This post was written by Syracuse London student Anjelique Soriano, reflecting on her adventures in Europe during our campus-wide mid-semester break. Anjelique wrote this post as part of our London Passport Programme, earning an “Art, Architecture & Heritage” passport stamp to recognise her experiences. All study abroad students are granted passports at the beginning of the semester to record their development as global citizens.
This mid-semester break I was lucky enough to be able to tour Italy from the bottom up. I started in Sorrento, where I was able to visit Pompeii and its ruins. The next day, my friends and I decided to take a bus down to the Amalfi coast, making a quick pit stop in Positano on the way there.
After two days of relaxation, we picked up our bags and left for Rome, where we spent two full days running from one attraction to another. The first day there was filled with tons of sightseeing, from the Trevi fountain, Spanish Steps, and Colosseum. While the second day was the day filled with art, architecture, and heritage, where we were able to visit Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Castel Sant’Angelo.
Vatican City felt like a dream. I remember talking about in my AP Euro class sophomore year of high school, and always seemed to be a place that I would not be able to visit until I was well out of college. Both Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica were especially humbling experiences. Walking through and taking in all of the history truly put my presence into perspective. To be able to see such a sacred place that is filled with Renaissance and Baroque architecture felt surreal. Being able to see Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bernini’s work within a mile radius was what took me by surprise the most. It is one thing to study and talk about such famous artists, but to be able to stand in front of their work and appreciate it was another thing. My 16-year-old self would have never imagined that I would be able to see the Creation of David in the Sistine Chapel just four years later, let alone everything else that I was able to see.
I truly recommend all of these places if you have the time! There is always something to see – from paintings and sculptures to building architecture – in the busy city that Rome is.