For our last full day, we had a great time in two countries! After a slightly later wake up than usual, we had breakfast and then went on our journey to the marvelous Vatican. It was an unforgettable site; everything was picturesque and beautiful. We were a little bit late to our appointment and we ended up having to run in the intense heat, but even while running we had great views of the Vatican.
We started our tour with a bit of an explanation of what Vatican City is, its layout, and what we’d be looking at on the tour. In the courtyard we viewed models of the Sistine Chapel so we could have a better idea of the events occurring in the pieces. After that, we went through an enormous building with hallways with maps of every region of Italy, plentiful artwork, and sculptures. We saw some very famous works by Rafael and Michelangelo, and our tour before the Sistine Chapel culminated in a quick bite to eat at a cafe.
We then toured the Sistine Chapel which was breathtaking. One senior described it as sensory overload- there was so much to see and take in that it was hard to focus. However, we all appreciated the beauty of the chapel especially after hearing so much about it. After the Sistine Chapel, we went to St. Peter’s Basilica. The group was split between those who wanted to walk around it and those who wanted the chance to buy souvenirs. Those of us who stayed in the basilica were definitely amazed by the intricacy and details of every part of it. It was truly one of the most magnificent places we’d ever seen.
The two groups reunited soon after as we said farewell to the Vatican and walked to Temple University’s Rome campus. They gave us an information session and a tour as well as a great dinner from a pasta restaurant; we all feasted on pasta for our last time in Italy, something a lot of us had been doing daily. After our time with them, we got our final gelato in Italy, and headed back to the hotel for an early rise this morning.
After a quick train ride to the airport and a breakfast there, we boarded the plane back to New York. A lot of us were ready to go home, while a lot of us would’ve liked to stay forever. Whatever the case, it’s definitely an experience that we will take with us forever. The amount of cultural immersion and art history knowledge we acquired from the trip is incredible. Thanks to Mr. Guthrie, Mrs. Min, Mrs. Sytsma, and Mr. Kaser for a fantastic adventure! And thanks to Joella Chase (AVPA'19) for all the photos!