We have had a brilliant first day in Rome! We arrived a little later than scheduled but it didn’t deter us. After checking in at the hotel our collective excitement gave us the energy we needed to get straight into the warm fresh air. We stepped out of the hotel and immediately begin to soak up the sights in Rome. After a walk to the park we treated the pupils and staff to a train ride, though strictly speaking, train is not an accurate description (see photos below!). We have uploaded a selection of photos from our day below, we are looking forward to tomorrow and will update you throughout our week.
We started our day with a continental breakfast at the hotel. We then walked to ‘Archbasilica of St. John Lateran’, the Lateran Basilica is the cathedral church of Rome and therefore houses the cathedra, or ecclesiastical seat of the Roman Pontiff (Pope). It is the oldest of and has precedence among the four papal major basilicas all of which are in Rome. Because it is the oldest church in the West and houses the cathedra of the Roman Pontiff it has the title of ecumenical mother church of the Roman Catholic faithful. We then walked to the church of the Santissimo nome di Gesu, the mother church of the Jesuit order. Our visit to the Trevi Fountain followed. This was a popular area but not too busy for us to soak up the atmosphere and noise of the fountain. Fontana di Trevi is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and one of the most famous fountains in the world. We also visited the Pantheon today, at more than 1,800 years old it is a phenomenal site to see. Our last visit of the day was to Piazza Navona, the children had a great time here to finish the day off. We walked back to the hotel and settled in a local restaurant before heading to bed.
The day began with a walk to Piazza Barberini to see the Triton Fountain. The heraldic symbols of Pope Urban VIII are clearly visible on Bernini’s sculpture. From here we walked to Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the very top of the Spanish Steps (Scalinata). Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe, it connects Piazza Trinita dei Monti with Piazza di Spagna at the base. When we reached the bottom the view back up the steps to the church of Trinita dei Monti was amazing. We paused for smoothies in a small shaded café overlooking Roman ruins before walking on to Barracco Museum where we saw some very old artefacts. We stopped for our lunch in Campo De Fiori before our visit to see La Bocca della Verita (the mouth of truth). We managed to pause for gelato overlooking The Colosseum of Rome before our last visit of the day to Basilica San Clemente, photos were limited in here but the ceiling was an incredible sight. We took a refreshing walk back towards our hotel for dinner before bed.
The Colosseum, what a sight! We timed our visit perfectly and were able to gain access without too much of a wait. Outside alone it is an awe inspiring building, inside it is spectacular. We went up to the upper level first to experience the view before working our way down to the lower levels. After we left The Colosseum, we went to see the Arch of Constantine on route to The Forum where we walked through the incredible ruins. The children are now packing their bags and enjoying some downtime at the hotel before their dinner.