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Sarah Shapiro



Before this experience, I used my study abroad as a means of escaping my world for a few weeks. Afterwards, I realized that through this experience, I was able to better understand myself, and what I want later in my life. The photos attached is the beginning of my adventures and my end.  In the first photo, a small group of friends and I went down to to explore the Tiber River after dinner during the weekend before classes began. Little did I know, at the time, that this specific bridge, Ponte Sisto, would be the pathway that would introduce me to the rest of Rome during my five week stay. The amount of artwork and graffiti that is found down by the walkway is unimaginable. In addition, each night during the first week we arrived, two of the Student Orientation Leaders and RA’s led a few night tours of Rome. Although it is not pictured, a power wash mural was completed the summer before recounting all of the incredible ancient events that happened in this unforgettable city.  In all the times that I had visited Italy, I had never seen the Fontana di Trevi (The Trevi Fountain) during the nighttime and would highly recommend doing at night if you are ever in Rome. The second photo is a wonderful, captured memory of my friends and me in front of the magnificent Fontana di Trevi.  The Sunday before finals, I unexpectedly stumbled upon Papa Francisco’s Corpus Christi sermon held at Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano. After the mass, a procession of everyone occurred from the Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano to another famous Basilica pictured above, Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiole. It was truly a profound, once-in-a-lifetime event that I will never forget. To see all of the faith and passion that emanated from the people was quite emotional and awe-inspiring.  Given my location, Piazza Venezia, home to Altare della Patria, more commonly known as “The Wedding Cake” or “The Typewriter,” was just a short walk from where I was living.  After walking past the piazza and the historic monument almost every day, I was finally able to explore its wonder by attending a beautiful, free concert held on the balcony of the famous monument at sunset during my last week in Rome. Afterwards, I went to the very top to see as what many Romans jokingly say, “The best view in Rome.”

Ponte Sisto Bridge over Tiber River

Friends in Front of the Fontana di Trevi

Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiole

The Altare della Patria

A View of Castelbuono

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