Hi everyone! Just fyi we are having connectivity issues over here…we keep writing blog entries and they keep disappearing! We are, however, safe and well!!
We began our journey with an early wake-up this morning. After downing a quick breakfast, we were off. The bus ride took about an hour and a half, during which we played clever word games and socialised with each other. We were dropped off in Naples where we met our tour guides for the day.
They lead us to a castle and explained to us the history of the castle in question. A quick stroll later, we were slipping our cappuccinos on the main square of Naples. Twas delicious. We then headed to a historic shopping area in which we received a mouthwatering pastry. It tasted of apple pie.
Soon after we made our way to a local fish and meat market, at which Ms. Peterson, and a few daring students, consumed cow stomach, mouth, and foot. Sounds good right? The daring students include: Connor, Harrison, and Andrew.
Following this adventure we visited a stand carrying fried macaroni (fracoroni) and fried rice balls. Mmmmmmmmmm tasty! Next we ventured to a pizzaria where we enjoyed some lovely pizza and Cokes. After this, they took us to church (pun intended). At the conclusion of this tour we visited a “hip and swag” gelateria. Our tour guides led us into the ancient Roman aqueducts that were used during World War Two as a hiding place for refugees.
We squeezed our way through a dark passage holding nothing more than candles for light. We explored several more dark passageways leading us back to the surface.
Our next stop was the catacombs where we explored the previous graves of saints, bishops, and other Christians.
We saw paintings in the catacombs that hadn’t been touched since they were last found, and before then, the artist painted them. Although our walking hands (feet) felt bare, it was a pretty snazzy trip.
By Josh, Connor, and Aidan
The next morning we loaded into the bus and headed out of Rome and got onto the Via Appia which is the oldest road in western Europe. We travelled to a gladiator school and learned all about Rome from a military standpoint.
We went through a mini private museum all about soldiers and gladiators.
Then we got to “train” like a gladiator. We learned form and worked on agility.
Then we entered the arena and did one on one matches. (You’ll notice only half of us coming home 😉 )
After the gladiator school we left for Sorrento and Naples. Along the way we visited a volcano [the volcanic area of Solfatara]. It was extremely smelly. We even got to listen to an amazing phenomenon. When you throw a rock onto the ground it sounds hollow [even though it’s not].
After this we headed to our new hotel in Sorrento.
We had an early start to the day, waking up at 5:50. We took the subway to the Vatican Museums. They were very large. Then we went into the Sistine Chapel. We had an early arrival and we were able to go in before it was open to public. It was smaller than we thought. There was a lot of beautiful artwork and it was very precise.
Then we were able to go to lunch in small groups and go shopping.
The food was very good and enjoyable. Then we went to the Piazza Navona. There were two great fountains there that were interesting. The Piazza Navona used to be where chariot races were held.
Last but not least we went to the Domus Aurea. It hasn’t been opened for the last decade which was a very cool opportunity.
After we saw some pretty rad skateboarders. Then we had a great dinner and finished the day out perfectly with gelato
By Sarah, Sydney, and Rachel
After a ten hour stop in Philadelphia we finally made it to the plane. We landed around 10:15 o’clock and drove straight to the hotel, located right around the corner from the Colosseum.
At the hotel we took a short break to get settled and then went to go sightseeing. We first visited the Forum, and we marveled at the ancient ruins of this monumental sight.
[Mrs. Peterson’s note: It was a bit windy!]
Then we saw Saint Peter’s prison, where he was held during his persecution. The site is now used as a church.
A thing you will see all over the city is S.P.Q.R. In Latin this translates to Senatus PopulusQue Romanus. The English translation is The Senate and People of Rome. The Senate still uses this acronym today.
We learned a brief history about Julius Caesar. When the senate could not agree on a decision they would appoint a dictator for sixth months, but Julius Caeser was a dictator for life.
We then saw the Pantheon and this is where the citizens of Rome would worship all of the gods.
We got to take a small break. After seeing the Pantheon we stopped for gelato. We went to Giolitti’s, which is known for having the best gelato in Rome.
We also saw [the church of] Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was a great first day in Italy and we are excited for the rest of our trip.
By Jordan and Lauren