When in Rome

Yesterday we arrived in Rome and toured the Colosseum and Roman Forum. It was hot and the line was long even with tickets, but it’s worth it even for the 4th time. I left my phone on the bus, so I wasn’t able to post last night. Today we had a walking tour of Rome including Piazza di Popolo, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. The GDYO Executive Director was in search of an authentic panini for lunch, so we sought a side street and grabbed sandwiches and some water. We ate on the stoop in front of a building, which was closed. It was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. We had plenty of time on our own to wander around, just walking the streets and seeing what was around any given corner. At about 3 we headed to the venue for the rehearsal. It was in a gorgeous church in the middle of Rome, not far from the Pantheon. It was a full house, and the parish choir performed a few pieces first. The acoustics were fantastic, and the wind symphony sounded wonderful. They got to play the piece tonight in which Gus has a piano solo. Their last concert was their best, in my opinion. We had a celebratory pizza dinner and are now back at the hotel, relaxed because the hard work of performing is over. Tomorrow is our last day with the tour, and we’ll be at the Vatican museum in the morning. We won’t be able to go into St. Peter’s tomorrow, however, because the Pope called a special mass for refugees. It’s unfortunate, but we will probably have a walking tour of Trastevere instead. It’s been an incredible 8 days, and I’ll miss the group–these are great kids and chaperones, but it will be nice to settle into our apartment in Bologna for a couple of weeks and be on our own time table.

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