This post is authored by Kendall College student Kim Haines
We awoke today, excited to explore the ancient city of Rome. This is what a lot of us had been waiting for. We went straight to the Colosseum, where a guided tour, surrounded by gypsies, was awaiting to take us around the Colosseum and the ruins up to the Vatican.
Some of us wanted a more intimate experience to truly be apart of each of the monuments and so we went off to travel back in time into the ancient ruins and the Colosseum. The Colosseum, also known as the Amphitheatrum Flavium, is located in the center of the city of Rome and was commissioned in 72 AD by Emperor Vespasian. It was completed by his son, Titus, and then altered improved by Domitian. The Colosseum has 80 arched entrances, which use to hold statutes in the entry ways. The entrances allowed spectators to freely enter and each spectator was seated according to rank. The Colosseum was built of concrete and stone and is known to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It is/was the largest amphitheater in the world and can hold between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on classical mythology. Sounds like a great time…
The Roman Forum, also known as the Ancient Ruins, is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city in Rome. It is located directly next to the Colosseum. It was also the center of Roman public life, where triumphal processions, elections, public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches took place. What is left of this social place is only a clutter of architectural fragments, but being apart of that was surreal. Reading history from a book is one thing, but truly being apart of it is another experience in its own.
We made our way around the city to then find the Piazza di Spagne (the Spanish Steps), the Piazza di Popolo, the Pantheon, the Vatican, and more. We walked around the shops, had lunch in the city, and then, eventually we all found each other and had dinner as a group. It was a bittersweet experience, because as some of us were excited to go home the next day, we also did not want to live this vibrant, beautiful city. We spent 14 hours walking amongst the city, which will absolutely prepare us for standing on our feet all day in the quarter to come. That, my friends, will be a breeze. Now, I see why Italians must consume carbs.
The Piazza di Spagne is one of the most famous squares of Rome because the 135-step staircase was inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII during the 1725 Jubilee and it was released in order to connect the Bourbon Spanish embassy to the Church of Trinita dei Monti. The Pantheon is a building in Rome that was commissioned by Marcvus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns under a pediment. It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings. The Piazza del Popolo, which means “People’s Square,” is a large urban square in Rome, and it derives from the poplars after which the church of Santa Maria del Popolo. This was the last stop, where we had macarons and moscato, before getting back on the bus to go back to our hotel for the last time of the trip. It was such a magical experience, but just like Rome was not built in a day, it is hard to see it in a day as well.
It is in my opinion that in order to grow as a person in life, one must travel. We must spread our wings to the other side of the world and learn about different cultures, different foods, different heritages, and different beliefs. We must connect with other people, even if we do not speak their language. Food has become a universal language. Any person from any country or continent can understand food. This is a language that can the bring the world together as one. In order to peak as a person, mentally, intellectually, and emotionally this experience has to happen. I truly believe that, even though it has only been ten days, we have all grown as individuals. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our trip. Thank you to Aurore and Adriano who came with us throughout the entire journey and finished with us in Rome to dropping us at the airport for our final departure.
My name is Kim Haines and I have been the voice of this voyage. I hope that you have been able to live vicariously through my stories and photography and somewhat share the greatness of this journey with your loved ones that you could not be with.
Thank you to Kendall College and Dean Zonka for nominating me to write this blog, I am truly honored. Thank you to Dean Zonka and Chef Altieri for accompanying us all on this wild ride, and for watching over us as our guardian angels. As for those of you that were along for the ride, I hope you will use this as a tool to remember the truly amazing time that we all shared together. Buonasera Italia and y Grazie!
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