The Pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi

Sunday the 20th I got back from another 10 days traveling abroad. This time, instead of France, I went to Italy, and this time I was there with all the students who are spending this semester studying in Austria.

Our traveling time officially started on Thursday the 10th, on which anyone who finished their last class of the day was free to independently depart to Rome. The free school bus to Rome did not depart until Friday at 8:30pm. We were all heartily encouraged to travel on our own, leaving early and avoiding the bus, as most students in the past had not enjoyed the 12 hour bus trip. I was undaunted by the warnings of winding roads, motion sickness, and being crunched into a bus with masses of other students, so I took the bus. This meant that I actually had a weekend to enjoy, or at least, a night and a day to relax with no worries of catching trains or following schedules. All I had to do was make sure I was on the bus on Friday night, and I wouldn’t have to spend a cent (or a Eurail day) on trains.

So Thursday, after my 8:40am class let out, I relaxed, I packed, I played my ukelele. That night I watched BLOOD DIAMOND with my sister and my friend, Cathy, in my dorm room, I ate chocolate, and I did my laundry. Friday morning I slept in, went to lunch, watched the LCI students play ultimate Frisbee, journalled, relaxed more, and finally, when 7:45 rolled around, I started to pick up all my bags and head over to the bus, which they requested we start loading at 8pm.

Then we began our journey to ROME. There were probably 40-50 of us, I don’t know how many people a standard bus fits, but how many it is – is how many we were. We were the few, the courageous, the thrifty, the lazy, the 40-50 people who decided to stay back a day, relax, and take the bus to Rome. The other 130 students did not get to participate in the adventure of watching THE SCARLET AND THE BLACK, eating homemade cookies that the RD lovingly prepared for us, or eating a sack lunch for breakfast at a truck stop at 9 in the morning.

Personally, I quite enjoyed the bus ride. I realized for the first time while on it that I actually do get motion sick, or at least I realized that a medicine exists that doesn’t make you feel absolutely miserable on every bus ride you go on. I always thought I felt horrible because I had been poisoned, or because I couldn’t sleep, or because there was no room for my exceedingly long legs and big feet, but apparently I am allergic to buses. Ultimately, however, I felt pretty good during that bus ride, because of the medicine, and because of the fact that my seat mate slept on the floor of the bus and I had two seats on which to stretch out comfortably.

Saturday morning we arrived in Rome, and situated ourselves comfortably in our three person hotel room. We ate our meager lunches of peanuts, trail mix, assorted fruits that we had spent the last week accumulating one by one from our school cafeteria (you are allowed to take out one piece of fruit per meal) and chocolate. When in Rome they fed us breakfast and dinner, but we had to find lunch on our own, thus, I came prepared.

I am proud to say that the entire time I was in Rome, in all the time in which I was supposed to have purchased 5 lunches, I only spent 5.50 on food.

After lunch, the three of us (my sister Patience, Cathy, and myself) went traveling around Rome, as we left our hotel we bumped into two other students, and we all decided to head to the Purgatory museum! We of course got lost, and ended up walking right past it without realizing it was there, but we did see the Vatican and then we headed back to our hotel for dinner. It’s hard to recall what else we did. I do believe there was a holy hour and mass was a part of my day, at the little convent near the hotel, but the specifics are hard to remember.

Sunday through Wednesday we went on tours through Rome, had mass in the Vatican, had mass in several other Roman churches, saw many more churches, and prayed a lot. On Tuesday we went on the SCAVI TOURS, which lead us under St. Peter’s Basilica, and several feet from St. Peter’s tomb. I also paid 12 euros to explore the Colosseum with my friend, which wasn’t too interesting, but we also were allowed into the Roman Forumn as well and saw the crumbled remains of the Emperor Nero’s house.

Thursday we left Rome and headed for Assisi! We arrived in Assisi in the afternoon/evening and I explored some of the shops before supper, and then supper, and then a holy hour in a beautiful church.

Friday we had a walking tour of Assisi, mass at St. Francis’s tomb, and a Festival of Praise!

Saturday we had the other part of the walking Tour, and we went to the hermitage of St. Francis and prayed, and then PRAISE AND WORSHIP OUTSIDE THE CASTLE!!!!

4:45 am on Sunday I woke up, ate breakfast, loaded the buses in the dark, and at 6am I said goodbye to Assisi. Sunday night we arrived home.

That’s my summary of my ten days in Italy. It’s been a week since that trip, and a lot happened, so I just wanted to put it all in there and I didn’t concern myself too much with how much sense it made. So that’s it.

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About writingcatherine

This started as a documentation of my adventures in Europe...but hey, life's an adventure in itself.
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