought it would only be about 3 hours. It ended up being closer to 5. But it was still amazing. Here is a little model of what the city looks like:
We got to see the Sistine Chapel and all the Pope's tombs. And of course St. Peter's. We were all pretty tired after that and still had a full day to do things so we headed back to the hotel for a bit. We also hit up Hard Rock for dinner. And watched another soccer game (by this point they were all making fun of me for wanting to watch the games).
Wednesday morning we got up and headed towards the Roman Forum. I played tour guide and read all the information about each thing that we were seeing. Once again, it was pretty amazing to be in a place that had been there for so long. We took our time and took lots of pictures. We also climbed up to Palentine Hill.
Next we went to the Pantheon (2nd time for me and Barbs but this time we got to go in). We also headed back over to the Trevi Fountain. It was super crowded and I felt like you didn't get the same effect as we did when we went at night. The 15 minute walk from the Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain also ended up taking a lot longer than 15 minutes, probably closer to 2 hours after we stopped so many times to go into stores. We went back to the hotel, took a short nap, and then went to dinner. We once again did a self-guided night tour, back by the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain (and yes, we took a ring picture), and this time we added in the Spanish steps. The view was amazing (second picture)!
Thursday morning, we took our time leaving and did some shopping. Once we got back to Sansepolcro, we knew that things were going to be rushed! We had class Friday and Saturday. And there is a group of Meredith Alums here this week that we had lunch with on Friday. Our final projects and presentations were due today (Sunday) and we leave Sansepolcro for the last time tomorrow! Very bittersweet. Tonight we are having our host families over for a final dinner. We head to Switzerland on Thursday and are there until we come home on Sunday!
I can't believe how fast time flies!