The opening trip began on Monday September 7th when I landed in the Rome airport, all of my friends landed at different times so we ended up at different hotels. After landing we met Father Brian at our hotel, he took us on a walking tour of Rome. Our hotel was near Vatican City, which was where we began our tour. It was a lot of walking but we saw a lot of interesting locations, including his personal favorite place to get gelato. After the Vatican we walked passed the Castel Sant' Angelo, which is used in the recent movie "Angels & Demons". From their we crossed the bridge to Piazza Navona, which was the site of ancient chariot races, it is surrounded by bars and restauraunts. From the piazza it was a short walk to the Pantheon, which is famous for its large dome with an opening in the center of the roof. It wasn't much further to the real destination for me, the gelateria. I got peach, or pesca, in honnor of the episode of "Everybody loves Raymond" when the family goes to Italy and Robert gets a peach gelato and declares, "It's like I've never tasted a peach before." It realy was that good! after that we returned to our hotel to rest up before dinner.
I took a catnap in the lobby while I read a book and waited for others to go to dinner. We went out around eight in a group of about thirty or more students. there were to many of us to get dinner anywhere so we split up. Twelve of us ended up near Piazza Navona and sat down for dinner, I had a four cheese pizza with a pesto sauce, it was delicious. From there we went through the piazza to Campo de Fiori, which is the place to go for the night scene. I didn't stay there to long because it was quite a walk back to the hotel and I hand't slept in forever.
The next morning was the tour of the church of Saint Ignacious of Loyola, who Gonzaga was named after. The inside of the church is amazing because the roof is painted in such a way that gives the illusion of a high arched ceiling but actually it is just created by the tecniques the artist used, he was a Jesuit painter at the time that the church was built. Then we went to the Jesuit house in Rome, just down the block from the church, the roof has a great view of Rome and the church. After we left the Jesuit house, we went to get lunch, I walked back towards the hotel with some others from our group and found a pizza bar near the Vatican to eat at, while we ate we fed the pigions and watched them fight for the crumbs. After lunch we got on the bus to go to Napoli to catch the ferry down to Palermo on the isle of Sicily.