This past Thursday-Sunday I was in Rome with my study abroad group! We went non-stop for three days strait seeing every part of history we could. It was amazing! My journal has all the details so I thought I would just share some highlights with you (considering on Friday we went to 21 different places so I doubt I could keep your attention that long!).
The Pantheon was really neat to to see. It was a building dedicated to persecuted and killed Christians which was very humbling. The building was almost more amazing to me on the outside although the inside was amazing with its frescos and statues.
My favorite part of Rome was going to St. Paul Outside the Wall Church (Basilica). I had never even heard of this church before but I got chills the minute I stepped inside it. I can honestly say it is the most beautiful thing I have yet to see in my life. As I was throwing my coin in the Trevi Fountain saying I would come back to Rome, all I could think about was coming back to see this church. I can’t even describe it to you…it was extremely spacious and vast, covered with frescos and gold leaf and statues. A fresco painting of every pope is on the wall and every detail of the church mirrors perfection. Since our goal was to see so many places, we couldn’t stay here long but I wanted nothing more then to sit down and read the Bible. Like, I think of it every day still and wish I could have gone back during free time for some conversation with God. If you ever go to Rome, this MUST be on your list. I still get chills every time I think about it.
I think this was the church of Constantine which we did not go into because the line was 3 hours long, but it was beautiful from the outside! We stopped for a minute to soak up the sun and I grabbed a picture with my other curly haired friend (we are also assigned bunk bed mates which is funny cause we are the only girls with curly hair.)
This was breakfast every morning in Rome (well, real Italians have a cappuccino, not orange juice but I wanted some vitamin C). That pastry is huge and filled with probably a cup of chocolate. The other two mornings I got the same pastry but filled with custard creme which I LOVED. The Romans know how to do it right, y’all.
We went to the Trevi Fountain the first night and had a blast throwing our coins in and taking pictures. I promised Rome I would be back and I never break a promise…
I do not remember what church this was (we went to so many) but apparently the apostle Peter and apostle Paul heads are buried in the large alter where the gold cage is. Whether it is true or not, it was enough to give me goosebumps. And again, another beautiful church. I cannot get over the beauty of all the churches we saw in Rome.
We went to the Colosseum during the day which was amazing and I was able to walk all through it. However, it was very crowded so it was hard to get a moment to look out and realize the thousands of innocent people who died for the pleasure of others. I shed a couple tears as I thought of the dads, moms, and children slain horrifically with no mercy. I read the Mark of the Lion series before I came to Italy and it really helped me feel the Colosseum and realize I have no idea what it means to be persecuted for my faith. A group of us came back to the Colosseum on our own one night and it was a wonderful decision. There was hardly anyone there and the lighting gives you perspective of the vastness and glory it must have been in its day. That was my favorite night in Rome- my group was so much fun and we had a crazy awesome night living it up in ROME!
I don’t have a picture of it but another highlight of the trip was going to St. Clement, another church. However this church was built on an underground church. We went underneath to the different layers and had an amazing opportunity. This was the same church that Paul mentions in Philippians 4:3, where the Christians first read the letter of Romans. So while we were down there, we read scriptures from Romans and sang a hymn. If that doesn’t make you shiver, I don’t know what will. I read the same book, in the same spot, where Christians did 2,000 years ago! Wow.
I wish I could write more about Rome but that would take days. Maybe if I get a chance I will write about some other neat experiences there. For now, I need to do a lot of homework and take my medicine so I can go to bed and get rid of this silly strep throat!