Fontana di Trevi

The Trevi Fountain is in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.
Coins are purposely meant to be thrown using the right hand over the left shoulder.  The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome’s needy.
The Pantheon (from Greek Πάνθειον Pantheion meaning “[temple] of every god”) is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD).

In Piazza Venezia…

The Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (“National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II”) or Il Vittoriano, is a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome
The monument holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of goddess Roma after World War I following an idea of General Giulio Douhet. The body of the unknown soldier was chosen on 26 October 1921 from among 11 unknown remains by Maria Bergamas, a woman from Gradisca d’Isonzo whose only child was killed during World War I. Her son’s body was never recovered.

October 20, 2013

Il primo giorno.

Day 1 into our trip and we slept in. As much as sleeping in is what a vacation is for, we were running on limited days. Explorations had to begin ASAP. It’s not everyday you wake up in the center of Rome. img_2065

There was a sweeeeeeeeet bakery behind our hostel that had THE BEST bread. Not to mention it was adjacent to a fresh fruit market. DOUBLE WHAMMY!

With breakfast in hand, we started our journey towards the Colosseum. We had decided walking would be the logical thing to do since all the ‘ruins’ we wanted to see were a stone throw away from the other. SO WE PLANNED TO WALK. remember this. ]

On the way to the Colosseum, we made various stops are places of worship, for gelato and take pictures. Typical tourists we were. And then we arrived!


The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72,  and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus. The Colosseum’s original Latin name was Amphitheatrum Flavium, often anglicized as Flavian Amphitheater. The building was constructed by emperors of the Flavian dynasty, following the reign of Nero.

Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. In recent years the Colosseum has become a symbol of the international campaign against capital punishment, which was abolished in Italy in 1948. Several anti–death penalty demonstrations took place in front of the Colosseum in 2000. Since that time, as a gesture against the death penalty, the local authorities of Rome change the color of the Colosseum’s night time illumination from white to gold whenever a person condemned to the death penalty anywhere in the world gets their sentence commuted or is released, or if a jurisdiction abolishes the death penalty.

Most recently, the Colosseum was illuminated in gold in November 2012 following the abolishment of capital punishment in the American state of Connecticut in April 2012.

From the Colosseum we walked to the Pantheon. to gelato and the Trevi Fountain, which was PACKED with people. That didn’t deter us, however, from making it to the front and throwing in our wishes. Which meant there was only one thing left to do……EAT.


Yes. We enjoyed an authentic Italian dinner with all the trimmings while watching the sun set. There was a request to see the Spanish stairs, and we were 10 minutes away walking, so we journeyed forth. That’s when the complaining started. And to make it even better, from the requester of this extra part of the day!


Nonetheless, we reached our destination, and unfortunately our prize fountain was under intense construction. We did get to enjoy the view from the top of the stairs and the strange man who gave us roses, thinking the three of us were somehow a romantic unit. *cackles*

Sleep on the brain, we headed back to our hostel. The Vatican was the goal for Day 2, and they were discussing taking the metro. I was tempted to let them and enjoy my stroll there….


October 29, 2013

Today is the day! 

It’s time to explore Rome! 

And of course, the easiest way to travel around Europe is none other than RyanAir. With our belongings, we boarded our flight and headed towards the Trevi fountain and the Colosseum!

History Lesson

Rome is the capital of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,870,336 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country’s largest and most populated commune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the center of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4.3 million residents.

Flag of Rome
flag of Rome

After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome slowly fell under the political control of the Papacy, which had settled in the city since the 1st century AD, until in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870.

Beginning with the Renaissance, almost all the popes since Nicholas V (1422–55) pursued coherently along four hundred years an architectonic and urbanistic programme aimed to make of the city the world’s artistic and cultural centre. Due to that, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, and then the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism.

Even though the airport was not ‘in’ town, catching a shuttle was a breeze. Finding a map? THAT was a bit difficult, until a stranger-angel saw us struggling and helped us find one that not only had Rome in detail, but also transit times and nearby eateries. FOOD!! But before food, we located our hostel, which gladly was 5-minutes walk from the train-station, dropped off our bags, and set out to find pizza.

Tomorrow will hold the hunt for every ruin we can possible walk past. It’s gonna be fun!!


October 28, 2013

“Italy’s 20 regions feel more like 20 independent states, each with its own dialects, traditions, architecture and glorious food. From nibbling on knödel in an Alto Adige chalet to exploring souk-like market streets in Sicily, the choices are as diverse as they are seductive. Then there’s the country’s incomparable artistic treasures, which amount to more than the rest of the world put together. It’s hard not to feel a little envious sometimes, but it’s even harder not to fall madly in love.”

-Cristian Bonetto || @CristianBonetto

History Lesson

Since classical times, ancient Carthaginians, Phoenicians, and Greeks established settlements in the south of Italy, with Etruscans and Celts inhabiting the centre and north of Italy respectively and various different ancient Italian tribes and Italic peoples dispersed throughout the Italian Peninsula and insular Italy. The Italic tribe, known as the Latins, formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilizations. Rome ultimately emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean basin, conquering much of the ancient world and becoming the leading cultural, political, and religious centre of Western civilization.

Image result for italy

Italy, slightly larger than Arizona, is a long peninsula shaped like a boot, surrounded on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the east by the Adriatic. It is bounded by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia to the north. The Apennine Mountains form the peninsula’s backbone; the Alps form its northern boundary.

Tomorrow we leave for our Fall break trip to Italy. I’m prepped to eat mass amounts of pizza, gelato, bread and pasta! But before we go, I might as well do some theory research on our trip. We are going to Rome, Venice and Milan specifically. And I’ve never traveled personally with Sesame before so this should be and experience. We each were in charge of a part of the trip (accommodations and day plans) and hopefully everything goes more or less according to plan.


October 26, 2013

If it’s one thing that had to grow on me was the manner in which Europeans allocated their time on the Sabbath. Growing up in a strict-Adventist home, Sabbath was designated for church and church and more church. Granted, that’s a hiccup in the SDA teachings but…

[ a dish for another day ].


Thankfully, I was blessed to have people here who were willing to ‘argue’ with a hard-head like myself. Why was it that we thought volunteering our time for the less fortunate and going into the community was beneath us on Saturdays, but perfect for the rest of the week?

[ food for thought ]

On this specific Saturday, the youth had an outreach activity in town, helping out with La Carratera. I must say it was a fun experience, meeting immigrant Africans and hearing their stories, getting free food and getting to practice our Spanish. Would I participate in the run? Definitely not, but that’s my own food for thought.



October 25, 2013

It’s Fridayyyyyy and of course our shenanigans followed us to Carrefour! Since Halloween-All hallows night or whatever you may call it was right around the corner we were trying on masks and scaring other students.img_1789

Then! We checked out tickets just thinking we were leaving Sunday for Italy, when we were actually supposed to leave TODAY! HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?! 

ugggghhhh. I’m annoyed with myself.

To boot, we sang tonight for AY. We had had an afterglow a few weeks back and were fooling around with a song, which ended up with someone snitching to the Youth Pastor that we could sing, and then the cookie of lowkey-ness crumbled. And even though our Spanish translations were WRONG [ *side eye* ] we still did quite a good job!



October 22, 2013

I am back IN MY ROOM!

*inserts happy dance*

No matter how much I love to travel, there is no feeling like showering in your shower and sleeping in your bed. Yesssssssss…..

Today we had no class because our profs wanted us to have time to work on our travel diaries, which I was already finished with. The travel diary was a concept they implemented for students to practice writing in Spanish as well as recounting their feelings about the trips. Many took it as a history regurgitation, which I found slightly foolish since 99% of the profs had been on these trips and knew the history.

Nah, a diary is for cataloging the good and the bad in life and that’s exactly what I used mine for. My adviser was going to read about disgusting food choices and sleepless nights, awful wifi connections and when ‘ole girl tried it’.

With that in mind, and two sticks of glue and alllllll the paraphernalia I had horded from each visit, I concocted a mini-travel chapter book complete with pictures and pop-outs! I was very proud of myself, despite some surrounding humans who thought I was being ‘extra’.

NEVER WOULD I HAVE GUESSED that in the time it took the day to become the next, those same negative people would be secretly trying to replicate my ideas in their own diaries. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!