After approximately 19 hours of travel, fortified by Chick-Fil-A and Jamba Juice. I’m still not quite ready to process my semester. So all I have is this baby step:
My last evening in Rome was made up of a series of firsts: the Cupola of St. Peter’s was conquered. Chocolate-drenched gelato from Frigidarium was digested, as was a drink at Scholar’s. Then, because my fellow gelato and drink digesters had not planned our time well, I finally ran along Via dei Fori Imperiali, right past the Colosseum In a floor length skirt. Because we were going to be late for the school-sponsored pizza dinner. Luckily, we made it, despite my purse breaking mid-flight.
After dinner, a large group of merry students made their way back up Via dei Fori Imperiali, taking silly photographs posing as famous statues we studied in Art & Architecture: everything from Bernini’s Apollo & Daphne (with help from a bystanding tree) to the classic Venus Pudica. Once we hit the bars, the group broke into bar-hoppers and cigar-seekers. Not particularly interested in spending money (or smoking a cigar, for that matter), I used my powers of persuasion on a few girlfriends to accompany me in my continued mission of firsts: a coin was tossed into the Trevi Fountain (and my camera decided to capture the moment and make it artsy-fartsy), merriment was made in Piazza Navona (read: heads were dunked in Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi), and I played my harmonica on the steps of Sant’Ignazio.
Sunday, May 5, I wandered about Rome for the last time. I teared up as I turned my back on St. Peter’s Square, prayed at St. Catherine’s tomb at Santa Maria sopra Minerva, and listened to the organ at San Luigi while I admired the Caravaggios, and wondered at the Pantheon. I didn’t let my solo-ness stop me from sitting down in a sea of couples for lunch in Trastevere. “Solo?” asked the waiter. “Solo,” I confirmed. The church count for the day soared into the double digits.
Needless to say, it was a triple gelato day.
Hello, America. Hello summer jobs, Youtube, letter-writing, family, frisbee, barbecue, home cooking, and coffee with old friends. Hello organic chemistry, library books, Spotify, driving, Cardinals baseball, and making myself romesick by looking through photographs on Facebook for too long.