Sunday, February 28, 2010

Assisi + Rome-again

Alright, this entry may be a novel.... Friday we took a field trip to Assisi. What is there to say about this city, it was beautiful. The weather was kinda rainy and seriously windy at one point in the day, but other than that it was nice and the sky looked, well, awesome. ((I've formed a new obsession for clouds, don't ask.)) We saw the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, as well as many other churches, buildings + piazzas in the small town. There was so much that Marco had to say throughout the day, it was very cool. And the bus ride there and back was gorgeous, I'll post pics I took from that part too. Soo then comes my favorite part yet.... Saturday morning, my roommates and I all decided to get up early and take a train to Rome for the day to see the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's. And okay, I've been just dying to see the Basilica of St. Peter's in person for years now, so needless to say I was more excited than I've been in, well, years. I had dreams about it the night before.. anyways. We got to Rome at a little before 9am and we went straight to the Vatican Museum first and spent hours walking through it. (The 5 of us kinda split up cuz 2 of the girls were staying the night, so it was just myself, Brooke and Alyssa the whole day.) We finally got to the Sistine Chapel after going through a maze of museums, I swear we were starting to wonder if the place actually existed it took so long. But it was packed with people like you wouldn't believe. Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed inside the chapel. But we stayed and stared for a bit, and our necks hurt upon leaving. And at that point it was about one o'clock, we were supposed to meet up with the other girls at 2, so we kinda hung out outside for a bit before going to our meeting place-St. Peter's. By the way, it was 60 degrees and amazingly sunny and gorgeous outside all day. (Basically I was just in shock the entire day.) So we started to walk to St. Peter's, and I couldn't really breathe the whole way there. I could (did) take as many photos as I want of this and every other amazing building but when it comes down to it, nothing's gunna be as good as when you see it in person. This applies to everything I've seen here so far. So I'll just say that seeing St. Peter's was a dream come true. We wanted to see the Basilica at around 5pm when it's starting to get dark outside, so once we took a few (a ton for me) photos, we got some lunch, went back to Piazza Navona and the Pantheon for a second time, basically just walked around Rome enjoying the afternoon for a bit, and then headed back to St. Peter's at 5. Here's where it started getting a little crazy... We got back to St. Peters and went inside where there was a mass in session, (and oh my heavens, the interior is just as spectacular..) and we figured we'd stay until 6pm cuz we had a train to catch at 7. Once we got inside, however, all 3 of us realized that it was actually 6pm at that time and not 5pm like we thought...?! Not sure how we forgot how to read time and lost an hour. We also realized once inside that the mass that was in session was a 'special ceremony', as the guards told us, and they weren't sure when the church was closing. So we figured we'd hustle through the inside, take as many photos as possible, and head to the train station to catch the LAST train back to Orvieto for the night... We went toward the papal alter & the baldacchino, where mass was being held to take more photos, and we're still not sure what the special service was about, but we may or may not have seen the pope while we were there. Yeah, we're not exactly sure. So we left & started booking it toward the subway station to take us to the train station, and when we got to the ticket machines, they brought up No Seats Available for our 7pm train... So us 3 are thinking we're stuck in Rome for the night, but we got in the very long line to ask an assistant just in case, frieking out the whole time by the way, and when we finally got to the front we asked the very kind old worker man if he spoke English (cuz at this point we were all so frustrated and grumpy that we didn't even want to try speaking Italian) and he told us to try Italian. So I spat out some Italian phrase asking if it was possible for us to get back to Orvieto that night, and he found a train that left an hour later that stopped there. We were so relieved we were able to go home since for a while we thought we'd be roaming the city of Rome all night long until the first train in the morning left!! So yeah, we had the longest day of our lives, we went home after one incredibly successful day, and that is the end of this entirely-too-long story.

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