Italy #1: Ciao Italy

It’s our last day here in Italy and we cannot believe these past two weeks just flew by! The sights, taste, smells and experiences have all been great. New people met, new places visited, old comfort zones crossed for newer ones. What a time it has been indeed. Below are updates over the past few days from our participants.

Friday:

Today we visited the Vatican. We walked through the museum looking at all of the amazing artwork, and made it to the Sistine Chapel which was breaktaking. Then we went into Saint Peter’s Basilica which was grand and bigger than anything the group had ever seen. We got back on the bus and headed over to Rome, specifically the Colosseum, which live up to expectations. We walked back to the hotel through the forum. Then we went to an Orthodox service and a kosher meal in the Jewish quarter of Rome. When we finally hit the hay everyone was exhausted after an exhilarating day and we were all excited to sleep in! – Hannah Anthony

Saturday:

Ciao everyone! On Saturday we had so much fun! After breakfast at our hotel, we walked around Rome going sightseeing. We stopped at the Piazza Novana and then went to the Pantheon. After we admired the beautiful Roman temple (which is now a church), we walked to Trevi Fountain. It was amazing! We all threw coins in and made a wish. We brought out our inner Lizzie McGuire! Then we had a tiny bit of free time, during which I got the best gelato ever. We went to see the Spanish Steps and did lots of shopping. Almost all of the girls headed over to a huge Brandy Melville:) 

Later, we had a long walk back to the hotel, and then we went to a cool outdoor restaurant. The dinner was delicious! At sunset we celebrated Havdalah and brought in the new week. Havdalah is always a great way to bring everyone together and reflect on the awesome week we had in Italy. Overall, Rome has been absolutely amazing. Looking up from the street to see ancient ruins will never fail to excite me. The city is beautiful, and we all had so much fun in the time we spent here. Until next time, ciao! – Jordyn Nydish (P.S. Hi mom and dad, I miss you!)

Sunday:

Hi everyone!! Today (Sunday) was a great last day of our trip! We started off the day waking up early to get on the bus and drive to Pompeii. The drive was pretty long, 4 hours, but it was really nice getting some downtime to spend with all of our best friends. In Pompeii we broke into groups and tour guides led us around the sites. We saw old stadiums, the redlight district, and even casts of dead bodies and animals. As always, it was so cool to see how well preserved and beautiful the architecture and community layout was. After our tour, we got free time for lunch and a large group of us headed to a pizzeria together. The pizza was delicious and it was great eating together and chatting with everyone. After lunch, we got back on the bus and had a short drive to Mount Vesuvius. The views from off of the side of the mountain were incredible and although the long climb to the top of the mountain was intimidating, it was completely worth it! At the top we all got to look down into the crater at the center and even though right now it is just dry rock, it was cool to imagine all of the lava that was there before. 

After checking out those amazing views, we hiked back down and got back on the bus to drive back to Rome. We all checked into our rooms, and for our final night we got to request our roommates, so most of us are rooming with our new best friends:) We all had dinner together, and then headed outside for a really nice end-of-camp program, where we all talked about our favorite moments and the people who inspired us. We all said our goodbyes and headed back into the hotel for our last few hours with each other before 13 of us get up tomorrow to go to the airport and say ciao to everyone headed to Israel. Overall this trip was amazing, the people were so kind and wonderful, and I’ll miss all of the sites and all of my new friends with all of my heart. Ciao!! – Zoe Wojnowich (ps see you soon mom and dad <3)

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