Excursion to Rome!
We have had quite a busy couple of days over here in Italia! On Friday our students had their usual class in the morning followed by an afternoon off in the town for lunch, gelato and cafe!! In the evening, I booked dinner an hour earlier as I planned a nice long walk up to Piazza Michelangelo for the sunset! We strolled through the beautiful streets on another perfect night in Florence and finally made it to the steep set of stairs up to the piazza. The sweating was worth it as everyone was in awe of the gorgeous view of the city. It really puts into perspective the scale to which the Duomo stands in comparison to the building surrounding it. As the sun went down, everyone found a spot to gaze and a musician playing songs with an accordion really set the mood. The large round sun was burning orange in the sky, and lowered over the Arno River, finally setting deep into the distance over the Ponte Vecchio. There was a loud cheer and applause for the beauty that was witnessed by everyone, and we knew we had watched something special!
Yesterday was a big day as our entire group had chosen Rome as an optional excursion! We were up by the crack of dawn to catch our train to Termini Station in central Rome, to begin with our English guide Eugene. We quickly hopped on the Metro and began our day at the Spanish steps! As Eugene went through the history and architecture behind the Spanish steps, we gazed across the square excited to take a seat! Approaching the steps, we looked up and saw the elegance of their design followed by the beauty of the Trinita dei Monti Church at the very top. We sat for a moment on the steps to take it in, whilst overlooking the famous Baroque-style fountain at its base called the Fontana della Barcaccia (or fountain of the boat).
Continuing through the narrow cobblestoned streets, we approached another piazza that opened up, and right there in front of us was the legendary Trevi Fountain!! The size, the beauty, the design, the aqua coloured water; Bellissima! Eugene explained the statues and their meanings; Oceanus stands in the middle with two horses on either side lead by a triton, representing the opposite moods of the sea, calm and rough. It is one of the most amazing sites in the world, and you really need to take a moment to appreciate the detail and colossal design of this fountain! After some photos we continued through the streets passing so many fascinating and monumental pillars and ruins; we even got to see where Julius Caesar was killed! The reason I love Rome so much is because the history literally flows through the city, you feel it, you see, you truly experience it.
The grand finale of our day was soon to come. We all grabbed a quick bite, relaxed for a bit and then headed to the Colosseum! You don’t need a time machine when you get to visit the Flavian Amphitheatre! The moment you lay eyes on it from the exterior, you feel as if you are back in time. Our tour guide was an archaeologist, which gave us quite the background and history into the commission and construction of the arena. Once we had a solid understanding of the games played inside, we used our imaginations to see the gladiator and animal fights on the main floor. I can only assume everyone was thinking about Russell Crowe and the movie to help with this vision! The students once again took some time for pictures and then we strolled around the area to find a place for dinner…. and the English football match thanks to Aidan! We filled our bellies with pizza, pasta and salad, ended with a nice cold gelato, and we were back on the train to Florence for bed!
Hope that gave you guys some great insight to our latest adventures!!