Day 6 in Vatican City, Day 7 in Pompeii and Conclusion

In the last few days, we visited a variety of wonderful places such as Vatican City and Pompeii. (I was originally inspired to write a paragraph on our exhausting yet rewarding visit to Vatican City. However, I found that T. Ted have already wonderfully summarized our experience in a detailed and lively manner.)

  1. Ted described the day when we visited Vatican City as follows:

“We had a very tiring, but also exhilarating day at the Vatican yesterday. We first spent some time in St. Peter’s Square before we headed into the Basilica. There are no words to accurately describe being in St. Peter’s Basilica. It is truly an awe-inspiring experience. The artistry and grandeur of the place leaves one breathless. To think of the devotion and faith that led people to create such a thing boggles the mind. We then made our way to the Vatican Museum. Once again, students were able to see one masterpiece after another—Michelangelo, Raphael, ancient sculptures, intricate tapestries—we saw them all. The culminating experience of the Vatican Museum is the Sistine Chapel. One could spend hours there scrutinizing the nuances of Michelangelo’s depictions from scripture. When we left the museum, there seemed to be a shocked silence that fell over the group. We were all physically exhausted from having walked so much, but it is equally mentally exhausting to take in so much beauty and splendor.”

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The last day of our Italy Trip started with our transfer from Rome to Pompeii. Waving goodbye to the vibrant city Rome, we left with amazing memories and anticipation to another ancient city, Pompeii. Despite the three-hour ride, everyone felt energetic and ready to explore the stories once happened in the city of Pompeii, an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples. The city was destroyed and covered with ash and pumice as Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. We met an awesome Italian tour guide; as a third-generation tour guide, he impressed everyone with his humor and charisma, giving us an unexpectedly intriguing introduction of Pompeii. Through his introduction, we acknowledged the connection between ancient Roman Empire and the current United States such as the eagle symbol, the architectures, and the usage of Latin texts. We were surprised to know that this roman city could survive for a while because of food, wine and sanitation. The explicit expression of sexual needs in Pompeii can be seen from the paintings and carved decorations in the prostitutes’ houses. We did our last Latin translation at the very end of this tour. From reading the passage, we had a peek of the historical events happened to Pompeii and the destruction of the town left by the eruption of a nearby volcano. During this trip, we walked and laughed, exhausted but still felt satisfied. As this trip is about to end soon, we again feel appreciated to have a chance immersing ourselves to a Latin culture and witnessing the masterpieces left in this country.

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In conclusion, this trip is wonderful! Even though none of us expected that we had to walk ten miles on average each day, every member and teacher in our group shared tiredness and joyfulness as a team. We hardly complained about anything, for we stayed together both physically and mentally throughout the trip. Furthermore, not only do we amaze at the brilliance and splendor of Romanian arts, sculptures and architectures, but we also enjoyed the food and the free time we spent together: I simply loved the enthusiastic and collaborative energy of our group. This is probably the most amazing aspect of group traveling.

Wish you joy reading my blogs!

Sincerely,

Joe Zhu

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