It’s weird to think that it has been about 4 months now since I left for an amazing adventure with such an amazing group of girls. Europe has always been one of the places I’ve wanted to visit, however I thought that it would be later on in my life till I will be able to have that chance; Then a great opportunity turned up on my door step.
I was to attend the UNIV forum. This forum is held for University students across many countries where they come together in Rome for a week and experience faith, culture, and history. Univ first started in 1968 with the aim of being able to provide students the platform to lay down their ideas on certain topics relating to its impact to society and be able to bring them to life. This year’s theme was “Friendship: Model for a New Citizenship.” With this, students were to choose a specific topic of their choice relating to the theme, do some research, write up a paper about it and present it at the forum. The group that I joined and traveled with (Australians), presented their paper “An Aristotelian approach to friendship and Facebook”, where they talked about how Facebook can be used as a better tool to deepening ones friendship with others online and face to face rather than just having an online friendship. They were awarded the winning paper. Not only does this forum allow us to bring our ideas to the table but it also provides us the opportunity to meet a lot of other girls from different countries such as Spain, America, Columbia, Brazil and many more!
Along with the forum, we were able to do a lot of site seeing!
Rome oh Rome. You are just an amazing city to be in to be able to experience such history! I love how the place is not modernized and has kept its old looks. The whole place just engulfs you back in time. From their cobble roads and old churches and buildings. Just amazing. I struggle to even put words together to describe what I want to! Good thing, a lot of pictures were taken. I just have to say though, nothing can really beat Italian pizza and pasta! Oh and gelato of course!!
We were lucky enough to be able to visit Florence the day after we arrived with an early morning travel by the bullet train. Florence was just beautiful. Little town with a lot of those markets where you try and haggle for good prices. We visited Duomo (Florence Cathedral), and Ufizzi gallery. Duomo would have been the very first cathedral we visited in Italy and just blew me away by its size and grandure. Little did I know that I was to see Basilicas later on throughout the trip! Ufizzi gallery was a great art gallery. I’m not really into my art galleries but I did enjoy going through this one! There was one particular section that I would have to say was my favourite. It was on the way out of the gallery where the paintings were in a dimmed room which gave the illusion that the paintings actually had a burning candle to give light to them. Just beautiful. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures in that section.
Another place that I enjoyed and was able to visit quite often was the Vatican city. Probably my favourite place! There we were able to visit the Vatican museum which was just amazing. We were lucky enough to be able to have a wonderful tour guide who was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic which allowed us to understand and appreciate the art and paintings a lot more. The Sistine chapel was probably the best one for me during this whole tour of the museum. The paintings all over was just wow. Amazing how the very talented Michael Angelo was able to produce a masterpiece with such meaning. Another one that just blew me away was The Basilica of St. Peter. It is just beyond words. Our group was lucky enough to be able to attend the Easter Vigil mass there with the Pope! Made it even more special for all of us!
The Pantheon, Colosseum and the Roman forum would be the other ones that I enjoyed seeing! It just made all that history come to life. Made it so weird for me to think that many, many years ago, those Romans walked those same grounds.
I just feel so lucky to have been able to experience Rome through this forum. It has allowed me to form new friendships, learn more about history and deepen my faith. It gave me an opportunity to be able to see things that I never thought I would ever have a chance to see. Till next time Rome!