Final Day…

Today was our final day in Italy (besides leaving day). We started our day out by going to a church with many layers of history underneath it: St. Clemente Church. The complex is of great importance because it is located on top of ancient underground buildings going two levels deep, the oldest of which dates back to the first century AD.

We then went to Museo dell’Ara Pacis, which houses the Ara Pacis of Augustus, an altar dedicated to peace, as well as temporary exhibitions on modern and contemporary art. It was really cool to see the building in which it was housed due to the fact that a girl’s mom in our group had designed that building (Lauren Tulley)!

After looking at the awesome architecture and altar piece of Augustus, we headed to a museum that housed many sculptures and busts. The Capitoline Museums were a set of mirroring museums that focussed a lot on Roman sculpture. It was really awe provoking to see the level of detail in which these artists worked. 

We ended our day with of course another traditional, yummy, home style Italian restaurant, followed by walking to the famous Trevi Fountain. Some of us decided to get some final gelato on the way back to the hotel and now we are all just about asleep and excited but sad to come back home.

Colosseum and more!

Some little blurbs from Kate and Leet about our day:

Leet: Palatine Hill

According to the creation story of Rome, two brothers, Romulus and Remus, fought about where to build a city. Romulus wanted to build it on Palatine Hill, and Remus preferred Aventine Hill. After Romulus killed his brother, he built the city on Palatine Hill and called it Rome. Currently, Palatine Hill consists of the Forum, temple ruins, and ruins of mansions built by emperors. We walked through the ruins on a path that ended at a points overlooking Rome. 

Kate: Colosseum

At the Colosseum today we walked around the perimeter and second stories. The group saw the underground passageways that flooded during naval battles, where the gladiators were kept, and the animals were transported too.

Pompeii and Naples

Today was a great start to the trip! However, the jetlag is setting in!

We started off the day with a healthy dose of a sugary Italian breakfast and then headed on our way to Herculaneum – the first, and lesser known, city to be hit by the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius.

After that, we headed to the city of Naples and had pizza and pasta at a really great traditional Italian restaurant.

We then proceeded to walk around the city of Naples for around 30 mins before meeting at the Naples National Archaeological Museum where they had amazing sculptures, mosaics and pieces of architecture from early Rome.

After that, we took our bus back to the hotel and had the decision to nap or to go explore before dinner. Dinner was yet again at another traditional Italian restaurant.

Here’s what one of our schoolmates had to say about the experience at Herculaneum:

Travis Evans: Today for our first experience, we went to and explored the ancient city Herculaneum. This city was built by the Greeks when they moved here, and it became a boat town. However, because of natural causes, the sea is now about a mile or so away from the city. Many people may not know that this city, along with Pompeii, was destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius. Because of how close Herculaneum is to Mt. Vesuvius, this city (unlike Pompeii) was destroyed by boiling-hot mud that ranged from 500-900 degrees Fahrenheit. A fun fact that we learned is that the mud moved at around 100 mph. Because of how swift the mud was moving, much of the city stayed intact. The wood didn’t even have time to burn up! Next, we went to the Napoli’s museum. Here we got to see original depictions of Hercules and many other sculptures. Overall, it was a great and tiring day.

We made it!

Today was a very difficult and long day for everyone. We started off at SFO with a 45 minute delayed flight, which led to the missing of our connecting flight in Frankfurt Germany. After a 10 hour flight, we landed in Germany, we explored the Frankfurt airport for 4 hours until our rebooked flight departed. After this hour and a half flight, we finally touched down in Rome Italy. From this airport we took a lengthy bus ride to our hotel in Pompeii. Along the way on this bus ride, we stopped for pizza. Once we arrived at our hotel, we given a briefing on what is to come on this trip.

We are all super tired and we will continue to update the blog throughout the week.