Entry 2: May 23, 2002

Today, being the Catholic university that we are, we toured the Vatican. It was an absolutely exquisite display of extravagance and art. San Pietro’s Basilica was absolutely breathtaking and one of the world’s most impressive artists, Michelangelo, had several works in it. “La Pieta,” that oh-so-famous statue of a lifeless Jesus cradled in his mother’s arms, was particularly moving. The “Capella Cistina” was also “marvelloso” to behold. Looking at the ceiling has never been more entertaining. =)

The buildings here are stunning and magnificent! It’s so amazing to see the architecture of what was, at one time, a great empire. The Walls of Rome, Constantine’s Arch, the San Pietro Basilica, the Vatican … amazing! It’s like the homeland, but it’s not. I feel as though, by journeying to Rome, I am embarking on a pilgrimage.

It’s also simply fascinating to see the Italian culture. The cars are all so small and mostly electric and lots of people ride scooters. And, the homes nearly all have gardens even though most of them are deep within the city.

Tonight, we played our first game in a village (though it’s really not) on a hill named Palestrina, and our new friends in the Italian League taught us a phrase — “en bodi di lobo”, which must be followed by the reply of “creppe!” Literally, it means “in the mouth of the wolf”, to which the person responds “kill them!” Apparently, it’s like “good luck” in English and Le’ and I thought it was fun to say!

The bus ride back to Rome from Palestrina proved to be the highlight of the day, however. Watching Jackie, Jeneka and Letitia jam out to European techno music was absolutely hilarious. Coupled that with the fact that Katy, Jill and Teresa decided to make superhero masks out of their “pre-wrap” and then have tape ball wars … it was quite a ride!

On a side note, Italian cuisine is simply delicious! I feel sorry, not for myself, but my clothes, which probably will not fit after this trip! Actually, Italians are some of the healthiest eaters in the world, however. Last night, we ate an antipasta (appetizer) of battered olives, followed by bowtie pasta iin asparagus sauce, then warm veal smothered in ham and marinara sauce, and finally desert. Naturally, a few of us ordered every dessert and then traded bites: Gellatti ice cream topped in Kiwi sauce, chocolate cake and Nona’s tart pie (aka Grandmother Pie). Needless to say, I was thankful we ate dinner so late because it gave me all day to become hungry!!

Gotta run … talk to you later … arrividerci!