Here is a quick synopsis from the second half of our trip. We were unable to access wifi in Rome and Sorrento so I’ve included the blog entires from those days…
Day 6 – Rome…Roma was fantastico! We were very excited to get up early (6:30am) and head into the ancient city. Our first stop was the Colosseum. Completed in 80 AD, this stadium was the center of the Roman Empire. Despite the destruction over the years (mainly earthquakes and pollution), it didn’t take much to imagine what it looked liked 2,000 years ago. We had a guided tour of the Colosseum starting in the upper level and eventually making our way down to the floor.
Next stop, the Forum, located across the street from the Colosseum.
From here, half of our students went on the Roman Catacombs excursion and the rest of us took a walking tour of Rome, eventually ending up at the Pantheon. Built just years after the Colosseum, the Pantheon is an active church and an architectural masterpiece. Our photo students had a blast shooting from inside the building.
Our night ended with dinner and an evening tour of Rome.
Day 7 – The Vatican…We were lucky to be part of the Papal Audience. Standing 300 or so yards from Pope Francis, we were able to experience this service which takes place on Wednesdays in St. Peter’s Square. There were 10,000-15,000 people in attendance.
After the service, we stopped at the Vatican gift shop then it was on to lunch. The afternoon tour included the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s basilica. The Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s masterpiece and our AP Art History students have spent a great deal of time studying his work. No photos allowed in the chapel so our students simply took it all in…pictures couldn’t do it justice anyhow.
Last stop before dinner was St. Peter’s basilica. Known as the most famous of the four basilicas in Rome, this church is impressive in its size and design. We enjoyed our guided tour.
Dinner on Wednesday night? Pizza! Need I say more?
Day 8 – On the road to Pompeii – We left our hotel in Rome and headed south to the ancient city of Pompeii. When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, this once thriving city along the Amalfi Coast simply disappeared. Now almost fully excavated, it provides an unbelievable setting for what Pompeii looked like 2,000 years ago. With Mt. Vesuvius in the background, we walked the original stone streets and entered homes and other buildings…simply breathtaking!
After Pompeii, we made a quick stop in the little town of Sorrento before heading to our hotel located on the cliffs of the Mediterranean Sea.
Tomorrow, we’re off to the island of Capri then back to Rome…it will be our last full day in Italy.
Day 9 – Our last full day was spent on the island of Capri. We took a 20 minute ferry to the island which provided the most beautiful views we had all week. Once we reached the island, we boarded a smaller boat for a private tour.
Day 10 – Early morning wake-up call (5:45am), breakfast then it was off to the Da Vinci International Airport. Our flight was on time and we landed at Logan Airport at 8:00pm.
What a great trip! Our students were fantastic and enjoyed the many historical sites and works of art in Florence, Orvieto, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri. Add in the delicious food and it’s fair to say this trip was a resounding success and one we’ll likely offer again. Big thanks to our chaperones, Anna Lall, Meg Drew, Heather Gonzalez, Jessica Safer, Kate Jones and Chris Faust. I appreciate their willingness to spend time away from their own families.
On a personal note, it was wonderful for me to experience this trip with my son, Nick. He loved every minute and it will be memory he’ll always have. I want to sincerely thank our students and teachers for being so welcoming…you all truly made this a special trip for him. Grazie & ciao!!