Playing host is challenging, stressful and wonderful. It also resulted in one of the best weekends in Rome and of my life.
Two of my closest friends from UNC came to Rome for three days over Easter from Dublin and Paris. What better place to celebrate Easter than the Vatican? I requested tickets to mass in St. Peter’s and we excitedly prepared for the experience.
On Saturday morning, I took my friends on a whirlwind tour of Ancient Rome. My friend’s pedometer says we walked over 15 miles as we covered the Forums, Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona and several churches. As they had just arrived, we were all excited to see all of Rome’s postcard monuments. After an aperitivo we went to sleep early in preparation of our 6am wake-up for the world-famous Easter mass at the Vatican.
As we walked through Vatican City we enjoyed the sunrise and approximately ten minutes of sunshine before the heavens opened up and unleashed five hours of steady rain. We laughed/cried during the wait. St. Peter’s was a kaleidoscope of colorful umbrellas and ponchos. We took the rest of the day slowly – enjoying brunch and dinner with my friends in Rome and their guests.
Easter Monday was without a doubt the best Monday of my life to date. We started with a typical Roman breakfast – cappuccini and cornetti – followed by trips to the Castel Sant’Angelo and Villa Borghese. Both of my friends are avid photographers and spent time capturing panoramic views of Rome from the look-outs.
After a walk around the IES area near Via dei Coronari we reached our destination – a restaurant where my gluten-free friend could finally experience true Italian pasta. We also ordered typical Italian artichokes and zucchini flowers to round out the meal.
After our hearty lunch and heavenly gelato, we took a leisurely walk to the Trevi Fountain, which had just been partially uncovered. We explored the Trevi and Monti neighborhoods as we shopped for gifts.
From the marathon through Rome’s highlights of Saturday to the perfection of Easter Monday, I had a weekend I’ll never forget.
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<p>Amanda is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Economics and Contemporary European Studies with a Philosophy, Politics and Economics minor. After graduation, she wishes to travel frequently while working with international trade and diplomacy. Her idea of a perfect day is enjoying an Orioles victory at Camden Yards followed by fresh crab cakes in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. She is excited to achieve Italian fluency,visit every Roman museum, find the perfect scoop of gelato and argue about soccer with locals at the neighborhood café.</p>