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City of Fountains

St. Giovanni 2

This morning we took the Rome Metro to San Giovanni Basilica. It is the Pope’s cathedral and has been since Constantine constructed it in the early 4th century. The church is absolutely massive and is a giant work of art, with nearly every square inch decorated in some form. I personally found myself in awe of the ceiling, which was a patchwork of immense and illustrious gold beautification.

St. Giovanni ceiling

We next ventured up the Aventine hill to enjoy a nice picnic overlooking the city. The sun just started to set as we laid the blanket down, and we were treated to a spectacular sunset as we gorged on fresh mozzarella, fruit, and panini. Before departing, we had one last surprise for our students. Just a few minutes from where we were eating sits an old gate. The doors do not open, and only a small solitary keyhole provides a glimpse of what lies behind. If curiosity gets the better of wandering travelers, they can look through and see the most breathtaking view of St. Peter’s Basilica. We all took turns to peep through and gaze at the wondrous sight of the church framed by a tunnel of plants and sunlight.

As we made our way back to the hotel, we noticed a small carnival across the river in Trastevere. We figured it was worth a look, so we went across the bridge for some gelato, games, and souvenir shopping. Definitely worth checking out. That’s all for now. Tomorrow is our big day in the Vatican. Buona Notte!

-Jamie Lansdowne

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