An Italian buffet breakfast in the hotel started the day, and then we were headed for Vatican City by 8:15 a.m. Va
tican City is the smallest country in the world. It is the heart of Catholicism and is one of the most visited places.
The Vatican Museum. Whew. So. Much. Detail.
Everywhere you look there are pieces of art. The walls, the floor and especially the ceiling are all covered. There are sculptures of every type of marble and a variety of paintings, one of which is probably considered the most famous in the world: the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo painted it in only four years!
The whole Vatican Museum is astonishing. People can take pictures and pictures and more pictures (no photos allowed inside the Sistine Chapel), but not even a great picture can accurately portray the beauty of the museum. We were fortunate enough to have a personal tour guide who explained much of the history of the city and the artwork.
Many of us have heard some of the history and have seen pictures of the Sistine Chapel, but I don’t think that one can fully understand and appreciate the magnificence of this work of art unless seen in person.
After the morning tour we had a little over two hours of free time in which most of us took a much-needed nap and grabbed a bite to eat. We are loving the Italian food!
Around three in the afternoon the team met up and split into four groups of three for a Virginia Tech version of the Amazing Race. In short, it was a scavenger hunt around the city of Rome. Each team was given a map and had to use it to find various landmarks around the city and take specific pictures while visiting those spots.
There were six required pictures: throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain; counting the steps of the Spanish Steps (there were 135 of them); eating gelato at the Pantheon; with an artist in the Piazza Navona; in Piazza Venezia, specifically in front of the white monument nicknamed the “wedding cake” and finally in front of the Colosseum. This adventure took a little longer than two hours and although my team (myself, along with Morgan Allen and Maddison Penn) did not win we still had a blast, and loved the time seeing, exploring and experiencing all of the great city of Rome. The team of Samantha Hill, Hannah Young and Nia Evans won the Amazing Race title.
Afterwards we had about an hour to get ready for our first team dinner. Where do I even start? We were served an appetizer, then noodles with mushrooms in a white cream sauce, followed by stuffed ravioli (all part of the second course!), then the main dish, which consisted of either beef, chicken or fish and potatoes. The meal ended with fresh strawberries and Italian ice. The dinner was absolutely amazing.
Smiles and laughter consumed the evening. I mean how could it not? We are in one of the most famous cities in the world and at one of the nicest restaurants with our closest friends making memories that will last a lifetime.
Today is a day I will remember forever. It’s a day I will want to tell my kids and grandkids about. It’s another day to be thankful and to remember how blessed we truly are. Life is short and definitely has its ups and downs. Today will be a day when I will look back and remember the sweet, sweet memories of being a Hokie.
- Kelsey Conyers #33
Check back tomorrow for Taijah Campbell’s blog following the Hokies’ first game while in Italy. Tech will face Santa Marinella at 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. EST).
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