We visited a variety of places in different cities and towns during our time in Italy. My personal favourites include Pompeii, the Catacombs, and the Diocesan Museum in Cortona. In Pompeii, it was fascinating to see an entire city preserved by the ashes caused by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. It was interesting to observe the different houses, shops, amphitheatre, and gymnasium, as well as a pizza parlour. We even had the privilege to re-enact a part of the life of an ancient Roman when we were able to see Rachael Pascoe perform a soliloquy from Romeo and Juliet in the amphitheatre. The Catacombs, which are a network of underground burial places used by Christians in ancient Rome, were dark and mysterious. It is the type of place one would want to explore (well, at least I think so!). I really enjoyed the Diocesan Museum in Cortona, with its wonderful collection of masterpieces of Italian painting. This museum was particularly remarkable because the paintings on display spanned from the Romanesque and Gothic periods to the Renaissance and Baroque. Some other famous monuments and buildings we visited were St. Peter's Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, and the Roman Forum.
What I really liked about this trip is that despite the fact that we only went for ten days and had a strict itinerary to follow, we were still able to get a feel for the Italian culture and people. From the way drivers stop for you if you look at them in the eye, to the meals that consisted of several courses, we were able to soak up the way of life in Italy.
The Rome trip was a great success. I definitely learned a lot from this trip. It was a very enjoyable ten-day history lesson, but it was also so much more than that. It was a way to understand the life of the ancient Romans, and link it to the life of the present-day Italians, and modern civilization.
I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to visit Italy, and I hope I can return one day.