I have been in Torino, Italy for two weeks now and I am absolutely loving it! There is so much to share about my experience, but last weekend I went to Rome and it was an experience that completely changed my life.
For one thing it was my 20th birthday and it will be a hard birthday to beat! I went and saw all of the tourist attractions like the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Sistine Chapel. Personally I was so excited to make a wish at the Trevi Fountain. I was a little disappointed that there was a huge gate around the fountain and you couldn’t get very close, but I am proud to say that my coin still made it in the water, I just had to use a little extra force to get it there.
The most exciting part of the weekend though was definitely on Sunday. We woke up early in hopes of finally being able to see St. Peter’s Basilica. It had been closed the two previous days of our trip and this was our last chance to see it. Around 7am we started to wait in line with about a hundred other people. By 8 the line had tripled in size and someone around us told us that in fact the line was not to get in to see the Basilica. The Pope had decided to hold a special mass that morning at 10 and the people in line had tickets and were waiting to attend. We were frustrated that we had been waiting and weren’t even going to get to see the Basilica on our one trip to Rome.
By some miracle though a man came to the side of the line and had extra tickets he wasn’t going to use and gave them to us. We were shocked and beyond excited! Shortly after we were let into the Basilica and since we had arrived so early we had a nice view up front. St. Peter’s Basilica is absolutely gorgeous and is a must see in Rome! Everywhere I looked there was something to marvel at. After another hour wait and a round of saying the rosary in Latin, Mass began. It is hard to even describe how incredible it was to attend a Mass all in Latin that was given by the Pope himself. I was one of the couple hundred people in the Basilica who had the honor to attend while thousands more stood in the square watching on a big screen. I have grown up a Catholic and attend Catholic schools up until college and having the opportunity to attend Mass with the leader of the church is something I will NEVER forget.
I can’t wait for the many more adventures sure to come in the next few weeks!