Sunday morning I was up at 5:30 to shower before breakfast at 6am. I have decided that Rome has weird bathrooms because first off they have a bidet, second off they have a ginormous shower head in the ceiling and then a little one that you can take off of the wall that’s below your knees, third off their shower curtain/door only covers half the length of the tub so the water goes all over the floor when you shower, fourth off their toilet paper is all little squares, and fifth off the sink is literally like a ceramic bowl bolted to a table. Like, they pulled the sink itself out of the shelf and set it on top.
Anyways…we took the metro to St. Paul’s Outside the Walls for a brief tour/explanation followed by Mass in Italian. Of course we couldn’t understand a word they were saying, but it was nice all the same. After Mass, we took the Metro to St. Peter’s and stopped on our way to get Pizza for lunch. It didn’t have any cheese on it, but it was still really good. We made our way to St. Peter’s square to wait for the Angelus with Pope Francis. There was so much energy among the students. Finally, it was 12pm and the pope came out! Everyone went crazy and then he said something we couldn’t understand and prayed the angelus. It was so amazing to realize that we were right there praying with the Vicar of Christ on Earth!
After the angelus, we were following the Newtons who were following Scott to get to the security line. It turned out that Scott was actually going to get some food so we had to go back in and get in line. We were in security for about 45 minutes and then we sat outside of St. Peter’s by the statue of St. Paul for about half an hour. We broke up into groups of about 25 and we all got headsets and then a seminarian from the Pontifical North American College gave us a tour of St. Peter’s. It is so big and so beautiful. We saw incorrupt saints and popes and were able to pray at the tomb of John Paul II. After the tour, we went and got gelato and then headed back to the hotel. It was raining and we all got soaking wet. Of course we were bombarded by the guys on the street selling umbrellas and rain ponchos but we didn’t want to buy from them.
After dinner we had adoration but because dinner ran so late by the time we got to adoration, they were saying the divine praises and leaving. We headed back to the hotel, I combed some hair for a few girls, and then got a good night’s rest.
Monday Morning we were up early again for breakfast at 6am and then Elizabeth and I headed out to get to St. Peter’s early. We got there early enough that we didn’t have to wait in security and once we got inside, it was still quiet. We walked around and visited all the side altar’s, took pictures, went to confession, and prayed by John Paul II’s tomb again. We had Mass at the Altar of St. Joseph and some other English speaking pilgrims joined us.
After Mass, Hana and I decided to go up to the top of St. Peter’s. We walked the whole way and met up with Mickey once we got to the top. It was really cool to go us so many stairs especially when they were slanted to the right and you could barely stand up straight. It was sprinkling when we left to go up to the top, but by the time we got up there, it was really raining. We got soaking wet (again!) but it was totally worth it. We hurried back down because Hana had a Scavi Tour and by the time we reached the bottom, the sun had come out.
I met up with Desiree and we decided to walk around and find a place to get some pizza for lunch. We found this fancy looking (but cheap) place and sat down for some cheese pizza. It was really good and the sauce on it was amazing. We went back to St. Peter’s square after we finished so that we could check in for our Scavi Tours.
The Scavi Tour was really remarkable because we got to see walls that were built hundreds of years ago, tombs and inscriptions from a while ago, pillars, paintings, and pottery. We also were able to see the bones of St. Peter. That was such an incredible experience. After our Scavi Tour we had a walking tour with Professor Larson. We started out by crossing the Angel’s bridge where each angel statue is depicted holding instruments of the Passion. We walked past the church where St. Philip Neri is buried (but the church was closed so we couldn’t go in), the tomb of St. Monica, and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva where St. Catherine of Sienna is buried. We also saw Bernini’s fountains, the market square, and the Pantheon.
We had dinner back at the hotel at 6:30 and I ended up eating with Professor Larson. It was a little intimidating at first because I had to eat this fancy meal with three forks, two glasses, and three courses with my history professor. She is so nice though so it all went totally fine. We all watched the time so I ended up making it to adoration for about 40 minutes.