Sunday, April 11, 2010

Roma y Firenze

An update: I have been on two week holiday for school. Luckily, I got in much needed traveling, but am now ready to sleep for a week. I think it was the constant hours of walking. :)

My first adventure was to Rome. Rome is absolutely amazing. I think it was the combination of architecture and wonderful weather that made my trip seem so great. Rome is beautiful and there is so much to the city to love. There is history and art around every corner. I got to visit the Vatican City, with the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum and the Pantheon.

The fact that the architecture from the Roman time period is still standing is a testament to their greatness. The Colosseum is still standing along with many other ruins scattered across the city. I went on holiday with several friends and discovered many treasures along the trip. Sarah and I walked through a Roman forum, which is a huge area near the Colosseum of Roman ruins. The forum gives a view of what the city may have been like during the Roman rule. The forum and the Colosseum were quite overwhelming. To think of the lives of people from thousands of years ago is a bit daunting and while in Rome you cannot help but imagine what it would be like to live and work during this time period. The Colosseum was great because people were able to walk around inside on the different levels. Every time I visited any ruins I tried to imagine what they were like new and wished I could know more.

It is very hard to explain how awe-inspiring Rome was and really I don't think I can do it justice with a few words here and there. Honestly, Rome is somewhere I could visit multiple times and learn more about each day. It was incredible.

I had a really great opportunity while in Rome. I got to be in the audience for Pope Benedict XVI's public blessing. Every Wednesday, the Pope addresses the square in front of the Vatican and prays with the people and offers a blessing to the people and there loved ones and to any objects. Sarah and I left the hotel early hoping to attend mass but arrived to find a queue and a crowd already jostling for seats. We arrived at 8 am and the pope was arriving at 10:30, obviously a big deal. We managed to grab seats in the 8th row to wait out the Pope's visit. It was a pretty awesome site. The pope arrived with thousands of people surrounding him. He rode up in his Popemobile and circle the crowded a few times waving. (Sarah cried, she was very excited) But really it was a bit breathtaking to see the people there waiting for the Pope.

I went to Florence on Sunday. Florence was gorgeous, it is located in the Tuscany region of Italy. We visited the Basilica there, which is made from beautiful green and white stone. The churches in Italy all have something unique and special. They all intricately designed in detail and the architects have managed to still create a sense of awe. We were lucky enough to see Michelangelo's David... it was great! The detail about the whole statue was critical. The block of marble used in the statue was not a great value at the time it was a whole block. Many sculptors gave up the project because it was too daunting, the stone lay untouched for almost 25 years. Finally Michelangelo was commissioned to take on the project and the statue is majestic.

Florence and Rome were amazing, I know I cannot say it enough, though to anyone reading this they probably are tired of hearing it. I would visit both places again without a second thought. Rome helped me to remember how lucky I am to be traveling across Europe for 4 months and what a great experience this is for me... I am thankful and blessed...

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