After 24 hours of traveling, including a 3 hours car ride, 2 flights, a 4 hour delay (while stuck sitting ON the plane for it), we finally landed safely in Rome, Italy.
Rome is unreal. The buildings are absolutely beautiful, and just the age of some of them makes them even more stunning. We stopped by the Trevi Fountain for a few minutes, toured the Pantheon quickly, rode the metro, and walked around a Piazza with beautiful baroque fountains before heading to our first Italian dinner.
The Pantheon was so utterly impressive! It is one of the most well-preserved Roman structures, and its actual age is unknown. It originated as a temple for the Greek Gods, but was later taken over by Christians. One thing that is most impressive is the massive, unsupported dome that covers the church! (I’m disappointed that I didn’t take a picture of the dome, but I will be visiting again at a later date!) It has a giant hole in the middle of it, so yes, when it rains the building fills with rain! Don’t worry, the Romans installed drains in the floor! Along with the beautiful architecture and statues, the Pantheon houses the remains of the artist Rafael, as well as many past Pope’s and Kings.
Our first dinner consisted of a traditional, multi-course, Italian meal. First was the bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, next was a plate filled with the most amazing bruchetta I’ve ever had, followed by a platter of meats (salami, prosciutto, mortadella, etc.). The restaurant was served family-style, aka they just put huge platters of each course on the table for everyone to take. We had meatballs in red sauce, grilled garlic-potatoes, chicken with peppers, and of course wine!
We ended the night by having all 26 students in the program staying in a hostel in the center of Rome….and maybe going to a club!