DAY 1: TRAVEL AND ROMA
o PIT to Paris
• The 22 of us meet at Pittsburgh International Airport at 14:00 to get checked in. We were supposed to fly into JFK on Delta and leave Pittsburgh by 16:30, but our flight was changed and we flew out of Pittsburgh directly to Paris and our flight left at 18:30. During the extra time at Pittsburgh airport I was able to get my water and eat a nice lunch at TGIFridays. After my late lunch, I walked back to the gate and was surprised to see that our plane had arrived early and I thought that it was a good sign. BOY WAS I WRONG!
• We boarded the plane and an announcement came across the intercom system from the pilot that there was a situation that the mechanics were handling and that we would be delayed. I didn’t thing much of it and figured that we had an hour to spare in Paris before leaving for Rome. The flight was actually nice, there wasn’t too much turbulence, and the food wasn’t too bad either. During the flight there was a medical emergency that I was able to assist on which everything turn out ok.
o Paris to Roma
• Upon arrival in Paris our plane was held on the tarmac and unloaded due to there was no openings for us at the airport. Our plane arrived later than expected and we had to run thru security and rush thru customs to get to our next flight. At 09:45 we were still in line at customs and Mo was trying to get them to hold our flight due to our 1st being late. She was very persuasive and they held the plane. After running thru the Paris –Degaulle Airport we boarded that plane. To hear another announcement for the pilot stating there was something wrong with the plane and the mechanics were working on it. I just sat there and giggled, at this point of time it may have been the exhaustion due to lack of sleep or it could have just been my luck…
• We arrived in Rome and meet up the 23rd person in our group. Cecilia Lopez. At this point I didn’t realize how big of an asset she was, being the only one on the trip that spoke fluent Italian, but also how great it would be to travel with, and learn from Cecilia.
• We boarded a very comfortable bus to Hotel Cherubini.
• Hotel Cherubini
• At Hotel Cherubini we were move into 3 and 4 person room. I was lucky enough to room with Maria and Annie during my stay in Roma. The hotel was in close proximity to the bus terminal which was used on a daily bases. Except with Mo wanted to walk. Like day 1 when we walked down to the Coliseum.
• Coliseum and Arch of Constantine
• The first thing that we stopped at was the Coliseum and the Arch of Constantine. If anyone got separated we were to meet at the grassy area between the Coliseum and the Arch. We got our pass to go inside the massive structure. I can’t fathom how this was built so long ago without the equipment that is available today. Roman gladiators were usually slaves or POW’s. These gladiators would fight to the death and would be viewed by the people of power and the town’s people. One gladiator would be the winner and live to fight another day. The blood soaked ground would be covered with dirt, sand, and hay to prepare foe the next fight. The gladiator games were discontinued when Christianity took over Rome and the ruminants of the coliseum are now only utilized as a tourist attraction. The Coliseum allows people to view and honor all the lost soles that died while building and fighting. It also opens people eye as to how people live in this time period.
• The Coliseum was commissioned by Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and completed in 80 AD
• The Arch of Constantine was built in 315 AD to mark the victory of Constantine over Maxentius.
• San Pietro in Vincoli in Roma:
o Michelangelo’s Moses is a high Renaissance piece that was commissioned in 1505 by Pope Julius II for his tomb. Moses is in a seated position and has a serious look upon his face. His arms and hand show the artists keen eye and ability to be perfect. His drapery falls over his body shaping him utilizing the wet drape technique. This piece of art is one of the most magnificent pieces to see in person.
o Another piece of art found in this Basilica the Reliquary. This contains the chains of St. Peter and is found under the extraordinary alter piece I have ever scene.